Specific Relief Act, 1963, Section 22(2) – Purchaser pendente lite – expression “in an appropriate case”
“11. Section 22 enacts a rule of pleading. The legislature thought it will be useful to introduce a rule that in order to avoid multiplicity of proceedings the plaintiff may claim a decree for possession in a suit for specific performance, even though strictly speaking, the right to possession accrues only when suit for specific performance is decreed. The legislature has now made a statutory provision enabling the plaintiff to ask for possession in the suit for specific performance and empowering the court to provide in the decree itself that upon payment by the plaintiff of the consideration money within the given time, the defendant should execute the deed and put the plaintiff in possession.
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13. The expression in sub-section (1) of Section 22 “in an appropriate case” is very significant. The plaintiff may ask for the relief of possession or partition or separate possession “in an appropriate case”. As pointed out earlier, in view of Order 2 Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, some doubt was entertained whether the relief for specific performance and partition and possession could be combined in one suit; one view being that the cause of action for claiming relief for partition and possession could accrue to the plaintiff only after he acquired title to the property on the execution of a sale deed in his favour and since the relief for specific performance of the contract for sale was not based on the same cause of action as the relief for partition and possession, the two reliefs could not be combined in one suit………In a case where exclusive possession is with the contracting party, a decree for specific performance of the contract of sale simpliciter, without specifically providing for delivery of possession, may give complete relief to the decreeholder. In order to satisfy the decree against him completely he is bound not only to execute the sale deed but also to put the property in possession of the decree-holder. This is in consonance with the provisions of Section 55(1) of the Transfer of Property Act which provides that the seller is bound to give, on being so required, the buyer or such person as he directs, such possession of the property as its nature admits.”
14. There may be circumstances in which a relief for possession cannot be effectively granted to the decree-holder without specifically claiming relief for possession viz. where the property agreed to be conveyed is jointly held by the defendant with other persons. In such a case the plaintiff in order to obtain complete and effective relief must claim partition of the property and possession over the share of the defendant. It is in such cases that a relief for possession must be specifically pleaded.
16. …It may not always be necessary for the plaintiff to specifically claim possession over the property, the relief of possession being inherent in the relief for specific performance of the contract of sale. Besides, the proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 22 provides for amendment of the plaint on such terms as may be just for including a claim for such relief “at any stage of the proceeding”.