Zillul Hoque Chowdhury Vs. Habibunnessa Khatoon and others 2016 (2) LNJ 145

Case No: Civil Revision No. 2437 of 1998

Judge: Borhanuddin,

Court: High Court Division,,

Advocate: Mr. Mahbubey Alam,Mr. M. Quamrul Haque Siddique,Mr. Md. Rezaul Islam,Mr. Md. Ashikur Reza Chowdhury,Mr. A. K. M. Alamgir Parvez,,

Citation: 2016 (2) LNJ 145

Case Year: 2016

Appellant: Zillul Hoque Chowdhury

Respondent: Habibunnessa Khatoon and others

Subject: Civil Law,

Delivery Date: 2016-04-12

Zillul Hoque Chowdhury Vs. Habibunnessa Khatoon and others 2016 (2) LNJ 145
HIGH COURT DIVISION
(CIVIL REVISIONAL JURISDICTION)
Borhanuddin, J
Judgment on
12.04.2016
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Zillul Hoque Chowdhury
. . . Petitioner
-Versus-
Mosammat Habibunnessa Khatoon Chowdhury and others
. . . Opposite Parties

Specific Relief Act (I of 1877)
Section 12
When the foundation of the suit for specific performance of contract is based on oral contract, the contract must be proved. If the contract is not proved then the suit fails.               . . . (30)
Code of Civil Procedure (V of 1908)
Section 115
It appears that the trial court passed the judgment and decree in a slip shod manner without discussing the evidence adduced by the parties thoroughly. The appellate court below after reassessing the evidence on record pointed out contradictions of the testimony of PWs relating to time, manner and place of the oral agreement and also payment of consideration amount. The appellate court below reversed the judgment of the trial court and dismissed the suit on proper assessment of the evidence on record. Since the suit is concluded by finding of fact by the appellate court below as the final court of fact, impugned judgment and decree is not called for any interference in this revisional jurisdiction under Section 115 of the Code of Civil procedure.       . . . (31)

Md. Shah Jahan and others Vs. Mir Hossain and others, 17 BLD (AD) 219 and Md. Moslemuddin and others Vs. Md. Jonab Ali and another, 2 MLR (AD) 295 ref.
Civil Revision No. 2437 of 1998


Mr. Mahbubey Alam, with
Mr. Md. Rezaul Islam, Advocates
. . . For the Petitioner
Mr. Quamrul Haque Siddique, with
Mr. Md. Ashikur Reza Chowdhury, and
Mr. A. K. M. Alamgir Parvez, Advocates
. . . For the Opposite Parties
 
JUDGMENT

 
Borhanuddin, J:
This rule has been issued calling upon the opposite parties to show cause as to why the judgment and decree dated 26.10.1997 passed by the learned Additional District Judge and Anti Smuggling Tribunal, Sylhet, in Title Appeal No.211 of 1981 reversing the judgment and decree dated 27.08.1980 passed by the learned Additional Subordinate Judge, 1st Court, Sylhet, in Title Suit No. 19 of 1980, should not be set aside and/or such other or further order or orders passed as to this court may seem fit and proper.
  1. Facts relevant for disposal of the rule are that the petitioner herein as plaintiff instituted Title Suit No.77 of 1975 in the 2nd Court of Subordinate Judge, Sylhet, on transfer renumbered as Title Suit no.19 of 1980, for specific Performance of Contract contending interalia that the suit land originally belonged to defendant no.1 who proposed to sell the land to the plaintiff and the plaintiff agreed to purchase the same; On the basis of oral contract between the parties consideration amount settled at taka 18,000/- on 05.02.1971; On that date plaintiff issued a cheque of taka 10,000/- from his account of the then Habib Bank Limited, Sylhet, now Agrani Bank, Station road branch, Sylhet, in favour of the defendant no.2 as part of the consideration money in presence of Mokaddes Ali Chowdhury and others; Defendants agreed to execute and register kabala in favour of the plaintiff after obtaining income tax clearance certificate and on receipt of the balance consideration amount; Due to prevailing situation at that time, plaintiff left Sylhet town with his family for his village home and stayed there till September, 1971; On 20.10.1971 plaintiff paid another sum of taka 5,000/- out of the agreed amount to the defendant no.1 through defendant no.2 in presence of Abdul Khaleque and Turu Mia; After receiving the amount, defendant no.1 delivered possession in favour of the plaintiff and the plaintiff started living therein by constructing houses; plaintiff paid another sum of taka 2,000/- to the defendant no.1 out of the consideration amount on 07.02.1972 and taka 1,000/- through Turu Mia on 24.08.1972; Plaintiff requested the defendant no.1 to execute and register sale deed pursuant to oral contract but the defendants started dillydallying on the plea of procuring income tax clearence certificate; Ultimately defendants refused to execute and register sale deed on 30.12.1973; Hence, the suit.
  2. Defendant nos.1 and 2 contested the suit by filing joint written statement denying material allegations made in the plaint and contending interalia that the defendants never entered into an oral contract with the plaintiff to sell the suit land and the plaintiff never paid any consideration amount to them for the suit land; Defendants sheltered the plaintiff in their house; Suit is liable to be dismissed.
  3. After hearing the parties and assessing the evidence on record, trial court decreed the suit on contest with a direction to the defendant no.1 to execute and register sale deed in favour of the plaintiff within 30 days failing which the same would be executed and registered through court at the cost of defendant.
  4. Being aggrieved, defendants as appellants filed Title Appeal No.211 of 1981 in the Court of learned District Judge, Sylhet, which was ultimately heard and disposed of by the learned Additional District Judge and Anti Smuggling Tribunal, Sylhet, who after hearing the parties and reassessing the evidence on record allowed the appeal vide judgment and decree dated 26.10.1997.
  5. Having aggrieved by and dissatisfied with the judgment and decree, plaintiff-respondent as petitioner preferred this revisional application under section 115(1) of the Code of Civil Procedure and obtained the present rule.
  6. Mr. Mahbubey Alam, learned advocate appearing for the petitioner submits that the appellate court below committed an error of law resulting in an error in the decision occasioning failure of justice in not adverting findings of the trial court in violation of the provisions of order XLI rule 31 of the Code of Civil Procedure as such the judgment and decree is liable to be set aside. He also submits that the appellate court below committed an error of law resulting in an error in the decision occasioning failure of justice in not considering that the plaintiff-petitioner adduced six witnesses to prove the oral contract and delivery of possession but the defendants failed to prove their contention by adducing any credible oral or documentary evidence as such the judgment and decree is liable to be set aside. He further submits that the appellate court below committed an illegality in not considering that the defendant nos.1 and 2 as DWs. 1 and 2 deposed that the plaintiff is still in possession of the suit land and they did not take any step for ejectment/ eviction of the plaintiff which amply proves transfer of the land in favour of the plaintiff through oral contract as such the judgment and decree is liable to be set aside. He next submits that the appellate court below committed illegality in not believing the PWs without assigning any reason as such the judgment and decree is liable to be set aside.
  7. On the other hand Mr. Quamrul Haque Siddique, learned Advocate appearing for the opposite parties submits that the trial court passed the judgment and decree without thorough discussions of the evidence adduced by the parties and without considering that the whole case of the plaintiff based on oral contract, on the contrary appellate court below as a last court of fact after reassessing the evidence thoroughly and meticulously dismissed the suit with specific finding that the plaintiff failed to prove his case of oral contract as such there is nothing to interfere with the impugned judgment and decree. He also submits that since the finding of the appellate court below does not suffer from any legal infirmity nor are vitiated by any procedure affecting merit of the case as such impugned judgment and decree is not called for any interference in this revisional jurisdiction. He further submits that the plaintiff failed to prove his claim mentioning time, place and manner of entering into oral contract with the defendants and also payment of consideration amount with reliable evidence as such the appellate court below justly and legally passed the judgment and decree. In support of his submissions, learned advocate referred to the case of Md. Shah Jahan and others-Vs- Mir Hossain and others, reported in 17 BLD (AD) 219 and the case of Md. Moslemuddin and others-Vs- Md. Jonab Ali and another, reported in 2 MLR (AD) 295.
  8. Heard the learned advocates. Perused the revisional application, judgment and decree passed by the courts below alongwith lower court records and the decisions cited by the learned advocate for the opposite parties.
  9. Admittedly, plaintiff’s claim is based on oral contract. Since there is no documentary evidence relating to the agreement for sale it is very important to see whether the plaintiff could prove his claim including time, place and manner of entering into oral contract and also payment of consideration amount by adducing reliable evidence.
  10. In support of his claim, plaintiff produced and examined six witnesses including himself. The plaintiff as PW.1 deposed that:
উক্ত নালিশা জায়গায় মূল্য সাব্যস¹ করার সময় আমার মামাত ভাই মখদ্দস আলম চৌধুরী, তুরুমিয়া ও আমার বাড়ীর মাষ্টার সাহেব মোঃ তারেক মিয়া উপসিÛত ছিলেনz ঐদিন মূল্য সাব্যস¹ হওয়ার সময় বিবাদীর চাহিদা মাত্র মং ১০,০০০/০০ টাকার একখানা চেক দেই যাহা সিলেট ষ্টেশন রোডসিÛত সাবেক হাবীব ব্যাংক এবং বর্তমান অগ্রণী ব্যাংকের শাখায় আমার একাউন্ট হইতেz এই টাকা তিনি উক্ত ব্যাংক হইতে উঠাইয়া নেনz উপরোক্ত স্বাক্ষীগণের স্বাক্ষমতে উক্ত চেক বিবাদীকে প্রদান করিz চেকখানা ২ নং বিবাদীর নামে দিয়েছিলামz আমি ঐ সময় বিবাদীর ঘরের দুইটি কামরার ভাড়াটিয়া হিসাবে ছিলামz ঐদিনই ১ নং এবং ২ নং বিবাদীগণ ইনকামটেক্স clearance certificate সংগ্রহত্র্রমে এবং বত্র্রীটাকা গ্রহণে কবালা রেজিষ্ট্রারী করিয়া দিবেন বলিয়া আশ্বাস দেনz
  1. He stated in his cross examination:
আমি বিলাত হইতে আসিয়া আমার খরিদা রায় হোসেনসিÛত অন্য বাসায় বসবাস করিz ঐ বাসা আমি আমার ভাইয়ের কাছে ২/৩ বৎসর পূর্বে বিত্র্রয় করিয়া দিয়াছিz এবং সম্ভবত ১৯৭৫ ইং তে দলিল করিয়া দিয়াছিz তৎপর কখন আমি বিলাতে যাই তাহা আমার স্বরণ নাইz আমি বিলাত যাওয়ার পূর্বপর্য¿¹ ঐ বাসায়ই  ছিলাম এবং ১৯৬৬ ইং তে আমি বিলাতে চলিয়া যাই এবং ১৯৭০ ইং তে দেশে ফিরিয়া আসি এবং আমার বিত্র্রিত বাসায় আবার বসবাস করিতে থাকিz ১৯৭০ ইং শেষ ভাগে ১-২ নং বিবাদীগণ বলেন তাহাদের বাসায় ভাড়াটিয়া হিসাবে আসার জন্য এবং আমি ঐ সনেরই ডিসেম্বর মাসে তাহাদের বাসায় ভাড়াটিয়া হিসাবে আসি এবং তাহাদেরকে মাসিক ১০০ টাকা হিসাবে ভাড়া দেইz কি¿º আমার কাছে ভাড়া আদায়ের কোন রশিদ নাইz
  1. He again stated in his cross examination that:
মখদ্দস আলম ও তুরু মিয়াকে আমি লেনদেনের দিন উপসিÛত রাখিয়া ছিলামz
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………....
২ নং বিবাদী বায়না নামা করিয়া দিতে চাহিয়াছিলেন কি¿º আমি সরল বিশ্বাসে আত্মীয় হিসাবে একসংগে দলিল করিয়া দিলে চলিবেz(ড়ভদ) আমি মূল্যের ১০,০০০/০০ টাকা দিয়া কোন প্রকার রশিদ গ্রহণ করি নাইz যে চেক বই হইতে আমি চেক দিয়াছিলাম তাহার মুড়ি বই আছে তবে দাখিল করি নাইz এই চেক যে ২ নং বিবাদী ভাঙ্গাইয়া নিয়াছেন তাহা দেখাইবার মত আমার কোন নিদর্শন নাই তবে ব্যাংক হইতে খোজ নিয়াছিলাম যে তিনি কেশ করিয়া টাকা উঠাইয়া নিয়াছেনz
  1. Turu Mia as PW.2 deposed that:
ঐ চুক্তি ০৫/০২/১৯৭১ ইং তারিখে হয় এবং ঐ দিনই বাদী ২ নং বিবাদীর বরাবরে মং ১০,০০০/০০ টাকার একটি চেক দেনz
  1. Turu Mia stated in his cross examination:
৫/২/৭১ ইং তারিখে খরিদ বিত্র্রয়ের চুক্তি হয়, তাহার পূর্বে কোন কথা হইয়া থাকিলে আমি জানি নাz ঐ চুক্তি ২ নং বিবাদীর বাসায় অনুমান ১০/১১ টার সময় হয়z আমি আমার নিজ প্রয়োজনে বাদীর নিকট আসিয়া ছিলামz ঐ সময় বাদীর নিকট হইতে একটি গাড়ীর ইঞ্জিন খরিদ করার নিমিত্তে আসিয়া ছিলামz আমি আসিয়া দেখি বাদী ও বিবাদীগণ ও উপসিÛত ব্যক্তি মখদ্দস আলম, নুরজ্জামান বা তারেক মিয়া এবং একজন মিসি»সহ নালিশা জায়গা খরিদ বিত্র্রয়ের আলাপ চলিতেছেz আমি আসার পর নালিশা জায়গার মূল্য সাব্যসÛ হয়z
  1. PW.3 Tareque alias Syed Joynal Hossain deposed that:
চুক্তির সময় মখদ্দস আলম চৌধুরী, তুরু মিয়া গং উপসিÛত ছিলেনz
  1. He stated in his cross examination that:
প্রথম লেনদেনের ২/৩ দিন পূর্বে খরিদ বিত্র্রীর বিষয়ে প্রথম আলাপ হয়z প্রথম যেদিন লেনদেনের আলাপ হয় তখন আমিও ছিলামz
  1. From the above testimony of the PWs. it cannot be said that the plaintiff strictly proved time, place and manner of entering into the oral contract with the defendants inasmuch as plaintiff as PW.1 stated in his cross examination that:
মখদ্দস আলম ও তুরুমিয়াকে আমি লেনদেনের দিন উপসিÛত রাখিয়া ছিলামz
  1. But PW.2 Turu Mia stated in his cross examination as mentioned above that he went to the house of the plaintiff to purchase an engine of the car and after entering in the house of the plaintiff he saw plaintiff, defendants, Mokadess Alam, Nuruzzaman or Tareque Mia and one mechanic.
  2. PW.3 Tareque alias Syed Joynal Abedin who was the lodging master of the plaintiff stated in his cross examination that:
সঠিক কবে প্রথম কথাবার্তার তারিখ বলিতে পারব না কি¿º ঐদিন অনুমান ২/৩ জন লোক বাদী বিবাদীগণ ও আমি ছাড়া উপসিÛত ছিলেন তাহাদের নাম আমার স্মরণ নাইz
  1. It appears from the deposition of plaintiff as PW.1 that after returning from England in the year 1964 he purchased a house situated at Royhossain and started living therein. He also stated that he sold the house to his brother 2/3 years back before deposition. PW.1 deposed on 11.02.1980. So it can be presumed that he sold the house in the year 1977 or 1978. He also deposed that he stayed in his purchased house before leaving the county and he left for England in 1966 and came back in 1970 and started living in his purchased house. In the last part of 1970, defendants requested him to stay in their house as tenant and from December, 1970, he started living in the rented house owned by the defendants.
  2. It is hard to believe that a person while living in his own house will agree to live in a rented house at the request of land owners.
  3. Relating to delivery of possession, plaintiff as PW.1 deposed that after returning from village in 1971 he paid taka 5,000/- to the defendant no.2 in presence of the defendant no.1 and after receiving the money defendant no.2 delivered possession in favour of the plaintiff. He deposed that:
২০/১০/১৯৭১ ইং তারিখে আমি আরও ৫,০০০/০০ টাকা তাহাদিগকে দেইz এই পাঁচ হাজার টাকা দেওয়ার সময় আঃ খালিক ও তুরুমিয়া উপসিÛত ছিলেনz উক্ত টাকা গ্রহণ করত: নালিশা জায়গার দখল ১-২ বিবাদীগণ সমজাইয়া দেনz
  1. PW.2 Turu Mia stated in his cross examination that:
ঐ দিন ঐ বৈঠকে প্রমানিত হয় যে, নালিশা ভুমির দখল বাদীকে পূর্বেই দেওয়া হইয়াছেz এমনকি পরের দিনও দখল বাদীকে দিতে পারেনz যখন দখল সমজানো হয় তখন আমি উপসিÛত ছিলামz তবে ইহা পরের দিন ১০/১১ টার সময় হইবেz
  1. PW.3 stated in his cross examination that:
৫,০০০/- হাজার টাকা প্রদানের পরের দিন বা আগের দিন বিবাদীগণ নালিশী জায়গা বাদীকে সমঝাইয়া দেন, দখল দেওয়ার সময় আমি উপসিÛত ছিলামz
  1. PWs contradicted each other relating to delivery of possession.
  2. Plaintiff as PW.1 deposed that he entered into an oral contract with the defendants on 05.02.1971 and on that day he issued a cheque of taka 10,000/- from his account of Habib Bank now Agrani Bank in favour of the defendant no.2 and he stated in his cross examination that the defendant no.2 drew the amount from bank.
  3. PW.4 Manger of the Agrani Bank stated in his deposition that the branch of the bank was burnt to ashes in the 2nd week of April, 1971, as such he is unable to produce any paper relating to the cheque or ecashment of cheque amount. Though the plaintiff claimed payment of money through cheque but he failed to produce any paper/document in support of his contention.
  4. PW.1 produced a letter claiming written by DW.1 which was marked as exhibit-‘1’. DW.1 categorically denied that he wrote any such letter. But plaintiff did not take any step to prove exhibit ‘1’ though he got ample time and opportunity.
  5. When the foundation of the suit for specific performance of contract is based on oral contract, the contract must be proved. if the contract is not proved than the suit fails. In the case of Md. Moslemuddin and others-Vs- Md. Jonab Ali and another, reported in 2 MLD (AD) 295, our apex court held:
“In a suit for specific performance of oral contract the plaintiff has to prove strictly his or her claim including time, place and manner of entering into the oral contract, payment of consideration with very reliable evidence and the court must scrutinize the oral agreement cautiously. Although oral agreement is not barred by any law such oral agreement is always taken with a grain of salt”.
  1. I have perused the judgment and decree passed by the courts below. It appears that the trial court passed the judgment and decree in a slip shod manner without discussing the evidence adduced by the parties thoroughly. The appellate court below after reassessing the evidence on record pointed out contradictions of the testimony of PWs relating to time, manner and place of the oral agreement and also payment of consideration amount. The appellate court below reversed the judgment of the trial court and dismissed the suit on proper assessment of the evidence on record. Since the suit is concluded by finding of fact by the appellate court below as the final court of fact, impugned judgment and decree is not called for any interference in this revisional jurisdiction under Section 115 of the Code of Civil procedure.
  2. Under the facts and circumstances of the case and for the reasons stated above, I am of the view that the findings of the appellate court below does not suffer from any legal infirmity nor are vitiated by any procedure affecting merit of the case. I do not find any reason to interfere with the findings of the appellate court below.
  3. Accordingly, the rule is discharged without any order as to cost.
  4. Judgment and decree dated 26.10.1997 passed by the learned Additional District Judge and Anti Smuggling Tribunal, Sylhet, in Title Appeal No.211 of 1981 is hereby maintained.
Send down lower court records alongwith a copy of this judgment to the court concern at once.
Ed.