The Transfer of Property Act, 1882 provides for all the circumstances that may arise during disputes over property such as land disputes. One of the aspects of these disputes that the Act deals with is the problem arising due to the part performance of a contract under Section 53A.
Part performance, according to the said Act, refers to a situation that arises when a person acquires possession of a property via a written contract for sale which has not yet been registered, and in return for the purchase of the land in accordance with the contract acts or is willing to act on his/her part of the contract. It is important to note here that the sale deed is written in nature however has not been registered.
When such a situation has come up, even though the sale has not yet been done, since the purchaser has already shown willingness or has actually performed his part of the contract, he must be given relief if he gets eliminated by the seller on the ground that the sale deed has not been registered. This implies that no seller can give hopes to a potential purchaser who has got the possession of the property and has started to act on the return amount or consideration for the land or property.
This concept can be explained better with an example. X makes a contract with Y to sell his house. The contract for sale of the house is valid and is a written document that has completed all the procedures but is yet to be registered. Y is ready to pay the consideration price of the house and advances the money for the same. Y also starts the renovation process of the house. However, in the meantime, X sells the same house, now via a registered sale deed to Z. Due to Z now being the actual owner of the house, Y is evicted.
We can see a clear case of fraud by X and exploitation of Y in the above illustration. Since Y has already worked towards his part of the contract and has also worked on the house, equity demands that Y should mandatorily be given some sort of relief. Simply because the sale deed was not registered at the first instance does not mean that the transfer of property to Y was completely invalid.
This principle of Part Performance is a principle of equity. In the absence of such a provision, there is a great chance of misuse or exploitation of the purchaser who is at the risk at being eliminated from the possession of the property at any time, be it a number of years also. Further, even if all other processes of a written sale document have been completed and the only thing that is left is the registration of the sale deed, it is not justified that the purchaser has to face such great losses. This can give the seller of the property the chance to exploit the purchaser, leading to an increase in the cases of fraud.
Tags : Transfer of Property Act, 1882