M/S.Latif Estate Line India Ltd vs Mrs. Hadeeja Ammal on 11 February, 2011 – AIR 2011 Mad 66 (F.B.)
56. A Full Bench of the Madras High Court in the case of Muppudathi Pillai Vs. Krishnaswami Pillai, AIR 1960 Madras 1 elaborately discussed the provision of Section 39 (New Section 31) and held:-
12. The principle is that such document though not necessary to be set aside may, if left outstanding, be a source of potential mischief. The jurisdiction under Section 39 is, therefore, a protective or a preventive one. It is not confined to a case of fraud, mistake, undue influence, etc. and as it has been stated it was to prevent a document to remain as a menace and danger to the party against whom under different circumstances it might have operated. A party against whom a claim under a document might be made is not bound to wait till the document is used against him. If that were so he might be in a disadvantageous position if the impugned document is sought to be used after the evidence attending its execution has disappeared. Section 39 embodies the principle by which he is allowed to anticipate the danger and institute a suit to cancel the document and to deliver it up to him
59. After giving our anxious consideration on the questions raised in the instant case, we come to the following conclusion: –
(i) A deed of cancellation of a sale unilaterally executed by the transferor does not create, assign, limit or extinguish any right, title or interest in the property and is of no effect. Such a document does not create any encumbrance in the property already transferred. Hence such a deed of cancellation cannot be accepted for registration. (ii) Once title to the property is vested in the transferee by the sale of the property, it cannot be divested unto the transferor by execution and registration of a deed of cancellation even with the consent of the parties. The proper course would be to re-convey the property by a deed of conveyance by the transferee in favour of the transferor. (iii) Where a transfer is effected by way of sale with the condition that title will pass on payment of consideration, and such intention is clear from the recital in the deed, then such instrument or sale can be cancelled by a deed of cancellation with the consent of both the parties on the ground of non-payment of consideration. The reason is that in such a sale deed, admittedly, the title remained with the transferor. (iv) In other cases, a complete and absolute sale can be cancelled at the instance of the transferor only by taking recourse to the Civil Court by obtaining a decree of cancellation of sale deed on the ground inter alia of fraud or any other valid reasons.
60. Having regard to the conclusions arrived at as aforesaid, the questions referred are answered accordingly. The appeals are referred back to the concerned Court for deciding the case on merits