Case Summary: Sonia Tourism Pvt. Ltd. vs Ranvir Singh and Anr.

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This post is written by Megha Jain, a student of Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur.

BEFORE THE DELHI DISTRICT COURT

DATE OF JUDGMENT

  1. 08. 2018

PLANTIFF

Sonia Tourism Pvt. Ltd.

RESPONDENTS

  1. Ranvir Singh
  2. Laxman Singh

BENCH

  1. JYOTI KLER, ADDL. DISTRICT JUDGE.

FACTS OF THE CASE

The plaintiff is a   private limited company engaged in the business of Tour and Travel. A car purchased by the plaintiff was handed over to the defendants upon a contract for a period of 3 years. The agreement between them was that the defendants would pay monthly instalments of the loan taken in lieu of the car purchased for a period of 3 years. After completion of 3 years, the defendants were supposed to return the vehicle to the plaintiff.

The defendants did not perform any of their obligations even on regular reminders and did not return the vehicle to the plaintiff on expiry of the said period.

The plaintiff then sent a legal notice to the defendants on 23.10.2015, which was returned with no positive annotations. Hence, the present case was heard in the Delhi District Court.

STATUTES INVOVLED

Section 148[i] of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

Section 153[ii] of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.

Section 160[iii] of the Indian contract Act, 1872.

Section 7[iv] of the Specific Relief Act, 1963.

Section 8[v] of the Specific Relief Act, 1963.

ISSUES OF THE CASE

  1. Whether or not there was a valid contract between the parties?
  2. Whether or not there is a breach of contract?
  3. Whether or not the plaintiff was entitled to compensation by the defendants?

ARGUMENTS OF BOTH THE SIDES

BY PLAINTIFF SIDE-

The plaintiff contended that the defendants had not performed any obligation towards their contract. Therefore, there is a breach of contract and the damages/losses were to be compensated to the plaintiff by the defendants.

BY DEFENDANTS SIDE-

The defendants failed to appear in the court despite legal notice and therefore, the suit proceeded as ex-parte.

FINDINGS OF THE COURT

  1. There were no documents on record to prove the contract between plaintiff and defendants. It was only testified on oath that the vehicle in question was delivered to the defendants by the plaintiff upon a contract. Thus, the Court contended that the contract between plaintiff and defendants was in the nature of Bailment defined in Section 148 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
  2. The court found that the plaintiff had proved the legal notice sent by him to the defendants asking for delivery of the vehicle; which the plaintiff was duly entitled under section 153 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
  3. Suit for recovery of the said goods could be filed under section 7 of Specific Relief Act, 1963.
  4. Section 8 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 provides that a person can be compelled to deliver the possession of a particular article of movable property when compensation in money would not afford the plaintiff adequate relief for loss of the thing claimed and court shall presume this unless contrary is proved. The court found that this section was applicable in the instant case in the favour of the plaintiff.
  5. Compensation sought under section 73 of the Indian contract Act, 1872 by the plaintiff was not awarded to him as there was no evidence for the amount of damage caused due to breach of the said contract.

RATIO DECINDENDI

The suit was partly decreed in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendants.

The defendants were directed to hand over possession of the vehicle to the plaintiff. 

The relief pertaining to damages was declined.

Cost of the suit was also awarded in favour of the plaintiff and against the defendants who were liable jointly & severally to pay the cost.

REFERENCES

https://indiankanoon.org/doc/150902344/

Indian Contract Act, 1872.

Specific Relief Act, 1963.

[i] A “bailment” is the delivery of goods by one person to another for some purpose, upon a contract that they shall, when the purpose is accomplished, be returned or otherwise disposed of according to the directions of the person delivering them. The person delivering the goods is called the “bailor”. The person to whom they are delivered is called the “bailee”.

[ii] A contract of bailment is avoidable at the option of the bailor, if the bailee does any act with regard to the goods bailed, inconsistent with the conditions of the bailment.

[iii] It is the duty of the bailee to return, or deliver according to the bailor’s directions, the goods bailed, without demand, as soon as for which they were bailed has expired, or the purpose for which they were bailed has been accomplished.

[iv] A person entitled to the possession of specific movable property may recover it in the manner provided by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).

[v] Any person having the possession or control of a particular article of movable property, of

which he is not the owner, may be compelled specifically to deliver it to the person entitled to its

immediate possession, in any of the following cases:—

(a) when the thing claimed is held by the defendant as the agent or trustee of the plaintiff;

(b) when compensation in money would not afford the plaintiff adequate relief for the loss of the

thing claimed;

(c) when it would be extremely difficult to ascertain the actual damage caused by its loss;

(d) when the possession of the thing claimed has been wrongfully transferred from the plaintiff.

Explanation.—Unless and until the contrary is proved, the court shall, in respect of any article of

movable property claimed under clause (b) or clause (c) of this section, presume—

(a) that compensation in money would not afford the plaintiff adequate relief for the loss of the

thing claimed, or, as the case may be;

(b) that it would be extremely difficult to ascertain the actual damage caused by its loss.

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