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Indian Case Summary

Pomal Kanji Govindji & Ors vs Vrajlal Karsandas Purohit & Ors on 4 November, 1988 – Case Summary

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In the case of Pomal Kanji Govindji & Ors vs Vrajlal Karsandas Purohit & Ors, the Supreme Court of India delivered a judgment on 4th November 1988. The case revolved around the interpretation of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882, particularly Sections 60 and 76, and the Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947.

Facts of the Case

The plaintiffs, Pomal Kanji Govindji & Ors, alleged that their father, who died in 1956, had mortgaged the suit property to the defendants, Vrajlal Karsandas Purohit & Ors, for 30,000 Koris by a registered mortgage deed dated 20th April, 1943. The mortgage property consisted of two delis with residential houses, shops, etc. The mortgagees had inducted tenants in the suit property. The plaintiffs claimed that the mortgagees took advantage of their father’s weak economic condition and incorporated harsh and oppressive conditions in the mortgage deed, including a long term of 99 years for redemption of the mortgage.

Issues Raised

The plaintiffs sought to redeem the mortgage and recover actual possession from the tenants inducted by the mortgagees. The defendants resisted the suit, arguing that the term of the mortgage was for 99 years, so the suit filed before the expiry of that period was premature. They also contended that the plaintiffs were not entitled to redeem the mortgage and even if they were so entitled, they could not get actual physical possession from the tenants who were protected by the Bombay Rent Act.

Court’s Observations and Ruling

The court held that any provision inserted to prevent, evade, or hamper redemption is void. The court also stated that the doctrine “clog on the equity of redemption” is a rule of justice, equity, and good conscience. It must be adopted in each case to the reality of the situation and the individuality of the transaction. The court also held that the rights and liabilities of the mortgagor are controlled by the provisions of section 60 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

The court dismissed the appeals, stating that the terms and conditions of the mortgage deed were oppressive and harsh, amounting to a clog on the equity of redemption. The court also held that the tenants had no right to be in possession and were not entitled to the protection of the Bombay Rent Control Act after the redemption of the mortgage.

This case is significant as it highlights the court’s stance on long-term mortgages and the rights of tenants inducted by mortgagees. It also underscores the importance of the equitable right of redemption and the court’s role in ensuring that this right is not unduly hampered by oppressive and harsh conditions in a mortgage deed.