CHAPTER III OF SALES OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY
54. “Sale” defined
“Sale” is a transfer of ownership in exchange for a price paid or promised or part-paid and part-promised.
Sale how made: Such transfer, in the case of tangible immovable property of the value of one hundred rupees and upwards, or in the case of a reversion or other intangible thing, can be made only by a registered instrument.
In the case of tangible immovable property of a value less than one hundred rupees, such transfer may be made either by a registered instrument or by delivery of the property.
Delivery of tangible immovable property takes place when the seller places the buyer, or such person as he directs, in possession of the property.
Contract for sale: A contract for the sale of immovable property is a contract that a sale of such property shall take place on terms settled between the parties.
It does not, of itself, create any interest in or charge on such property.
55. Rights and liabilities of buyer and seller
In the absence of a contract to the contrary, the buyer and the seller of immovable property respectively are subject to the liabilities, and have the rights, mentioned in the rules next following or such of them as are applicable to the property sold:
(1) The seller is bound-
(a) to disclose to the buyer any material defect in the property or in the seller’s title thereto of which the seller is, and the buyer is not, aware, and which the buyer could not with ordinary care discover;
(b) to produce to the buyer on his request for examination all documents of title relating to the property which are in the seller’s possession or power;
(c) to answer to the best of his information all relevant questions put to him by the buyer in respect to the property or the title thereto;
(d) on payment or tender of the amount due in respect of the price, to execute a proper conveyance of the property when the buyer tenders it to him for execution at a proper time and place;
(e) between the date of the contract of sale and the delivery of the property, to take as much care of the property and all documents of title relating thereto which are in his possession as an owner of ordinary prudence would take of such property and documents;
(f) to give, on being so required, the buyer, or such person as he directs, such possession of the property as its nature admits;
(g) to pay all public charges and rent accrued due in respect of the property up to the date of the sale, the interest on all encumbrances on such property due on such date, and, except where the property is sold subject to encumbrances, to discharge all encumbrances on the property then existing.
(2) The seller shall be deemed to contract with the buyer that the interest which the seller professes to transfer to the buyer subsists and that he has power to transfer the same:
PROVIDED that, where the sale is made by a person in a fiduciary character, he shall be deemed to contract with the buyer that the seller has done no act whereby the property is encumbered or whereby he is hindered from transferring it.
The benefit of the contract mentioned in this rule shall be annexed to, and shall go with, the interest of the transferee as such, and may be enforced by every person in whom that interest is for the whole or any part thereof from time to time vested.
(3) Where the whole of the purchase-money has been paid to the seller, he is also bound to deliver to the buyer all documents of title relating to the property which are in the seller’s possession or power:
(a) where the seller retains any part of the property comprised in such documents, he is entitled to retain them all, and,
(b) where the whole of such property is sold to different buyers, the buyers of the lot of greatest value is entitled to such documents.
But in case (a) the seller, and in case (b) the buyer, of the lot of greatest value, is bound, upon every reasonable request by the buyer, or by any of the other buyers, as the case may be, and at the cost of the person making the request, to produce the said documents and furnish such true copies thereof or extracts therefrom as he may require; and in the meantime, the seller, or the buyer of the lot of greatest value, as the case may be, shall keep the said documents safe, uncancelled and undefaced, unless prevented from so doing by fire or other inevitable accident.
(4) The seller is entitled-
(a) to the rents and profits of the property till the ownership thereof passes to the buyer;
(b) where the ownership of the property has passed to the buyer before payment of the whole of the purchase-money, to a charge upon the property in the hands of the buyer, any transferee without consideration or any transferee with notice of the non-payment, for the amount of the purchase-money, or any part thereof remaining unpaid, and for interest on such amount or part from the date on which possession has been delivered.
(5) The buyer is bound-
(a) to disclose to the seller any fact as to the nature or extent of the seller’s interest in the property of which the buyer is aware, but of which he has reason to believe that the seller is not aware, and which materially increases the value of such interest;
(b) to pay or tender, at the time and place of completing the sale, the purchase-money to the seller or such person as he directs:
PROVIDED that, where the property is sold free from encumbrances, the buyer may retain out of the purchase-money the amount of any encumbrances on the property existing at the date of the sale, and shall pay the amount so retained to the persons entitled thereto;
(c) where the ownership of the property has passed to the buyer, to bear any loss arising from the destruction, injury or decrease in value of the property not caused by the seller;
(d) where the ownership of the property has passed to the buyer, as between himself and the seller, to pay all public charges and rent which may become payable in respect of the property, the principal moneys due on any encumbrances subject to which the property is sold, and the interest thereon afterwards accruing due.
(6) The buyer is entitled-
(a) where the ownership of the property has passed to him, to the benefit of any improvement in, or increase in value of, the property, and to the rents and profits thereof;
(b) unless he has improperly declined to accept delivery of the property, to a charge on the property, as against the seller and all persons claiming under him, to the extent of the seller’s interest in the property, for the amount of any purchase-money properly paid by the buyer in anticipation of the delivery and for interest on such amount; and, when he properly declines to accept the delivery, also for the earnest (if any) and for the costs (if any) awarded to him of a suit to compel specific performance of the contract or to obtain a decree for its rescission.
An omission to make such disclosures as are mentioned in this section, paragraph (1), clause (a) and paragraph (5), clause (a), is fraudulent.
56. Marshalling by subsequent purchaser
If the owner of two or more properties mortgages them to one person and then sells one or more of the properties to another person, the buyer is, in the absence of a contract to the contrary, entitled to have the mortgage-debt satisfied out of the property or properties not sold to him, so far as the same will extend, but not so as to prejudice the rights of the mortgagee or persons claiming under him or of any other person who has for consideration acquired an interest in any of the properties.
DISCHARGE OF ENCUMBRANCES ON SALE
57. Provision by court for encumbrances and sale freed therefrom
(a) Where immovable property subject to any encumbrances, whether immediately payable or not, is sold by the court or in execution of a decree, or out of court, the court may, if it thinks fit, on the application of any party to the sale, direct or allow payment into court,-
(1) in case of an annual or monthly sum charged on the property, or of a capital sum charged on a determinable interest in the property-of such amount as, when invested in securities of the Central Government, the court considers will be sufficient, by means of the interest thereof, to keep down or otherwise provide for that charge, and
(2) in any other case of a capital sum charged on the property- of the amount sufficient to meet the encumbrance and any interest due thereon.
But in either case there shall also be paid into court such additional amount as the court considers will be sufficient to meet the contingency of further costs, expenses and interest, and any other contingency, except depreciation of investment not exceeding one-tenth part of the original amount to be paid in, unless the court for special reasons (which it shall record) thinks fit to require a large additional amount.
(b) Thereupon the court may, if it thinks fit, and after notice to the encumbrances, unless the court, for reasons to be recorded in writing thinks fit to dispense with such notice, declare the property to be freed from the encumbrance, and make any order for conveyance, or vesting order, proper for giving effect to the sale, and give directions for the retention and investment of the money in court.
(c) After notice served on the persons interested in or entitled to the money or fund in court, the court may direct payment or transfer thereof to the persons entitled to receive or give a discharge for the same, and generally may give directions respecting the application or distribution of the capital or income thereof.
(d) An appeal shall lie from any declaration, order or direction under this section as if the same were a decree.
(e) In this section “court” means (1) a High Court in the exercise of its ordinary or extraordinary original civil jurisdiction, (2) the court of a District Judge within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the property or any part thereof is situate, (3) any other court which the State Government may, from time to time, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare to be competent to exercise the jurisdiction conferred by this section.