Section 8 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963

CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF SECTION 8 OF SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT , 1963

Author: Amisha Jain, TMU, Moradabad.

INTRODUCTION :

Section 8 of Specific Relief Act  states that “if a person has their control or possession on any movable property which is in dispute, are held liable to transfer the said property to the person who is having their legal right on the same and the person  who is claiming it should entitle with immediate possession.”

DEFINITION :

As per the Specific Relief Act,1963 Sec. 8 is defined as,

Liability of person in possession, not as owner, to deliver to persons entitled to immediate possession.—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.”

SCOPE:

This Section provides a remedy to those persons who are entitled to the possession of the movable property. If the movable property of a person is disposed off illegally or without following the procedure established by law and such person to whom it is done is interested in claiming damages and mense profit together with the possession of the property can be achieved by filing a suit under Section 8 of Specific Relief Act.

A Plaintiff needs to prove his title in respect of the said movable property which is in dispute. A plaintiff who is not able to prove the title of the article is not liable for decree u/s 8. Therefore it is necessary to prove the title where the suit is based on the ownership of the article.

If a plaintiff successfully proved his title in respect of the said article then he was always liable to get the decree in his favour and no law can bar him from the grant of the decree in his favour against the person who had no title or had not proved his title over the article.

ESSENTIALS OF SECTION 8 :

  • The defendant must have their possession or control on the article in the suit.
  • Such an article must be a movable property.
  • The person who is claiming the possession should be entitled to immediate possession.
  • The defendant not be the owner of the article
  • Any one of the above essentials must exist.

APPLICABILITY OF SECTION 8:

This Section is  applicable only under the following situations as follows;

  1. When such person is held as an agent or trustee of the property. In this situation burden of proof is on plaintiff
  2. When compensation is not a sufficient relief for the loss or damage to the plaintiff. In this situation burden of proof is on plaintiff
  3. When it is not possible that any damage can be ascertained. In this situation burden of proof is on defendant.
  4. When possession of the property is unlawfully transferred from the plaintiff. In this situation burden of proof is on defendant.

CASE LAW:

Kizhakkumpurath V. Thanikkuzhiyil

In this case, there was some oral and documentary evidence that proved that the plaintiff was the owner of certain scheduled articles which the defendant had acquired by trespassing into those articles. Thus, the court entitled the plaintiff to recover those articles along with the mesne profit and compensation.

Chandu Naik and others v. Sitaram B. Naik and another

In this case, it was held that when the dispute is between two private parties related to the possession of premises, the provisions of section 8 of the Act are not enforced and the suit is tried and entertained under the Civil Court which has their jurisdiction.

Geetarani Paul v. Dibyendra Kundu 

In this case, Supreme court held that, as long as the plaintiff is able to show that he is the lawful owner of the article in dispute and the title vest in him, he is the registered owner, in this situation-specific details of the disposition need not be proved as on the basis of the title vest in him only when the suit is filed within the limitation period.

END NOTES:

# AIR 1998 Ker 244

# AIR 1978 SC 333

# AIR 1991 SC 395

# WWW.LEGALBITES.IN

# WWW.LEXLOGY.COM

# Contract and Specific relief Act by Dr. S.K Kapoor.

# Specific Relief Act, 1963

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