How to enforce contract to sell a land

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Question From: Property Law

There is an agreement of sell between me and Mr x for selling of a land. At the time of sell it is mentioned that 20% money shall be paid as earnest money and rest shall be paid on the registry of such land. If X fails to register then he shall pay double of the earnest money. X was not turn up for registration.

When I made some query regarding selling of land he refused and I came to know that half the property has been registered in his wife’s name. And she refuses to sell this land. What is the remedy available in law?

You have right to get special damage as given in the agreement or get decree of specific performance of the contract. According to section 10 of Specific Relief Act 1963 (SRA), specific performance of any contract may, in the discretion of the court, be enforced when the act agreed to be done is such that compensation in money for its non-performance would not afford adequate relief. 

Court shall presume that the breach of a contract to transfer immovable property cannot be adequately relieved by compensation in money.

According to section 20 of SRA it is discretion of the court to grant specific performance of the contract. If court finds that property is clearly ascertained and it can be legally transferred by agreement then court may grant its specific performance otherwise court may refuse.

In your case half of the property is registered in the name of his wife hence he cannot make agreement for sell without her consent. If she refuses to sell then this contract cannot be enforced through specific performance.

You may relinquish half of the portion which is in the name of his wife and agree to perform contract to the extent of property in the name of seller. If seller agrees and his portion of land can be segregated successfully then court shall grant specific performance of contract.

If have initiated any proceeding before civil court then you have right to take aforementioned plea.

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