(CIVIL SUIT NO. 10827/ 2010)

Supreme Court gave land mark judgment on this case. And considered that proviso to section 92 and 95 of Indian Evidence Act applicable only when terms of the document leave the question in doubt.
In this case –
Mangla Wamen (APPELLANT) and her husband established business of Stationary named “Karandikar Brothers”, before her husband dismiss in 1962. So Appellant decided to run the business by herself, till 1963 she did that. After sometimes she was unable to run the business so she decided to give the business to Respondent for certain period of time and entered into an agreement on 07/02/1963 and signed the same.
In 1980’s the Appellant wanted to run the business again and regarding the same she issued the notice on 20/12/1980 to the Respondent to vacate the suit premises on 31/01/1981.
Respondent say’s that she did not hand over the business to him instead of that this business was given on rent by making the agreement of rent without any ambiguity.
After hearing all this in 1981 the Appellant filed for civil suit in district court, Pune
After that the Trial court gave Judgment in favor of Appellant and held that the agreement was to create a sale of business. And ordered the respondent to hand over the suit property to appellant.

Respondent took this case to higher judiciary and made appeal against the judgment of district court –
Where in this case High Court gave Judgment in favor of Respondent considering the section 95 of Indian evidence act. And Bombay High Court held that – Respondent entered into a license agreement under section 15A OF THE BOMBAY RENT ACT.
After this judgment, Appellant appeal the case in Supreme Court
Where Supreme Court observes some facts in this case –
It is clear from reading the contract that the parties had intended to transfer business from appellant to respondent during contractual period.
This Agreement was not meant as a lease or license for the respondent to conduct business. However, the Respondent contends that the meaning of the document should not be culled solely with reference to the language used in document, rather extrinsic evidence need to be utilised before adducing proper meaning to contract.
As per Section 92 and 95 of the Indian evidence act, only in case where the terms of document cause a doubt will one resort to the proviso. In case where it is simple and clear the proviso would not apply.
When a language used in a document is plain in itself, but is un meaning in reference to existing facts, evidence may be given to show that it was used in a peculiar sense.
Use of Extrinsic Evidence taken only when the terms of the document leaves the question in doubt. But when the document is straight forward and presents no difficulty in constructing it then the proviso does not apply.
In this regard we may said that Section 95 is only build on the proviso 6 of sec 92.
Relying on the case of Rohitash Kumar vs. Om Prakash Sharma [2013 11 SCC 451], the court held that if the interpretation of the High court is taken, then there would violate the basic tenants of legal interpretation and enlarge the scope of proviso beyond section. Further it held that section 92 explicitly prohibits any oral evidence which would contradict, vary, add to or subtract the terms. It also went on to hold that the ambit of section 95 is not appreciated by the High Court, by which the court only appreciated the evidence which amounts to the breach of contract and not the ambiguous language of the contract.

Monisha Acharya

An aspiring lawyer in process.

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