24 November 1964
Supreme Court


Case number: Appeal (civil) 669 of 1964






DATE OF JUDGMENT: 24/11/1964


CITATION:  1965 AIR 1405            1965 SCR  (2) 221  CITATOR INFO :  RF         1987 SC2328  (13)

ACT: Specific  Relief Act (1 of 1877), s. 22-Decree for  specific performance --When can be refused.

HEADNOTE: The  plaintiff was the highest bidder at the public  auction for the sale of the plots of the 1st defendant, but the  1st defendant repudiated the contract.  So the plaintiff  issued a notice to him asking him to take the earnest money  within 24  hours and the balance within a week thereafter,  and  to execute a sale deed.  The plaintiff however did not take any further  effective  steps  to enforce  the  contract  for  7 months, as he was mentally worried on account of the illness of  his wife and the demolition of one of his houses by  the Municipal  Corporation.   Then one day,  while  passing  the suit-site he saw foundations being dug therein and within  a few days thereafter filed the suit for specific  performance of the contract, that is, about 7 1/2 months after the  date of the auction.  This 1st defendant contended that there was no  contract at all because, there was no final bid and  the plaintiff’s  bid was never accepted.  The trial  court  held that there was a contract but that it was not a fit case for decreeing  specific performance.  On appeal, the High  Court gave  the plaintiff a decree for specific performance.   The 1st  defendant appealed to the Supreme Court  and  contended that   the   delay   disentitled  the   plaintiff   to   the discretionary relief. HELD  : Except for some delay, there were  no  circumstances which should induce a court to refuse, in its discretion, to give the relief of specific performance. [231 H-232 A] While  mere  delay is not sufficient to empower a  Court  to refuse   the  relief  of  specific  performance,  proof   of abandonment  or  waiver  of  a right  is  not  necessary  to disentitle the plaintiff to the relief.  There may be  other circumstances, which it is not possible or desirable to  lay down,  under  which  a court  can  exercise  its  discretion against  the plaintiff.  They must however be such that  the representation  by,  on  the  conduct  or  neglect  of,  the plaintiff is directly responsible in inducing the  defendant



to change his position to his prejudice or such as to  bring about a situation, when it would be inequitable to give  him such a relief. [230 A, C-D] Case law considered.

JUDGMENT: CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal No. 669 of 1964. Appeal from the judgment and decree dated October 11,  1963, of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in C.C.C. Appeal No. 12  of 1959. T.   Lashmayya, P. Shiv Shankar, O. C. Mathur, J. B. Dada- chanji    and Ravinder Narain, for the appellant. A.   V. Viswanatha Sastri, C.  Narasimhachar and Harbans Singh for the respondent No. 1. 222 The Judgment of the Court was delivered by Subba Rao, J. This appeal by certificate raises the question whether  the High Court went wrong, in the circumstances  of the  case, to give a decree for specific performance  of  an agreement to sell in favour of the plaintiff. The facts may be briefly stated : On August 23, 1954, at  10 a.m.  defendants 1 and 2, through their Auction  Agent,  de- fendant  3,  advertised  and put their plots  Nos.  1  to  4 situated in Narayanguda opposite to Deepak Mahal Theatre  to public  auction.   In  regard  to plots Nos.  2  and  3  the plaintiff  offered  the  highest bid of  Rs.  12,000/-.   He wanted to purchase the plots for the purpose of starting his business.   When  the plaintiff tendered one-fourth  of  the sale price as earnest money in accordance with the terms  of the auction, the defendants unlawfully refused to accept it. On  August  30, 1954, the plaintiff gave notice to  the  3rd defendant  and sent copies thereof to the  other  defendants calling  upon them to obtain from him the one-fourth  amount of the sale price as earnest money within 24 hours and  pass a  receipt  therefor and accept the balance of  the  auction price  within a period of one week thereafter in  accordance with the condition of the auction sale and to execute a sale deed duly registered in his favour.  Defendants 1 and 2  did not give any reply to the said notice.  The plaintiff  filed the  suit  in the Court of the 4th  Additional  Judge,  City Civil Court, Hyderabad, on April 18,1955, for directing  the defendants,  inter  alia,  to execute the  saledeed  in  his favour.    Defendants   2   and   3   in   their    written- statementadmitted  that  therewas an auction sale  and  that plaintiff  was thehighest bidder; butthe 1st  defendant,  on the  other hand, deniedthat there was any final bid or  that it was accepted.  He further stated that he gave up the idea of selling the plots and that after obtaining the  necessary permission from the Municipality he began to build shops  on the  said  plots.  The City Civil Judge held that  the  suit plots  were  knocked down at the auction in  favour  of  the plaintiff  and  that the lst defendant refused to  take  the earnest  money.  He further held that though  the  plaintiff gave notice as early as August 30, 1954, to the  defendants, he  did not take any steps to enforce his contract and  that though he knew of the construction a couple of months before he  filed  the  suit,  he kept quiet  and  allowed  the  1st defendant  to complete his construction and,  therefore,  it was  not  a  fit case where he could,  in  exercise  of  his discretion, give a decree for specific performance;  instead he  awarded  to  the plaintiff a sum of  Rs.  500/-  towards damages.  On appeal, a Division Bench of the Andhra  Pradesh



High Court, on 223 a consideration of the evidence, came to the conclusion that the  delay in filing the suit was due to the illness of  the plaintiff’s  wife and also on account of the  demolition  of one of his houses by the Municipal Corporation, that he came to  know for the first time on April 13, 1955, that the  1st defendant was raising a structure on the suit plots and that without  any  loss of time within a few days  thereafter  he filed  the  suit.  The High Court also found  that  the  1st defendant did not act bona fide inasmuch as he chose to rush headlong  in raising the structure evidently to  defeat  the claims of the plaintiff.  On those findings, the High  Court held  that  the  Trial  Court went  wrong  on  principle  in exercising its discretion in favour of the defendants and in refusing  to  grant  a decree for  specific  performance  in favour of the plaintiff.  In the result, the High Court  set aside  the decree of the Trial Court and gave a  decree  for specific  performance  in  favour of the  plaintiff  on  his depositing a sum of Rs. 12,000/- together with stamp  papers and registration charges within a month from the date of the decree.   It may also be mentioned that the learned  counsel for the plaintiff made an offer that his client was  willing to  pay  a  sum  of Rs. 14,750/- towards  the  cost  of  the building put up by defendants 1 and 2 on the suit plots  and the Court recorded the same.  But, the High Court left it to the said defendants either to give vacant possession of  the plots or with the structure thereon accepting money for  it, as they chose.  The lst defendant has preferred this  appeal by  certificate to this Court making the plaintiff  the  1st respondent, and defendants 2 and 3, respondents 2 and 3. Mr.  Lakshmaiah, learned counsel for the  appellant,  argued (1) The appellant repudiated the contract on the next day of the  auction itself by refusing to take money from  the  lst respondent;   the   1st  respondent  did  not   accept   the repudiation,  but  elected  to keep the  contract  alive  by asking  the appellant to receive from him one-fourth of  the amount as earnest money at any time within 24 hours  thereof and  to obtain from him the entire balance within  one  week thereafter; by so doing, he not only unilaterally varied the terms of the contract but committed a breach thereof in  not paying the amount; having himself committed a breach of  the contract, he could not specifically enforce it. (2) Time  is the  essence of the contract, as the object of  purchase  by the  1st respondent was to start a business; therefore,  the lst   respondent  should  have  pursued  his   remedy   with promptitude and diligence.  It was not enough to assert  his right by issuing a notice, but he should have taken steps to enforce  it; his inaction and indifference for 7 1/2  months without making any attempt to enforce his right would 224 disentitle  him  to  the discretionary  relief  of  specific performance. (3) The reasons for the delay, namely, that the 1st respondent’s wife was ill or that one of his houses  was demolished  by  the Municipal  Corporation,  were  obviously untenable excuses, for both the reasons existed even  before the auction was held. Mr.  A.  Viswanatha  Sastri, learned  counsel  for  the  1st respondent,  on the other hand, contended as follows  :  (1) Mere  delay in filing a suit for specific performance  could not possibly be a ground for exercising a discretion against a plaintiff, as the Limitation Act prescribed a period of  3 years  for  filing  such a suit. (2) Under  the  Indian  law relief of specific performance could be refused only if  the plaintiff  abandons or waives his right under the  contract;



and  in the present case the appellant had  not  established either  abandonment or waiver by the 1‘st respondent of  his right under the contract, for indeed as soon as he saw  that the appellant had laid foundations for putting up structures on  the plots, he rushed without any delay to the court  and filed the suit. (3) In the circumstances of the instant case there is no scope for holding that the appellant could  have had any reasonable belief that the 1st respondent had waived or abandoned his right, for it was the positive case of  the appellant that there was no concluded sale at all. We  cannot  allow the learned counsel for the  appellant  to raise  before  us the first question, namely, that  the  1st respondent  did  not  accept the repudiation  but  kept  the contract  alive  and committed a breach  thereof,  with  the result  that  he disqualified himself to file the  suit  for specific  relief,  for the said plea was not raised  in  the pleadings,  no  issue was raised in respect thereof  and  no argument-.  were addressed either in the Trial Court  or  in the High Court.  As the question is a mixed question of fact and law, we cannot permit the appellant to raise it for  the first time before us. At the outset we shall construe the relevant sections of the Specific  Relief  Act and the Limitation Act  unhampered  by judicial decisions.               Specific   Relief   Act:  Section   22.    The               jurisdiction to decree specific performance is               discretionary,  and the Court is not bound  to               grant such relief merely because it is  lawful               to  do so; but the discretion of the Court  is               not arbitrary but sound and reasonable  guided               by   judicial   principles  and   capable   of               correction by a Court of appeal. 225 The following are cases in which the Court may properly exercise a discretion not to decree specific performance :-               I.    Where the circumstances under which  the               contract  is  made  are such as  to  give  the               plaintiff   an  unfair  advantage   over   the               defendant,  though there may be no,  fraud  or               misrepresentation on the plaintiff’s part.               Illustrations               II.   Where  the performance of  the  contract               would involve, some hardship on the               defendant  which he did not  foresee,  whereas               its  non-performance  would  involve  no  such               hardship on the plaintiff.               Illustrations               The following is a case in which the Court may               properly  exercise  a  discretion  to   decree               specific performance :-               111.  Where the plaintiff has done substantial               acts  or suffered losses in consequence  of  a               contract capable of specificperformance.               Illustrations The First Schedule to the Limitation Act      Description of suit Period ofTime from which           Limitation     period begins                to run      Art. 113. For specific   Three yearsThe date fixed  for the      preformance         performance, or, if      of a contract.      no such date is fixed,                when the plaintiff                has noticed that per-                formance is refused.



Under  s. 22 of the Specific Relief Act, relief of  specific performance  is discretionary but not arbitrary:  discretion must  be exercised in accordance with sound  and  reasonable judicial  principles.   The cams providing for  a  guide  to courts  to  exercise discretion one way or  other  are  only illustrative;  they are not intended to be  exhaustive.   As Art.  113  of the Limitation Act prescribes a  period  of  3 years   from   the  date  fixed  thereunder   for   specific performance  of  a  contract, it  follows  that  mere  delay without more extending up to the said period cannot possibly be a reason for a court to, 226 exercise its discretion against giving a relief of  specific performance.   Nor  can the scope of the  discretion,  after excluding  the  cases  mentioned in S. 22  of  the  Specific Relief Act, be confined to waiver, abandonment or  estoppel. If  one  of  these three circumstances  is  established,  no question  of discretion arises, for either there will be  no subsisting  right  or  there  will  be  a  bar  against  its assertion.   So,  there  must be  some  discretionary  field unoccupied  by  the three cases, otherwise  the  substantive section  becomes otiose.  It is really difficult  to  define that field.  Diverse situations may arise which may induce a court  not  to  exercise the discretion  in  favour  of  the plaintiff.  It may better be left undefined except to  state what  the section says, namely, discretion of the  court  is not  arbitrary, but sound and reasonable guided by  judicial principles and capable of correction by a court of appeal. Mr.  Lakshmaiah cited a long catena of English decisions  to define the scope of a court’s discretion.  Before  referring to them, it is necessary to know the fundamental  difference between the twosystems-English and Indian-qua the relief  of specific  performance.   In England the relief  of  specific performance  pertains to the domain of equity; in India,  to that  of  statutory law.  In England there is no  period  of limitation  for instituting a suit for the said relief  and, therefore,   mere   delay-the  time   lag   depending   upon circumstances-may itself be sufficient to refuse the relief; but, in India mere delay cannot be a ground for refusing the said  relief,  for  the statute  prescribes  the  period  of limitation.  If the suit is in time, delay is sanctioned  by law;  if  it is beyond time, the suit will be  dismissed  as barred  by  time  : in either case, no  question  of  equity arises. With  this background let us look at the  English  textbooks and  decisions  relied upon by the learned counsel  for  the appellant.  In  Halsbury’s Laws of England, Vol. 36,  at  p. 324, it is stated               "Where  time is not originally of the  essence               of  the contract, and has not been made so  by               due notice, delay by a party in performing his               part  of  the contract, or  in  commencing  or               prosecuting the enforcement of his rights, may               constitute such laches or acquiescence as will               debar him from obtaining specific performance.               The  extent  of delay which  has  this  effect               varies with circumstances, but as a rule  must               be capable of being construed as amounting  to               an  abandonment  of  the  contract.   A   much               shorter period of delay, however, suffices               if  it  is  delay in declaring  an  option  or               exercising any other unilateral right;                             227               and  if  the  other party  has  already  given               notice that he does not intend to perform  the



             contract,   the  party  aggrieved  must   take               proceedings  promptly if he desires to  obtain               specific performance." In "Fry on Specific Performance", 6th Edn., at p. 517, it is said               "Where  one  party to the contract  has  given               notice  to the other that he will not  perform               it,  acquiescence in this by the other  party,               by  a comparatively brief delay  in  enforcing               his right, will be a bar: so that in one  case               two  years’ delay in filing a bill after  such               notice, in another case one year’s delay,  and               in a third (where the contract was for a lease               of collieries) five months’ delay was held  to               exclude the intervention of the Court." Learned  Counsel cited many English decisions in support  of his  argument that there shall be promptitude and  diligence in  enforcing  a  claim for  specific  performance  after  a repudiation of the contract by the other party and that mere continual claim without any active steps will not keep alive the  right which would otherwise be defeated by laches:  see Clegg  v.  Edmondson(1),  Eads v.  Williams(2),  Labmann  v. McArthur(3),  Watson v. Reid(4), and Emile Erlanger  v.  The New  Sombrero Phosphate Company(5).  But as stated  earlier, the  English  principles based upon more delay can  have  no application  in India where the statute prescribes the  time for  enforcing  the  claim for  specific  performance.   But another  class  of cases which dealt with  the  doctrine  of laches  have  some bearing in the Indian  context.   In  The Lindsay  Petroleum Company v. Prosper Armstrong Hurd,  Abram Farewell,  and John Kemp(6) Sir Barnes Peacock  defined  the doctrine thus:               "Where it would be practically unjust to  give               a remedy, either because the party has, by his               conduct,  done  that  which  might  fairly  be               regarded  as equivalent to a waiver of it,  or               where  by  his  conduct and  neglect  he  has,               though  perhaps not waiving that  remedy,  yet               put the other party in a situation in which it               would  not be reasonable to place him  if  the               remedy  were  afterwards to  be  asserted,  in               either of these cases, lapse of time and delay               are most material." This  passage  indicates  that  either  waiver  or   conduct equivalent  to waiver along with delay may be a  ground  for refusing to give a (1)  [1857] 114 R.R. 336. (3)  [1868] L.R. 3 Ch.  A.C. 496. (5)  [1878] L.R. 3 A.C. 1218. (2)  [1854] 43 E.R. Chan. 671. (4)  [1830] 39 E.R. Chan. 91. (6) [1874] L.R. 5 P.C.A. 221, 239-240 228 decree for specific performance.  In Caesar Lamare v. Thomas Dixon(1), Lord Chelmsford said :               "The conduct of the party applying for  relief               is    always   an   important   element    for               consideration." The  House  of Lords in Emile Erlanger v. The  New  Sombrero Phosphate  Company(2)  approved the passage in  The  Lindsay Petroleum Company v. Prosper Armstrong Hurd, Abram Farewell, and John Kemp(3) which we have extracted earlier. It is clear from these decisions that the conduct of a party which  puts the other party in a  disadvantageous  position, though  it  does  not  amount  to  waiver,  may  in  certain



circumstances  preclude  him  from obtaining  a  decree  for specific performance. Now we shall consider some of the Indian decisions cited  at the Bar.  A Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court  held in  Nawab  Begum v. A. H. Creet(4) that great delay  on  the part of the plaintiff in applying to the Court for  specific performance  of a contract of which he claimed  the  benefit was  of  itself  a sufficient reason for the  Court  in  the exercise of its discretion to refuse relief.  But it will be seen from the facts of that case that, apart from the  delay the  conduct of the plaintiff was such that it  induced  the other  party  to change his position to  his  detriment.   A Division  Bench of the Patna High Court in Rameshwar  Prasad Sahi  v.  M. Anandi Devi(-) held on the facts of  that  case that the delay in bringing the suit for specific performance was  always  fatal  to a suit, and that it  amounted  to  an abandonment of the contract and waiver of his rights to  sue for  specific performance.  If the learned Judges  meant  to lay  down that mere delay would amount to abandonment  of  a right,  we  find  it  difficult to  agree  with  them.   The decision  of  the Calcutta High Court in  Gostho  Behari  v. Omiyo Prasad(6) recognized that mere delay was sufficient to deny  the  relief of specific performance, but  pointed  out that  though  it  was not necessary to  establish  that  the plaintiff had abandoned his right, the Court may, in view of the conduct of the plaintiff coupled with his delay that had prejudiced  the  defendant,  refuse to  give  the  equitable relief.  In Chamarti Suryaprakasa-- (1)  [1873] 6 H.L.C. 414,423. (3)  [1874] L.R. 5 P.C.A. 221, (5)  [1960] I.L.R. 39 Pat. 79. (2)  [1878] L.R. 3 A.C. 1218. (4)  [1905] I.L.R. 27 All. 678. (6)  A.I.R. 1969 Cal. 361. 229 rayudu  v. Arardhi Lakshminarasimha(1), a Division Bench  of the  Madras  High Court rightly pointed out  that  delay  by itself  was not a ground for refusing to give a decree in  a suit for specific performance.  Sadasiva Aiyar, J., observed :               "  I think that it is an error of law to  hold               that  more  delay  amounts  to  a  waiver   or               abandonment   apart   from  other   facts   or               circumstances  or  conduct  of  the  plaintiff               indicating that the delay was due to a  waiver               or   abandonment  of  the  contract   on   the               plaintiff’s part." Seshagiri Aiyar, J., said much to the same effect, thus:               "There  is nothing in the Specific Relief  Act               which says that laches in bringing a suit will               by  itself be a ground for  refusing  specific               performance............  ............   Having               regard  to the fact that a special  period  of               limitation has been fixed for bringing a  suit               for   specific   performance,  I   think   the               legislature has not intended that mere  laches               should  be  one of the  grounds  for  refusing               specific performance." We do not think, though the observations of Sadasiva  Aiyar, I., are rather wide, that the learned Judges intended to lay down  that  unless there is a waiver or abandonment  by  the plaintiff of his rights to sue for specific performance,  he should  be  nonsuited, for if that was the law, as  we  have pointed  out earlier, the substantive part of s. 22  of  the Specific Relief Act would become nugatory.  A Division Bench



of  the  Calcutta High Court in Jadu Nath Gupta  v.  Chandra Bhushan(2)  again  emphasized  the  fact  that  the  English doctrine  of delay and laches showing negligence in  seeking relief  in  a Court of equity cannot be  imported  into  the Indian law in view of Art. 1 1 3 of the Limitation Act.  But it  pointed out that where the conduct of the plaintiff  was such that it did not amount to abandonment but showed waiver or acquiescence especially when inaction on his part induced the  defendant to change his position, the  plaintiff  ought not to be allowed any relief.  This case brings out not only the distinction between English and Indian law but also that waiver or abandonment of a right is not a pre-condition  for refusing relief of specific performance. The  result of the aforesaid discussion of the case law  may be  briefly  stated thus : While in England  mere  delay  or laches  may  be a ground for refusing to give  a  relief  of specific performance, (1) [1914] 26 M.L.J. 518, 521, 523. (2) A.I.R. 1932 Cal. 493. 230 in India mere delay without such conduct on the part of  the plaintiff as would cause prejudice to the defendant does not empower a court to refuse such a relief.  But as in  England so  in India, proof of abandonment or waiver of a  right  is not a precondition necessary to disentitle the plaintiff  to the   said   relief,  for  if  abandonment  or   waiver   is established,  no question of discretion on the part  of  the Court would arise.  We have used the expression "waiver"  in its legally accepted sense, namely, "waiver is  contractual, and may constitute a cause of action: it is an agreement  to release or not to assert a right": see Dawson’s Bank Ltd. v. Nippon  Menkwa Kabushiki Kaisha(1).  It is not  possible  or desirable to lay down the circumstances under which a  Court can exercise its discretion against the plaintiff.  But they must  be such that the representation by or the  conduct  or neglect of the plaintiff is directly responsible in inducing the  defendant  to change his position to his  prejudice  or such  as  to  bring  about a  situation  when  it  would  be inequitable to give him such a relief. Bearing  these  principles in mind let us now  look  at  the facts  of  the case.  Both the lower Courts found  that  the appellant  repudiated the contract even on the next  day  of the  auction,  i.e., August 24, 1954.   The  lst  respondent issued a notice to the appellant on August 30, 1954,  asking him  to obtain from him one-fourth of the auction  price  as earnest  money at any time within 24 hours and  the  balance within  a period of one week thereafter and execute  a  sale deed  in  his favour.  The appellant did not reply  to  this notice.   The  lst respondent in his evidence says  that  he could not take effective steps to enforce the contract for a period of 7 months as his wife was ill and as the  Hyderabad Municipal Corporation had demolished one of his houses.  The High  Court accepted the explanation given by the  1st  res- pondent  for the delay in his taking steps in enforcing  the contract.   In the affidavit filed by the lst respondent  in the  Trial  Court on October 18, 1955, he  stated  that  his house  had  been  demolished by  the  Municipal  Corporation before a year and a half and his wife was also seriously ill for  the  "last  two  years" and  that,  therefore,  he  was worried.   From  this statement it is argued that  both  the circumstances  which are said to have been the  reasons  for the  delay  were in existence even before the  auction  and, therefore,  the  High  Court went  wrong  in  accepting  the explanation of the 1st respondent for the delay.  It is true that  the  1st  respondent’s wife was ill  even  before  the



auction, but she (1)  [1935] L.R. 62 I.A. 100, 108.              231 continued  to  be ill even after the auction  and  there  is clear  evidence  that she was being treated in  a  hospital. This  continual  illness of the 1st respondent’s  wife  must have  unnerved  him  and when the High  Court  accepted  his evidence we cannot say that it went wrong.  It is also  true that the notice by the Municipal Corporation to demolish the house  was given two months prior to the auction, but  there is nothing on the record to show when the house was actually demolished.  Some time must have elapsed between the  notice and  the actual demolition.  The only evidence in regard  to the  demolition of the house is that of the 1st  respondent; and  it is not suggested in the cross-examination  that  the demolition  of  the house was before the  auction.   On  the uncontradicted evidence of the 1st respondent, we must hold, agreeing with the High Court, that the lst respondent was in a   worried   state  of  mind  because  of  the   said   two circumstances  which  might have been responsible,  to  some extent,  for his not taking immediate active  and  effective steps to enforce his right.  The most important circumstance in the case is, when did the 1st respondent come to know  of the commencement of the building operations by the appellant on  the suit site ? The lst respondent says in his  evidence that  7 or 8 months after the auction he passed by the  suit site and saw foundations had been dug therein and a few days thereafter  he filed the suit.  The appellant, on the  other hand, says in his evidence that he started the  construction after the disputed auction and that it was completed in 5 or 6  months.  Though he says in the cross-examination that  he applied to the Municipality for permission to build, he  did not  produce  either  a  copy of  that  application  or  the sanction issued to him by the Municipality.  He is not  even prepared  to  deny that he got the sanction  only  in  March 1955.  The Trial Court surmised without any evidence that at the time the lst respondent saw the foundations the stage of the construction indicated that the building operations must have  commenced two months earlier.  The High Court  rightly pointed  out  that it was a pure surmise  and  accepted  the evidence of the 1st respondent that a few days after he  saw the  foundations  being dug in the suit site  be  filed  the suit.  But all these are beside the point, for it is not the case  of the appellant that because of the 1st  respondent’s conduct  he  was induced to put up the building at  a  heavy cost: his case throughout was that there was no contract  at all.   If so, there was no question of his being induced  to act  to  his  detriment because of the conduct  of  the  1st respondent.  Therefore, except for some delay, there are  no circumstances within the meaning of 232 the  aforesaid  decisions  which should induce  a  Court  to refuse  in  its  discretion to give  a  relief  of  specific performance.  The High Court rightly held that it was a  fit case where the plaintiff should have been given a relief  of specific performance. In the result, the appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.                             Appeal dismissed. 233