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Ramzan vs Hussaini Case Summary

Ramzan vs Hussaini AIR 1989 SC 529

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Facts

The plaintiff entered into an agreement with her brother on 23 June 1965. The agreement stated that the concerned property which was under mortgage will be sold by the defendant to the plaintiff upon the redemption of a mortgage by the plaintiff towards him. Thereafter in the year 1970, the plaintiff paid off her mortgage but despite her repeated requests her brother refused to fulfill his duties towards her according to the agreement. The respondent who is the brother of the plaintiff filed an appeal before the Supreme Court against her sister, pleading the defense of limitation mentioned in article 54 of the Limitation Act. The respondent also pleaded before the court that the plaintiff has not paid off her debts with regards to the property in question.

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Issue

The question of limitation came up in the trial court in the form of a preliminary issue and the court decided the matter in favour of the plaintiff and ordered the defendant to respect the agreement. This order was upheld by the High Court and later the defendant filed an appeal in the Supreme Court.

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Rule

  • Section 31 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872.
  • Article 54 of the Limitation Act

Judgement

The Supreme Court of India annulled the decisions passed by the sub-ordinate courts after ascertaining the facts and listening to the arguments from both parties, the Supreme Court bench was of the opinion that the respondent should respect the terms of the agreement and must transfer the concerned property to the plaintiff immediately.

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Reasoning

The bench iterated the fact that the date for the performance of the contract was not explicitly mentioned in it but the contract was honored by the plaintiff when she performed her specific duty to the contract which was to pay off the mortgage over the property. The bench further stated that this kind of agreement is covered under section 31 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872, and such an agreement is valid when the plaintiff redeems the amount of mortgage money upon the property.

The Apex Court bench relied upon a judgment declared in the case of Muniswani Goundar vs. B.M. Shamanna Gouda. In this case, the court laid down a principle which states that whatever is capable of being made certain it should be made certain. Hence the Apex Court concluded that in the case of Ramzan vs. Hussaini the date for the redemption of the mortgage was mentioned in the contract but it was certain that as soon as the plaintiff pay off the stipulated money, the contract will be honored.

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Current Day Significance

The aforementioned case was followed as a precedent in the case of L. Muddukrishana & Anr. vs. Lalitha Ramchandra Rao, where the bench stated that the plaintiff has paid off her dues to the respondent and honored the terms and conditions of the contract as soon as she paid the money to the respondent.

The case was also followed in Brahmanand & others vs. K.R. Muthugopal & others, where the apex court overruled the judgment passed by the High court and dismissed the pleas of the respondents as the court stated that section 3 of the Limitation Act does not apply in this case and the subsequent issues were to be resolved in the favour of the appellant.


  1. The Indian Contract Act, 1872, Acts of Parliament, 1872.
  2. The Limitation Act, 1963, Acts of Parliament, 1963 (India).
  3. R. MuniswaniGoundar and others v. B.M. Shamanna Gouda and others, AIR 1950 Mad 820 (India)
  4. T.L. Muddukrishana and others v. LalithaRamchandra and others, AIR 1997 (India).
  5. S. Brahmanand and others v. K.R. Muthugopal and others, AIR 2005 (India).

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