Briefly discuss the provisions relating to rectification of instruments in the light of Specific Relief Act, 1963.
Section 26 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963, deals with the provisions of rectification of instruments. According to this section, if two or more persons agree to make a contract or instrument in writing and due to the fraud or mutual mistake of parties, that written contract or instrument does not express the real intention of the parties, then in such a case, parties can claim the rectification of the abovesaid contract or instrument.
Whenever, parties make a written contract or instrument, they try their best to insert all the terms and conditions in that contract or instrument so that no dispute may arise in the future. They try to prepare the draft of contract or instrument in such a way that the contract or instrument may express the intention of the parties.
But, sometimes, due to the fraud committed by any of the parties or mutual mistake of the parties, the contract or instrument fails to express the real intention of the parties, then in such a case, either party can claim rectification of that instrument.
In the leading case of Gerala Kalita vs. Dharmeshwar, the Hon’ble court held that whenever the party discovers the fraud or mistake, he can claim rectification. There is no time limit that within such prescribed period, parties have to file the suit for rectification.
According to section 26 of Specific Relief Act, 1963, whenever any right arises from the instrument and the plaintiff wants to claim that right, then before claiming that right, he has to apply for the rectification of the instrument in that suit in which he claims that right or if the suit has been filed then in the defence also, defendant can claim the rectification of the instrument.
In the leading case of Ladha Singh vs. Munshiram, the Hon’ble court held that rectification will not be granted unless it is distinctly claimed by any of the parties. According to this section, court will not grant rectification if the party fails to claim it but at any stage of the suit the court will allow him to amend the pleading and claim the relief of rectification.
Moreover, according to this section, court will not grant the rectification if it affects the right of third person. Basically, it means that if any third person has acquired any right with respect to instrument in good faith and for value and the rectification affects his rights, then in such a case, the court will not grant the relief of rectification.
In the leading case of Ram Sanchit vs. Ist Addl. Distt. Judge, Gorakhpur, the Hon’ble court held that the rectification will be done without prejudice to rights acquired by third person in good faith and for value.