The essentials of an agreement, to qualify as a mortgage by conditional sale, can succinctly be broadly summarized. An ostensible sale with transfer of possession and ownership, but containing a clause for reconveyance in accordance with Section 58 (c) of the Transfer of Property Act, will clothe the agreement as a mortgage by conditional sale. The execution of a separate agreement for reconveyance, either contemporaneously or subsequently, shall militate against the agreement being mortgage by conditional sale. There must exist a debtor and creditor relationship. The valuation of the property, and the transactional value, alongwith the duration of time for reconveyance, are important considerations to decide the nature of the agreement. There will have to be a cumulative consideration of these factors, alongwith the recitals in the agreement, intention of the parties, coupled with other attendant circumstances, considered in a holistic manner. Vishal Tukaram Kadam v. Vamanrao Sawalaram Bhosale, 2017 (5) AWC 4821.
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As per the Contract Act, 1872, it is clearly stated that for an agreement to become a contract, the parties must be competent to contract, wherein age of majority is a condition for competency. A deed of mortgage is a contract and it cannot be held that a mortgage in the name of a minor is valid, simply because it in the interest of the minor unless he/she is represented by her natural guardian or guardian appointed by the Court. The law cannot be read differently for a minor who is a mortgagor and a minor who is a mortgagee as there are rights and liabilities in respect of the immovable property would flow out of such a contract on both of them. Mathai Mathai v. Joseph Mary, (2015) 5 SCC 622.
Lease and Mortgage are species of the same genus viz., the ‘transfer of property’. Both of them bring about transfer of property, but with a substantial change as to the nature of disposition. The principal objective of a mortgage is to provide security for repayment of amount, whereas the one under lease is that the owner of an item of immovable property permits another to use it on payment of rent. Except in the case of usufructuary mortgage and mortgage through conditional sale, the possession of the property continues to be with the mortgagor.
In the case of lease, the transferee invariably gets the possession of the property. Apart from the broad difference, there are certain minute important aspects, that differentiate the mortgage from lease. Once a transaction of mortgage is brought about, the mortgagor gets the right to redeem and the mortgagee gets the corresponding tight to foreclose the mortgage. The nature of decree to be passed in a suit for foreclosure of mortgage differs substantially from the one to be passed in a suit for recovery of possession of property from a lessee. A preliminary decree is to be passed and it is followed by final decree. Chapter IV of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 confers rights and places obligations on the mortgagors, on the one hand, and mortgagees, on the other hand, which are typical and germatone to such transactions. Prescription of any fixed term is alien to mortgages.
Lease, on the other hand, involves, just the permission being accorded by an owner of property, to another, to use it. The consideration therefor is the rent fixed with the consent of the parties. In a given case, the lease may be nominal or phenomenal. Further law does not prohibit the rent being paid in the form of adjustment from the amount due from the lessor to the lessee. What becomes important is the objective underlying the transaction, namely use of the property belonging to the lessor by the lessee, on payment of rent and for a stipulated term. Chapter V of the Act enlists the rights, which a lessor has against the lessee and vice versa. Termination of lease on the one hand, and foreclosure/redemption of mortgage, on the other hand, have nothing in common. When such is the radical difference between the two transactions, it is not at all possible to take the one for the other. Gita Cotton Trading Company v. CCRA, Hyderabad and another, 2013(121) RD 661 (AP).
Rule of lis pendens applies to suit on mortgagee as well. Lord Justice Turner has succinctly dealt with this principle in the leading case of Bellamy v. Sabine (1857) 1 De G J 566. The doctrine is intended to prevent one party to a suit making an assignment inconsistent with the rights which may be decided in the suit and which might require a further party to be impleaded in order to make effectual the court’s decree. Law is well settled that a mortgagee, who has purchased a mortgaged property in execution of his mortgage decree is entitled to avoid a transfer on the ground that it was mortgaged by the mortgagor during the pendency of a mortgage suit. Section 52 of the TPA prevents a mortgagor from creating any lease during the pendency of mortgaged suit so as to effect the right of a mortgagee or the purchaser. Sunita Jugakishore Gilda v. Ramanlal Udhoji Tanna, 2013 (6) AWC 5652 (SC).