Section 7 and 8 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 provide methods for recovery of possession of some specific movable property.
Recovery of specific movable property- A person entitled to the possession of specific movable property may recover it in the manner provided by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).
Explanation I - A trustee may sue under this section for the possession of movable property to the beneficial interest in which the person for whom he is trustee is entitled.
Explanation II- A special or temporary right to the present possession of movable property is sufficient to support a suit under this section.
The main ingredients of this section are:
- The plaintiff must be entitled to the possession. A person who does not have a right to property possession of movable property cannot maintain a suit under this section.
- Property in question must be specific movable property.
Article 91(b) of the Limitation Act, 1963 prescribes a period of three years' limitation for the suit computable from the date when the property is wrongfully taken or injured or when the detainer's possession becomes unlawful.
In order that Section 8 may come into operation the following ingredients must coexist-
- the defendant has possession or control of the particular article claimed;
- such article is movable property;
- the defendant is not the owner of the article;
- the person claiming, that is, the plaintiff, is entitled to immediate possession; and
- the thing claimed is held by the defendant as the plaintiff's agent or trustee; or when
compensation in money would not afford adequate relief for the loss of the thing claimed; or
when it is extremely difficult to ascertain the actual damage caused by the loss of the thing claimed; or
when the possession of the thing claimed has been wrongfully transferred from the claimant.
The onus is on the plaintiff to prove the fiduciary relationship as well as the wrongful transfer of property. The defendant has to prove that compensation in money would be adequate relief and that it would not be extremely difficult to ascertain the actual damage caused by the loss of the chattel.
1.Under Section 8, no suit can be brought against the owner, while under Section 7, a person having a special or temporary right to present possession may bring the suit even against the owner of the property.
2. Under Section 7, a decree is for the return of the movable property, or for the money value thereof in the alternative, while under Section 8 the decree is only for the return of the specific article.