Oral Sale of Immovable Property

oral sale of immovable property

It is settled principle of law that agreement whether oral or written could be validly executed. Even unregistered ones could be executed between the parties and the same can be implemented by the courts. The mode and procedure for execution, for the filing of suit and for proving the written contracts of immovable property is provided by law. The provisions dealing with agreements are as much applicable to verbal agreements as they are to written ones. Case laws on oral sale of immovable property are discussed below.

Essential conditions of suit based on oral sale of immovable property:

It is imperative to specifically provide the details of time, date, venue and names of witnesses so as to prove that where, when and before whom the alleged transaction was effected. Absence of these essentials is enough to non-suit the plaintiff. Purpose behind this rule is to subvert the gate of fake and frivolous litigation and besides to discourage the production of shocking and surprising evidence.

Muhammad Ajmal (deceased) through LRs and another V Abdul Khaliq and others 2023 MLD 654

Binyameen and 3 others v. Ch. Hakim and another 1996 SCMR 336

Muhammad Yaqoob through legal heirs v. Feroze Khan and others 2003 SCMR 41

Ameer v. Shahadat 2005 SCMR 1147

Bashir Ahmad v. Mst. Taja Begum and others PLD 2010 SC 906

Aziz Ahmad and others v. Muhammad Ramzan and others 2011 SCMR 921

Nazir Ahmed and another v. Yousaf PLD 2011 SC 161

Muhammad Nawaz through L.Rs, V. Haji Muhammad Baran Khan 2013 SCMR 1300

Moiz Abbas v. Mrs. Latifa and others 2019 SCMR 74

Ingredients of an oral agreement are same as of a written one:

It is important that the terms and conditions which were verbally agreed were to be stated in detail in the pleadings and were to be established through evidence–In such like cases, the plaintiff besides detailing subject matter of the sale, (had to mention) the consideration amount, detail of striking of the bargain, name of the witnesses in whose presence the said oral agreement to sell was arrived at between the parties and other necessary details as if it would have been executed in writing.


Suit should be in form as Appendix A of C.P.C.

Neither the particulars of the land and of the oral agreement were detailed in the plaint nor the witnesses (if any) were mentioned– Furthermore plaintiffs did not set out the particulars of such transaction as per the two prescribed forms for a plaint seeking specific performance provided in Appendix A of C.P.C. or as nearly as may be thereto, and also did not describe the land which was the subject matter. Subject agreement would, therefore, be void for uncertainty in terms of section 29 of the Contract Act, 1872 and consequently, it could not be specifically enforced as stipulated by S. 21(c) of the Specific Relief Act, 1877


Burden of proof lies on beneficiary:

Where mutation is questioned with the contention that no oral sale of immovable property was made then it is on the beneficiary to prove that transaction by credible evidence. Where the plaintiff on oath denied the receiving of consideration then defendant is bound to prove that transaction and the payment of consideration.

Muhammad Yar V Qasim Ali 2019 YLR 547

Verbal mutation being a document involving financial transaction had to be proved as per mode provided in Article 79 of Qanoon-e-Shahadat, 1984

Bashiran Bibi V Zaib UN Nisa 2018 YLR 2574

Proving the consideration amount is necessary to prove Oral agreement

The sale mutation no 4331 was entered on 21.08.2000 but same was sanctioned on 30.06.2009. on 25.01.2002, akhtari begum begum died. On petitioner’s application, inquiry was conducted by District Officer in which no evidence was found that the consideration amount was paid. Petitioner’s denied the recording of oral sale mutation. The entry of alleged mutation is violation of section 42 sub-section (7)(8)(9)(10) of the Land Revenue Act, 1967

Akbari Begum V Member Board of Revenue, Punjab, Lahore 2023 YLR 2278 

Effect of withholding best evidence

Stance of the plaintiff was that defendant No.1 along with his two brothers and sister- in-law jointly settled verbal bargain. Despite that rest of the vendors, who by transferring their shares had already stood with the plaintiffs could be best persons to support their stance, but they too were withheld, therefore under Article 129 illustration (g) of Qanun-e- Shahadat Order, 1984 hostile inference was to be drawn that had they been examined, might have negated stance of plaintiffs.

Muhammad Ajmal (deceased) through LRs and another V Abdul Khaliq and others 2023 MLD 654

Elements that effect adjudication in suit based on oral sale of immovable property:

Comprehensive pleadings

Pleadings of such suit must contain the details of the alleged verbal transaction. Absence of the details about witnesses etc. to the agreement is enough to non-suit the plaintiff.

Delivery of possession

No convincing evidence was led by the petitioners to prove delivery of possession pursuant to alleged transaction. Copies of register Roznamcha Waqiati depicted that possession was delivered, but no evidence led to prove the same. Delivery of possession without receipt of consideration was not appealing to reason. Suit was dismissed.

Thumb impression on Roznamcha Waqiati

Patwari Halqa admitted that signatures/thumb impression of respondent and the petitioners were not present on Roznamcha Waqiati. No mention that the acquirer of alleged right/petitioner was even present before Patwari Halqa, when allegedly factum of oral sale of immovable property was recorded. Case was dismissed.

Payment of Consideration before Revenue Officer

Patwari Halqa and Revenue Officer alleged that payment of money was not made before them. Place of payment of consideration amount was not mentioned in the written statement. Separate considerations for each mutation as mentioned in Roznamcha Waqiati were not disclosed in written statement. Witnesses differed in their statements regarding payment, place of alleged bargain and witnesses/ purchasers present at the time of alleged sale/mutation. Suit was dismissed.

Discrepancy in Parat Patwar

Copy of Parat-Patwar did not contain order of revenue officer. Discrepancy as to reflection of attendance of parties in Parat-Patwar and Parat-Sarkar remained unreconciled and substantially affected the credence of alleged transaction. Witnesses and Patwari-Halqa had not even pleaded their status as Pati-dars. No compelling evidence was available to believe that respondent was present and properly identified for the purposes of meeting statutory requirements. Case was dismissed.

Deficient Evidence

One of the attesting witnesses of the mutation had admitted that land was leased to the petitioners by respondents. Petitioners failed to prove alleged verbal transaction, payment of consideration, execution of impugned mutations. Factum of possession under arrangement of verbal sale was deficient / unconvincing. Suit was dismissed.

Muhammad Amin V Muhammad Rafique 2022 YLR 1284

Anwar Khan V Mst. Bholi bibi 2022 MLD 25

What elements are fatal in suit based on verbal transaction:

Absence of report of revenue officer in evidence would result in negative against claimant. There should be report of revenue officer to verify the oral sale in favor of claimant. 

Pervaiz Akhtar V Mst. Farida bibi and others PLD 2023 SC 628

Transaction based on verbal statement of deceased purportedly made before the revenue authorities and allegedly witnessed by the person’s none of whom were examined in the court, it was sufficient to hold that the same is not proved.

Manzoor Hussain V  Khalid Aziz 2019 SCMR 70

Plaintiffs had not mentioned in their plaint the time, place, names of witnesses and period for completion of oral agreement–Held– it could only be proved through evidence of unimpeachable character-Statements of witnesses produced by the plaintiffs were contradictory to each other– Plaintiffs even failed to depose the facts necessary for proving the oral agreement to sell and payment of consideration as such requirements were sine qua non for proving it.

 Noor Muhammad V Mst Rabia Bibi 2019 MLD 1286

Temporary Injunction in suit filed on the basis of oral sale of immovable property:

Convincing and reliable testimony was required to be produced by the plaintiff to establish the alleged verbal transaction–Prior to recording evidence it could not be held that plaintiff had established prima facie case in his favor– Temporary injunction Could not be granted as a matter of course in such cases where evidence was yet to be produced to establish prima facie case– Plaintiff had failed to make out a prima facie case and there was no need to attend other two considerations i.e. balance of convenience and irreparable loss–Monetary value was attached to the land and there was no question of irreparable loss– No illegality or jurisdictional defect had been pointed out in the exercise of discretion by the courts below–

Ghulam Muhammad V Ashiq Hussain 2018 MLD 1449

Areas where verbal sale is not permitted:

Government of Punjab issued Notification No.15246/74/ 2237/LR-V, dated 30-12-1974 by making section 54 of the Act ibid applicable in the whole Province of Punjab, therefore, no verbal selling can take place after said notification, which means that transfer of immovable property worth Rs.100/- or more can only be transferred by a registered instrument of transfer. However, such requirement of compulsory registration has been dispensed with vide Notification No.3007-78/1511/LR1 dated 22.11.1978, whereby, application of compulsory registration has been restricted only to Municipalities and Notified Areas as declared and notified under section 214,

So far as agreement to sell of immovable property is concerned, the sale of such property shall take place in terms settled between the parties and rights arising out of that were to seek its specific performance.

Province of Punjab through DOR Sahiwal V District Judge and others 2022 CLC 908