Buyer paid full consideration in two parts for a plot.
Seller executed a dated and attested simple (on unstamped white paper) agreement of sale with husband as attested witness upon first payment. The agreement mentioned remaining payment as due in 3 months but did not mention abrogation of AoS upon failure by buyer.
Seller executed a dated and attested simple (on unstamped white paper) receipt with husband as attested witness. Receipt mentioned seller's relinquishment of all rights to property and a promise to register it on day and to person buyer choses. No time was mentioned as deadline for choosing or for registering. Nothing was mentioned regarding transfer of possession to buyer.
Buyer, being very distant as a govt employee, let the plot stay vacant and did not have opportunity to get plot registered for 20 years. Buyer returned to nearby town later and orally asked witness, seller's husband, directly and via common friends to register the plot. Witness kept seeking more time to make herself available.
Soon, buyer installed a publicly visible board on plot claiming ownership, dug a bore-well, built a compound wall and erected a room on the plot, got a metered electric connection on his name but addressed to the adjacent electric pole number as the plot was not allocated a house number yet. Buyer accommodated a watchman and his family in the room. Watchman has been staying since then. Buyer has been paying electric bills since then and also made additional improvements on the land. Buyer has all relevant bills.
Couple of months after buyer built the compound wall, buyer sent a legal notice to seller describing and reminding about AoS and receipt and his possession and improvement of plot and demanded specific performance of registration within 15 days. Seller replied claiming, falsely, she was in possession and not buyer. She accepted simple agreement of sale as genuine, but claimed cancellation of AoS as she has no memory of receiving second payment in stipulated 3 months. She demanded copies of the receipt to refresh her memory and to respond in detail. Buyer sent copies of both agreement of sale and receipt along with copies of the bills.
It has been 4 years+ since copies were sent. Seller did not reply yet. Witness, seller's husband, continued to delay addressing buyer's direct and via friends oral requests for seller to comply, but since last year witness has been rebuffing outright any attempts by buyer to reach to him and his wife.
Possession continues to be with buyer and watchman continues to occupy premises. Neither buyer nor seller have filed police or legal cases.
Recently buyer came to know and discovered in Encumbrance Certificate that few years prior to receiving the legal notice from buyer seller gifted the plot to the witness, her husband. Seller did not reveal this information in her legal reply and has not cancelled/revoked the gift transaction even while in possession of copy of receipt for last four years.
I, buyer, talked to some local lawyers regarding above. Some say I cannot file specific performance suit because it has been more than 3 years (limitation period) since notice and replies were exchanged. Others say I can file because the seller demanded proofs and dillydallied on the issue but never "explicitly refused" to perform the contract "as required" for the limitation period to start and further having paid full consideration and being willing and ready to perform my part of the contract I have fulfilled all my promises in the contract.
Similarly some say I cannot file criminal suits under IPC 420 and related codes while others' say I can.
I am considering filing a specific performance suit, a criminal case for refusing to honour the contract, a criminal for gifting and receiving a property for which seller relinquished all rights upon receiving full consideration and witness witnessed the same, a criminal case for omitting information about gift deed transaction in her reply to buyer's legal notice, a criminal case for not cancelling/revoking the gift transaction during the last four years even while in possession of a copy of the receipt.
Can you kindly clarify
1) Are seller's and witness' actions criminal?
2) Am I barred by limitation to file a specific performance suit?
3) Does part performance protect my possession of the plot from eviction by law and/or police?
4) Does part performance protect my possession of the plot even if specific performance suit gets filed but gets barred by limitation pre/post hearing?
5) Can I represent myself in the court for civil/criminal cases?
6) Can my son/agent, not a lawyer, file and represent me in civil/criminal suits wrt this issue?
7) Can my agent substitute for me in civil/criminal hearings?
Is the registrar authorised to apply stamp duty with penalties and register the plot on buyer's name without seller's involvement?
9) Can I register a gift deed of the plot to a person of my choice? Doe sthis weaken my case if seller goes to court?
Thank you very much