Proving Unsoundness of Mind of Executant of a Sale Deed

Unsoundness of mind to be proved by doctor

In proving that an executant in a sale deed is of sound mind, mere production of a medical certificate is not enough while determining the mental state at the time of the execution of a sale deed, and capacity of the executant, but the opinion of the doctor who treated the executant brought on record by examining and cross examining him in the court is necessary, the High Court of Kerala states in Kunhalima vs Mahammed [2024(3)KHC SN 15(Page No 70].

The main issue the court looked into in this case is that whether the lower appellate court was legally correct in discarding the medical certificate by the doctor while determining the mental state and capacity of Muhammed, the executant of the sale deed, at the time of the execution of the alleged sale deed.

Nature of sound mind for the purposes of contracting

A person is said to be of sound mind for the purpose of making a contract, if, at the time when he makes it, he is capable of understanding it and of forming a rational judgment as to its effect upon his interests, as per Section 12 of the Contract Act, 1872.

But a person who is usually of unsound mind, but occasionally of sound mind, may make a contract when he is of sound mind, as per the above section of law.

The party who affirms unsoundness of mind must prove it

If any party to a case alleges that an executed is of unsound mind, the onus of proving his insanity is on the person who alleges it, and the allegation of unsoundness of mind must be established by showing evidence that the person was incapable of understanding the sale transaction and forming a rational judgement as to the effect of the sale transaction, at the time of making the contract.

In Sudama v Rakshpal Singh [(2013) SCC Online All 13428] it was held that the person who alleges unsoundness of mind must prove it sufficiently since there exists a presumption of sanity.

if it is shown that a person is of unsound mind usually the burden of proving that at the time of contract he was of sound mind lies on the person who affirms it.

A statement cannot dislodge the presumption regarding registration

Evidence in the form of a self-serving statement by an interested party is not sufficient to dislodge the presumption with respect to a registered document which is duly witnessed by the witnesses shown in the document.


  1. The Indian Contract Act, 1872
  2. The Indian Evidence Act, 1882