Misrepresentation of facts

In 2007, the Supreme Court had to rule on a case relating to alleged misrepresentation regarding a land sale agreement.

The claimant had purchased land in Nizwa for RO5,000 from the defendant.

After making the payment, the claimant obtained the land deed ‘mulkiya’ from the Ministry of Housing, but at that stage found out that there was a two-year development ban on the land as per a condition in the mulkiya.

The claimant sued the defendant, seeking (i) the revocation of the sale agreement and (ii) the refund of RO5,000. The claimant alleged that the defendant deliberately withheld information about the ban when he sold the land.

The Primary Court rejected the claimant’s case, stating that the ban was information in the public domain as it was publicised in the newspapers.

However, at a later date the Supreme Court upheld the Appeal Court’s decision that the Primary Court was mistaken in its judgment.

The Appeal and Supreme Courts both took the view that the defendant ought to have explicitly told the claimant that the mulkiya specified a two-year ban. Accordingly, the sale agreement was revoked and the defendant had to repay RO5,000 to the claimant.