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PRINCIPLES OF ACQUIRING TITLE BY ADVERSE POSSESSION RECAPITULATED BY SUPREME COURT

Team SoOLEGAL 29 Apr 2019 10:24am

PRINCIPLES OF ACQUIRING TITLE BY ADVERSE POSSESSION RECAPITULATED BY SUPREME COURT

In the case of Mallikarjunaiah, the plaintiff had filed a suit in which he sought his title be declared regarding some of the properties which are in possession of the defendant. His suit was dismissed by the Trial Court because in the Court's view, the defendant had got the title by the method of adverse possession.

Supreme Court bench comprising of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre heard the appeal. It was keenly observed by the bench that only continuous possession, doesn't matter how long, in the owner's capacity doesn't qualify for the plea of adverse possession. It has to be proved that such possession was, in it's nature, hostile, open and exclusive and was accompanied with the declaration of ownership right over the property to the knowledge of its true owner. The principles laid down in the case Chatti Konati Rao & Ors.Vs. Palle Venkata Subba Rao were applied to the present case. The following observations were made of the Apex Court:

1. Burden of proving adverse possession was laid on the defendants because it was them by whom the plea had been set up but defendants failed to discharge this burden.

2. Defendants admitted that the plaintiff had ownership over the entire land including the suit land.

3. There was no evidence of adversity or hostility between two co-owners (who are brothers) because in a dispute of this nature where both the parties are related to each other, the possession of one is regarded to be the possession of other unless the facts show otherwise.

4. Both the parties to the suit were unaware of the distribution of land in terms of distribution between both the parties. They got to know, only when the Revenue department was approached by the plaintiff in the year 1983, that some portion of the land, which had fallen to his share was in possession of the defendants.

Tagged: Supreme Court   Adverse Possession   Justice Dinesh Maheshwari   Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre   Ownership     
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