Plea of Adverse Possession: Peaceful and Continuous Possession
Civil Appeal No. 2238 of 2016
Bench: Justice A. K. Sikri; Justice R. K. Agrawal
Case Brief: The present was brought before the bench in the form of appeal which has origin with the suit filed by the Respondent herein claiming declaration of the title to the suit property, as she has allegedly purchased the same in the year 1994 and constructed a building thereupon. However, the State Government stated to have acquired property for the appellant under the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894. Moreover, in spite of handing over of the possession, the actual possession was remained with the original owner who had sold the same to the Respondent. Thus, Respondent claimed that she was in possession of the said property for more than 12 years even after such acquisition, as such she claimed to have perfected her title by adverse possession. However, the appellant contested saying that the respondent was in illegal possession of the suit property since the possession thereof was hand over to the appellant. And also appellant sought to maintain that as the land vested with the Government, in any case, the limitation under Article 112 of the Limitation Act, 1963 was 30 years and not 12 years. However, the Trial Court decreed the suit in favour of respondent and in result the title of respondent was declared as perfected by way of adverse possession and computed period of limitation from the year 1988 and also decree of permanent injunction was also passed against appellant and its agents, etc. However, the decision was challenged by the Appellant before the High Court by filing appeal, but the concerned High Court had affirmed the decree and dismissed the appeal of the appellant. Thus, the matter was brought before this bench. Now the Bench, after analysing the facts and circumstances of the case and also deeply considering the ruling preferred by the parties, held that findings of the court below that only paper possession was taken and actual possession was not, is meaningless as the manner of taking possession in the present case was also identical. It was also observed that in the plaint itself the Respondent had admitted that the officials of the Appellant had come to the suit property in the year 2001 and demolished the existing structure, is itself amply demonstrate the fact that there was no unhindered peaceful and continuous possession of the suit land. Moreover, the equity plea as has been raised by the counsel for the Respondent, stated that Appellant itself is created for the purpose of formation of layouts and allotment of sites to the members of public, then Respondent should not be dispossessed when she was in continuous possession of concerned property. However, this plea cannot be considered as the present appeal is in connection with the civil proceedings with suit. As such, the appeal of the appellant is allowed and the suit claim was dismissed by the Bench, with not order to costs.
Read the Judgement: Bangalore Devt.Auth. Vs. N.Jayamma