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Adverse Possession in LawAdverse Possession in Law

Author: Posted 3 Oct 2010            Post Comment

Doctrine of Adverse possession

Adverse possession is of two kinds, according as it was adverse from the beginning, or has become adverse subsequently. Thus, if a mere trespasser takes possession of as property, and retains it against him; his possession is adverse ab initio. Where a person possesses property in a manner in which he is not entitled to possess it, and without anything to show that he possesses it otherwise than an owner (that is, with the intention of excluding all persons from it, including the rightful owner), he is in adverse possession of it. Thus, if A is in possession of a field of Bs, he is in adverse possession of it unless there is something to show that his possession is consistent with a recognition of Bs title.
Adverse possession Indian Limitation Act, 1963, Article 65 The concept of adverse possession contemplates a hostile possession i.e. a possession which is expressly or impliedly in denial of the title of the true owner. Possession to be adverse must be possession by a person who does not acknowledge the others rights but denies them. The principle of law is firmly established that person who bases his title on adverse possession must show by clear and unequivocal evidence that his possession was hostile to the real owner and amounted to denial of his title to the property claimed. For deciding whether the alleged acts of a person constitute adverse possession , the animus of the person doing those acts is the most crucial factor. Adverse possession is commenced in wrong and is aimed against right. A person is said to hold the property adversely to the real owner when that person in denial of the owners right excluded him from the enjoyment of his property.
See Vidya Devi v. Prem Prakash, (1995) 4 SCC 496.) Adverse possession is that form of possession or occupancy of land which is inconsistent with the title of the rightful owner and tends to extinguish that persons title. Possession is not held to be adverse if it can be referred to a lawful title. The person setting up adverse possession may have been holding under the rightful owners title e.g. trustees, guardians, bailiffs or agents. Such persons cannot set up adverse possession.
Where possession can be referred to a lawful title, it will not be considered to be adverse. The reason being that a person whose possession can be referred to a lawful title will not be permitted to show that his possession was hostile to anothers title. One who holds possession on behalf of another, does not by mere denial of that others title make his possession adverse so as to give himself the benefit of the statute of limitation. Therefore, a person who enters into possession having a lawful title, cannot divest another of that title by pretending that he had no title at all. (See Annasaheb Bapusaheb Patil v. Balwant, (1995) 2 SCC 543)
Where a person possesses property in a manner in which he is not entitled to possess it, and without anything to show that he possesses it otherwise than an owner. Thus, if A is in possession of a field of Bs, he is in adverse possession of it unless there is something to show that his possession is consistent with recognition of Bs title but if A grants a lease of land to B, or B obtains possession of the land as bailiff, or guardian, or trustee, his possession can only become adverse by some change in his position. Adverse possession is that form of possession or occupancy of land which is inconsistent with the title of any person to whom the land rightfully belongs and tends to extinguish that persons title, which provides that no persons shall make an entry or distress, or bring an action to recover any land or rent, but within twelve years next after the time when the right first accrued, and does away with the doctrine of adverse possession, except in the cases provided for by Section 15.
Possession is not held to be adverse if it can be referred to a lawful title. According to Pollock, In common speech a man is said to be in possession of anything of which he has the apparent control or from the use of which he has the apparent powers of excluding others. It is well-recognized proposition in law that mere possession however long does not necessarily mean that it is adverse to the true owner.
Adverse possession really means the hostile possession which is expressly or impliedly in denial of title of the true owner and in order to constitute adverse possession the possession proved must be adequate in continuity, in publicity and in extent so as to show that it is adverse to the true owner. The classical requirements of acquisition of title by adverse possession are that such possession in denial of the true owners title must be peaceful, open and continuous. The possession must be open and hostile enough to be capable of being known by the parties interested in the property, though it is not necessary that there should be evidence of the adverse possessor actually informing the real owner of the formers hostile action. [T. Anjanappa and Others v. Somalingappa and Another, (2006) 7 SCC 570.

Advocate Manoj Srivastava,High Court Allahabad.09335123621


Hi My mother was a Professor. She passed away on 21st Nov, 2012. She invested her entire lifeís earning in the house in which my father started residing with another lady and his son from mid March, 2013, even without informing us. I and my elder sister are married and settled in different place. Everything in that house right from curtains to all electronics and furnitureís were brought by our mother and some by us as we both are working. She also got the actual 5 rooms house extended to 10 rooms, got it painted, electrified, plastered and renovated. Beside these she also builded a house by taking home loan on the same plot of land, it is given on rent. She got a Will drawn by a lawyer who is also our family friend and very close to our father which I came to know now. Now, the issue is that the plot and the house are in our fatherís name and the Will is still in the procession of the lawyer and is not disclosed to us by both our father and the lawyer. My mother told me about the Will when I visited her last June, i.e, June, 2012 and also told that in the Will she has given everything she have in my sister and my name. My father is also trying to take the family pension and gratuity without declaring to the authority that he is re-married. Not only this his lawyer friend also called up my sisterís husband and told him to inform us not to visit our house in Assam. We are in big shock that our father is doing these but now water is going over the head and we have to take some strong action. I and my sister want to take our motherís property out. How do we do this? We also want to take legal actions against our father and his lawyer friend. Is it possible to complain in Bar Council against his friend for not performing his professional duty and get his license cancelled? Apart from complaining for committing fraud what other charges we can put against our father and all those who helped him in getting that lady at home? We also have doubt that our father had previous relation with that lady and with the help of his friends and relatives they have slow poisoned our mother. Property is located in Assam. My mother was Hindu and father is Muslim. Needs urgent help please.
Posted 27 Apr 2013
Hi My mother was a Professor. She passed away on 21st Nov, 2012. She invested her entire lifeís earning in the house in which my father started residing with another lady and his son from mid March, 2013, even without informing us. I and my elder sister are married and settled in different place. Everything in that house right from curtains to all electronics and furnitureís were brought by our mother and some by us as we both are working. She also got the actual 5 rooms house extended to 10 rooms, got it painted, electrified, plastered and renovated. Beside these she also builded a house by taking home loan on the same plot of land, it is given on rent. She got a Will drawn by a lawyer who is also our family friend and very close to our father which I came to know now. Now, the issue is that the plot and the house are in our fatherís name and the Will is still in the procession of the lawyer and is not disclosed to us by both our father and the lawyer. My mother told me about the Will when I visited her last June, i.e, June, 2012 and also told that in the Will she has given everything she have in my sister and my name. My father is also trying to take the family pension and gratuity without declaring to the authority that he is re-married. Not only this his lawyer friend also called up my sisterís husband and told him to inform us not to visit our house in Assam. We are in big shock that our father is doing these but now water is going over the head and we have to take some strong action. I and my sister want to take our motherís property out. How do we do this? We also want to take legal actions against our father and his lawyer friend. Is it possible to complain in Bar Council against his friend for not performing his professional duty and get his license cancelled? Apart from complaining for committing fraud what other charges we can put against our father and all those who helped him in getting that lady at home? We also have doubt that our father had previous relation with that lady and with the help of his friends and relatives they have slow poisoned our mother. Property is located in Assam. My mother was Hindu and father is Muslim. Needs urgent help please.
Posted 27 Apr 2013
dear sir i have a rent home from last 50 yrs my house owner not intrested to sell the home to me he want to sell the home to other. can i request to honble court for adverse possession .my mail id .>insurance_helpline2008@yahoo.com
Posted 8 Mar 2013
dear sir i have a rent home from last 50 yrs my house owner not intrested to sell the home to me he want to sell the home to other. can i request to honble court for adverse possession .my mail id .>insurance_helpline2008@yahoo.com
Posted 8 Mar 2013
dear sir i have a rent home from last 50 yrs my house owner not intrested to sell the home to me he want to sell the home to other. can i request to honble court for adverse possession .my mail id .>insurance_helpline2008@yahoo.com
Posted 8 Mar 2013
Dear Sir, if a will has been made in the name of a person say B, by a person named as A. The Will has not been registered by A and subsequently A died in a year or two without making the will registered in the name of B. The said person B is rightful owner in accordance with the unregistered will or he has to claim the property by the said will, by virtue of law of adverse possession
Posted 20 Feb 2013
Dear Sir, if a will has been made in the name of a person say B, by a person named as A. The Will has not been registered by A and subsequently A died in a year or two without making the will registered in the name of B. The said person B is rightful owner in accordance with the unregistered will or he has to claim the property by the said will, by virtue of law of adverse possession
Posted 20 Feb 2013
Dear Sir, if a will has been made in the name of a person say B, by a person named as A. The Will has not been registered by A and subsequently A died in a year or two without making the will registered in the name of B. The said person B is rightful owner in accordance with the unregistered will or he has to claim the property by the said will, by virtue of law of adverse possession
Posted 20 Feb 2013
Dear Sir, if a will has been made in the name of a person say B, by a person named as A. The Will has not been registered by A and subsequently A died in a year or two without making the will registered in the name of B. The said person B is rightful owner in accordance with the unregistered will or he has to claim the property by the said will, by virtue of law of adverse possession
Posted 20 Feb 2013
Dear Sir, if a will has been made in the name of a person say B, by a person named as A. The Will has not been registered by A and subsequently A died in a year or two without making the will registered in the name of B. The said person B is rightful owner in accordance with the unregistered will or he has to claim the property by the said will, by virtue of law of adverse possession
Posted 20 Feb 2013
To. rohitmittal73@hotmail.com Pls note that the period involved in litigation will be excluded from calculating the 12 years for adverse possession.
Posted 16 Feb 2013
Dear Sir, An Evacuee property was auctioned and sale certificate issued to a displaced person in 1961 but possession never transferred as land was not vacant. The tenant contested the auction and got the sale certificate cancelled. Further that land was allotted and sold to my grandfather by Custodian and immediately possession handed over by tenant to my grandfather in Nov 1982. My grandfather then sold the property to a co-operative housing society in Feb 1984. However, UP Govt. challenged the sale of 1982 and filed a writ in HC against the Custodian and my grandfather & society and obtained stay in Nov 85. The stay got vacated Dec 1992. After that the Society transferred some plots in that property to its members in 1994 and 1995. Finally the writ got decided and the sale certificate of my grandfather issued in Nov 1982 was cancelled. The Society went to the Supreme Court and obtained stay in 1998 but the decision of the HC was upheld by the Supreme Court in July 2008 and appeal of Society dismissed. The Society is still in possession till date of the said land and it is continuing to fight some cases from small time tenants from the last 20 yrs. I am the president of this society currently. As of Now, does the Adverse Possession Law apply to the Society against the auction purchaser / displaced person and against the Union of India and can the Society claim its title on the basis of adverse possession inspite of the fact that the HC as well as the Apex Court had cancelled the sale certificate of its predecessor? I would appreciate your valuable advice on rohitmittal73@hotmail.com. P.S. In all these proceedings the issue of possession was untouched and no order was passed for the same.
Posted 11 Feb 2013
Dear Sir, An Evacuee property was auctioned and sale certificate issued to a displaced person in 1961 but possession never transferred as land was not vacant. The tenant contested the auction and got the sale certificate cancelled. Further that land was allotted and sold to my grandfather by Custodian and immediately possession handed over by tenant to my grandfather in Nov 1982. My grandfather then sold the property to a co-operative housing society in Feb 1984. However, UP Govt. challenged the sale of 1982 and filed a writ in HC against the Custodian and my grandfather & society and obtained stay in Nov 85. The stay got vacated Dec 1992. After that the Society transferred some plots in that property to its members in 1994 and 1995. Finally the writ got decided and the sale certificate of my grandfather issued in Nov 1982 was cancelled. The Society went to the Supreme Court and obtained stay in 1998 but the decision of the HC was upheld by the Supreme Court in July 2008 and appeal of Society dismissed. The Society is still in possession till date of the said land and it is continuing to fight some cases from small time tenants from the last 20 yrs. I am the president of this society currently. As of Now, does the Adverse Possession Law apply to the Society against the auction purchaser / displaced person and against the Union of India and can the Society claim its title on the basis of adverse possession inspite of the fact that the HC as well as the Apex Court had cancelled the sale certificate of its predecessor? I would appreciate your valuable advice on rohitmittal73@hotmail.com. P.S. In all these proceedings the issue of possession was untouched and no order was passed for the same.
Posted 11 Feb 2013
Dear Sir, An Evacuee property was auctioned and sale certificate issued to a displaced person in 1961 but possession never transferred as land was not vacant. The tenant contested the auction and got the sale certificate cancelled. Further that land was allotted and sold to my grandfather by Custodian and immediately possession handed over by tenant to my grandfather in Nov 1982. My grandfather then sold the property to a co-operative housing society in Feb 1984. However, UP Govt. challenged the sale of 1982 and filed a writ in HC against the Custodian and my grandfather & society and obtained stay in Nov 85. The stay got vacated Dec 1992. After that the Society transferred some plots in that property to its members in 1994 and 1995. Finally the writ got decided and the sale certificate of my grandfather issued in Nov 1982 was cancelled. The Society went to the Supreme Court and obtained stay in 1998 but the decision of the HC was upheld by the Supreme Court in July 2008 and appeal of Society dismissed. The Society is still in possession till date of the said land and it is continuing to fight some cases from small time tenants from the last 20 yrs. I am the president of this society currently. As of Now, does the Adverse Possession Law apply to the Society against the auction purchaser / displaced person and against the Union of India and can the Society claim its title on the basis of adverse possession inspite of the fact that the HC as well as the Apex Court had cancelled the sale certificate of its predecessor? I would appreciate your valuable advice on rohitmittal73@hotmail.com. P.S. In all these proceedings the issue of possession was untouched and no order was passed for the same.
Posted 11 Feb 2013
Sir, is the adverse possession law abolished in India as of now,in 2013 ?
Posted 24 Jan 2013
hello ... i need some information . we are having established unit in G.I.D.C. let\'s say ABC industries . we are running this business since last 15 years. the land is registered by name of firm say \" X industries \" . X industries has been closed about 7-8 years ago. now as we are possessing this land since last 15 years how can we claim ownership of this land. is there any provision . vijaychaudhary09@yahoo.com
Posted 16 Jan 2013
hello ... i need some information . we are having established unit in G.I.D.C. let\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s say ABC industries . we are running this business since last 15 years. the land is registered by name of firm say \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" X industries \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" . X industries has been closed about 7-8 years ago. now as we are possessing this land since last 15 years how can we claim ownership of this land. is there any provision . please revert back with any needfull information on vijaychaudhary09@yahoo.com
Posted 16 Jan 2013
hello ... i need some information . we are having established unit in G.I.D.C. let\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s say ABC industries . we are running this business since last 15 years. the land is registered by name of firm say \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" X industries \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" . X industries has been closed about 7-8 years ago. now as we are possessing this land since last 15 years how can we claim ownership of this land. is there any provision . please revert back with any needfull information on vijaychaudhary09@yahoo.com
Posted 16 Jan 2013
hello ... i need some information . we are having established unit in G.I.D.C. let\\\\\\\'s say ABC industries . we are running this business since last 15 years. the land is registered by name of firm say \\\\\\\" X industries \\\\\\\" . X industries has been closed about 7-8 years ago. now as we are possessing this land since last 15 years how can we claim ownership of this land. is there any provision . please revert back with any needfull information on vijaychaudhary09@yahoo.com
Posted 16 Jan 2013
hello ... i need some information . we are having established unit in G.I.D.C. let\\\'s say ABC industries . we are running this business since last 15 years. the land is registered by name of firm say \\\" X industries \\\" . X industries has been closed about 7-8 years ago. now as we are possessing this land since last 15 years how can we claim ownership of this land. is there any provision . please revert back with any needfull information on vijaychaudhary09@yahoo.com
Posted 16 Jan 2013
hello ... i need some information . we are having established unit in G.I.D.C. let\'s say ABC industries . we are running this business since last 15 years. the land is registered by name of firm say \" X industries \" . X industries has been closed about 7-8 years ago. now as we are possessing this land since last 15 years how can we claim ownership of this land. is there any provision . please revert back with any needfull information on vijaychaudhary09@yahoo.com
Posted 16 Jan 2013
what about roof advers possession
Posted 27 Dec 2012
my father was given a land in chennai by his business delar 38 yrs ago.since then my father is in controll of that land and has constructed ware house on the same land and we have rented it to various parties till today,property taxes are being paid my father and receipt of taxes are in his name since 35 yrs,can u please mail and let me know how can we legallise this property in my fathers name the person who gave the land to my father is not traceabel may be dead pls mail if we can go for adverse possession or any other option.harish.dwivedi33@gmail.com
Posted 27 Dec 2012
Plz send me this page by email.my email id - pritamchatterjee_13@yahoo.com
Posted 16 Sep 2012
under the provision of cpc plea of adverse possession is a defence available to both plaintiff and defendant
Posted 27 Jul 2012

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