State of Haryana Vs. Mukesh
Kumar & Ors.
J U D G M E N T
Dalveer Bhandari, J.
are often astonished to learn that a trespasser may take the title of a
building or land from the true owner in certain conditions and such theft is even
authorized by law.
theory of adverse possession is also perceived by the general public as a
dishonest way to obtain title to property. Property right advocates argue that mistakes
by landowners or negligence on their part should never transfer their property rights
to a 2wrongdoer, who never paid valuable consideration for such an interest.
government itself may acquire land by adverse possession. Fairness dictates and
commands that if the government can acquire title to private land through adverse
possession, it should be able to lose title under the same circumstances.
have heard the learned counsel for the State of Haryana. We do not deem it appropriate
to financially burden the respondents by issuing notice in this Special Leave Petition.
A very vital question which arises for consideration in this petition is
whether the State, which is in charge of protection of life, liberty and property
of the people can be permitted to grab the land and property of its own citizens
under the banner of the plea of adverse possession?
facts, relevant to dispose of this Special Leave Petition are recapitulated as
State of Haryana had filed a Civil Suit through the Superintendent of Police, Gurgaon,
seeking a relief of declaration to the effect that it has acquired the rights of
ownership by way of adverse possession over land measuring 8 biswas comprising khewat
no. 34, khata no. 56, khasra no. 3673/452 situated in the revenue estate of Hidayatpur
other prayer in the suit was that the sale deed dated 26th March, 1990, mutation
no. 3690 dated 22nd November, 1990 as well as judgment and decree dated 19th May,
1992, passed in Civil Suit No. 368 dated 9 th March, 1991 are liable to be set
aside. As a consequential relief, it was also prayed that the defendants be perpetually
restrained from interfering with the peaceful possession of the plaintiff (petitioner
herein) over the suit land. For the sake of convenience we are referring the petitioner
as the plaintiff and the respondents as defendants.
the written statement, the defendants raised a number of preliminary objections
pertaining to estoppel, cause of action and mis-joinder of necessary parties. It
was specifically denied that the plaintiff ever remained in possession of the
suit property for the last 55 years. It was submitted that the disputed
property was still lying vacant. However, the plaintiff recently occupied it by
using force and thereafter have also raised a boundary wall of police line. It was
denied in the written statement that the plaintiff acquired right of ownership by
way of adverse possession qua property in question. The defendants prayed for dismissal
of suit and by way of a counter claim also prayed for a decree for possession
qua suit property be passed.
Trial Court framed the following Issues in the suit. 1. Whether plaintiffs have
become owner of disputed property by way of adverse possession? OPP 2. Whether sale
deed 26.3.1990 and mutation no. 3690 dated 22.11.90 are null and void as alleged?
OPP 3. Whether judgment and decree dated 19.05.92 passed in civil suit no. 368
dated 9.3.91 is liable to be set aside alleged? OPP 4. Whether the suit of the
plaintiff is not maintainable in the present form? OPP 5. Whether the plaintiff
has no locus-standi to file the present suit? OPP 6. Whether the plaintiff has no
cause of action to file the present suit? OPP 7. Whether the suit of the plaintiff
is bad for mis- joinder of necessary parties? OPP 8. Whether defendants no. 1
to 4 are rightful owners of disputed property on the basis of impugned sale deed
dated 23.6.1990 registered on 3.7.1990? OPP 5 9. Whether defendants are entitled
for possession of disputed property? OPP
Issue No. 1 which relates to adverse possession and issue No. 4 pertaining to maintainability
were decided together. According to the Trial Court, the plaintiff has failed to
prove the possession over the disputed property because the plaintiff could not
produce any documentary evidence to prove this. On the contrary, revenue records
placed on the file shows that the defendants are the owners in possession of disputed
property. The Trial Court observed that possession of State, as claimed in the plaint
for a continuous period of 55 years, stood falsified by the documents issued by
the officials of the State.
Trial Court also observed that despite claiming adverse possession, there was
no pleading qua denial of title of the defendants by the plaintiff, so much so that
the specific day when the alleged possession of State allegedly became adverse against
the defendants has not been mentioned in order to establish the starting point of
limitation could be ascertained.
Trial Court relied on the judgment of this Court in S.M. Karim v. Mst. Bibi Sakina
AIR 1964 SC 1254 wherein this Court has laid down that the adverse possession
must be adequate in continuity, in publicity and extent and a plea is required at
the least to show when possession becomes adverse. The Court also held that
long possession is not necessarily adverse possession.
Trial Court also relied on a decision of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana
in the case of Bhim Singh & Ors. v. Zile Singh & Ors., AIR 2006 P and H
195, wherein it was stated that no declaration can be sought by a plaintiff with
regard to the ownership on the basis of adverse possession.
Trial Court came to specific conclusion that despite the fact that the
possession of the plaintiff over the disputed land is admitted on behalf of
defendants, Issue No. 1 stand decided against the plaintiff. It was held that the
suit of the plaintiff claiming ownership by way of adverse possession is not
maintainable. Consequently, Issue No. 1 was decided against the plaintiff and
Trial No. 4 was decided in favour of the defendants.
Trial Court decided Issue Nos. 2, 3, 5 and 6 together and came to the definite conclusion
that the plaintiff failed to prove its possession over the property in question.
It was also held that the plaintiff had no locus standi to challenge the validity
of the impugned sale deed, mutation as well as the judgment and decree because the
plaintiff was neither the owner nor in possession of the property in dispute. Consequently,
the plaintiff had no right to say that the impugned sale deed dated 26th March,
1990 was a sham transaction and the suit of mutation dated 22nd November, 1990 and,
thereafter, the judgment and decree dated 19th May, 1992 passed in Civil Suit
No. 386 dated 9th March, 1991 are liable to be set aside.
Trial Court came to the conclusion that the plaintiff having no right or title in
the suit property has neither locus standi nor cause of action to file the present
suit. Issue Nos. 2 and 3 were decided against the plaintiff, whereas, Issue Nos.
5 and 6 were decided in favour of the defendants.
Issue Nos. 8 and 9, the Trial Court observed that once it is held that
defendant Nos. 1 to 4 are owners of the disputed property, which is presently in
possession of the plaintiff without any right, they (defendants) are entitled to
its possession. Hence, Issue Nos. 8 and 9 were also decided in favour of the
No. 7 was not pressed and decided against the defendants.
Issue No. 10 (relief) the Trial Court observed as under: "As a sequel to the
findings of this court on the issues mentioned above, the suit of the plaintiff
stands dismissed, however, counter claim filed by defendants is decreed with
costs to the effect that they are entitled to possession of land measuring 8
biswas comprising of khewat no. 34 khata no. 56 khasa no. 3673/452 situated in revenue
estate of Hidayatpur Chhavni village now the part of known as Patel Nagar, Gurgaon.
Decree sheet be drawn accordingly. File be consigned to the record room after
plaintiff, aggrieved by the judgment of the Trial Court filed an appeal (Civil
Appeal No. 33) before the learned Additional District Judge, Gurgaon. Learned Additional
District Judge while deciding the appeal, relied on the judgment of the Punjab
& Haryana High Court delivered in 9the case of Food Corporation of India and
Another v. Dayal Singh 1991 PLJ 425, wherein it was observed that it does not
behove the Government to take the plea of adverse possession against the
Additional District Judge also relied on other judgments of Punjab &
Haryana High Court in the cases of Bhim Singh & Ors. (supra) and Kanak Ram &
Ors. v. Chanan Singh & Ors. (2007) 146 PLR 498 wherein it was held that a person
in adverse possession of immovable property cannot file a suit for declaration claiming
ownership and such a suit was not maintainable.
parting with the judgment the learned Additional District Judge observed
regarding conduct of the plaintiff that the present suit was filed by State of
Haryana by the then Superintendent of Police, Gurgaon on 11th May, 1996. It was
also observed by the learned Additional District Judge that the Police department
is for the protection of the people and property of the citizens and the police
department had unnecessarily dragged the defendants in unnecessary litigation. The
appeal was dismissed with exemplary cost of Rs.25,000/-.
despite serious strictures passed by the Court, the State of Haryana did not learn
a lesson and preferred a Second Appeal (RSA No. 3909 of 2008) before the High
Court of Punjab and Haryana, Chandigarh against the judgments and decrees of
the two courts below.
High Court, relying on the earlier judgments, observed that the welfare State which
was responsible for the protection of life and property of its citizens, was in
the present case, itself trying to grab the land/property of the defendants
under the garb of plea of adverse possession and hence the action of the plaintiff
is deplorable and disgraceful.
the State of Haryana, is still not satisfied with the three strong judgments by
three different forums given against the State and is still quite anxious and keen
to grab the property of the defendants in a clandestine manner on the plea of
a democracy, governed by rule of law, the task of protecting life and property of
the citizens is entrusted to the police department of the government. In the instant
case, the suit has been filed through the Superintendent of Police, Gurgaon, seeking
right of ownership by adverse possession.
revenue records of the State revealed that the disputed property stood in the
name of the defendants. It is unfortunate that the Superintendent of Police, a senior
official of the Indian Police Service, made repeated attempts to grab the property
of the true owner by filing repeated appeals before different forums claiming
right of ownership by way of adverse possession.
citizens may lose faith in the entire police administration of the country that
those responsible for the safety and security of their life and property are on
a spree of grabing the properties from the true owners in a clandestine manner.
very informative and erudite Article was published in Neveda Law Journal Spring
2007 with the title `Making Sense Out of Nonsense: A Response to Adverse Possession
by Governmental Entities'. The Article was written by Andrew Dickal. Historical
background of adverse possession was discussed in that article. 1Historical
concept of adverse possession was born in England around 1275 and was initially
created to allow a person to claim right of "seisin" from his ancestry.
Many felt that the original law that relied on "seisin" was difficult
to establish, and around 1623 a statue of limitations was put into place that
allowed for a person in possession of property for twenty years or more to acquire
title to that property. This early English doctrine was designed to prevent legal
disputes over property rights that were time consuming and costly. The doctrine
was also created to prevent the waste of land by forcing owners to monitor their
property or suffer the consequence of losing title.
concept of adverse possession was subsequently adopted in the United States. The
doctrine was especially important in early American periods to cure the growing
number of title disputes. The American version mirrored the English law, which is
illustrated by most States adopting a twenty-year statue of limitations for
adverse possession claims. As America has developed to the present date, property
rights have become increasingly more important and land has become limited. As
a result, the time period to acquire land by adverse possession has been
reduced in some States to as little as five years, while in others, it has
remained as long as forty years. The United States has also changed the
traditional doctrine by preventing the use of adverse possession against
property held by a governmental entity.
the colonial period, prior to the enactment of the Bill of Rights, property was
frequently taken by states from private land owners without compensation. Initially,
undeveloped tracts of land were the most common type of property acquired by the
government, as they were sought for the installation of public road. Under the colonial
system it was thought that benefits from the road would, in a newly opened
country, always exceed the value of unimproved land.
doctrine of adverse possession arose in an era where lands were vast particularly
in the United States of America and documentation sparse in order to give
quietus to the title of the possessor and prevent fanciful claims from erupting.
The concept of adverse possession exits to cure potential or actual defects in real
estate titles by putting a statute of limitation on possible litigation over ownership
and possession. A landowner could be secure in title to his land; otherwise, long-lost
heirs of any former owner, possessor or lien holder of centuries past could come
forward with a legal claim on the property. Since independence of our country we
have witnessed registered documents of title and more proper, if not perfect,
entries of title in the government records. The situation having changed, the
statute calls for a change.
Hemaji Waghaji Jat v. Bhikhabhai Khengarbhai Harijan and Others (2009) 16 SCC 517
(one of us Bhandari, J.), this Court had an occasion to examine the English and
American law on "adverse possession". The relevant paras of that
judgment (Paras 24 and 26 to 29) are reproduced as under: "24. In a relatively
recent case in P.T. Munichikkanna Reddy v. Revamma (2007) 6 SCC 59, this Court again
had an occasion to deal with the concept of adverse possession in detail. The Court
also examined the legal position in various countries particularly in English and
We deem it appropriate
to reproduce relevant passages in extenso. The Court dealing with adverse
possession in paras 5 and 6 observed as under: (SCC pp. 66-67) "5.
Adverse possession in one sense is based on the theory or presumption that the owner
has abandoned the property to the adverse possessor on the acquiescence of the
owner to the hostile acts and claims of the person in possession. It follows that
sound qualities of a typical adverse possession lie in it being open, continuous
and hostile. (See Downing v. Bird 100 So 2d 57 (Fla 1958), Arkansas Commemorative
Commission v. City of Little Rock 227, Ark 1085 : 303 SW 2d 569 (1957); Monnot
v. Murphy 207 NY 240 : 100 NE 742 (1913); City of Rock Springs v. Sturm 39 Wyo 494
: 273 P 908 : 97 ALR 1 (1929).)
Efficacy of adverse possession
law in most jurisdictions depends on strong limitation statutes by operation of
which right to access the court expires through efflux of time. As against rights
of the paper-owner, in the context of adverse possession, there evolves a set of
competing rights in favour of the adverse possessor who has, for a long period
of time, cared for the land, developed it, as against the owner of the property
who has ignored the property. Modern statutes of limitation operate, as a rule,
not only to cut off one's right to bring an action for the recovery of property
that has been in the adverse possession of another for a specified time, but also
to vest the possessor with title.
The intention of such
statutes is not to punish one who neglects to assert rights, but to protect those
who have maintained the possession of property for the time specified by the statute
under claim of right or colour of title. (See American Jurisprudence, Vol. 3,
2d, p. 81. It is important to keep in mind while studying the American notion of
adverse possession, especially in the backdrop of limitation statutes, that the
intention to dispossess cannot be given a complete go-by. Simple application of
limitation shall not be enough by itself for the success of an adverse
person pleading adverse possession has no equities in his favour since he is trying
to defeat the rights of the true owner. It is for him to clearly plead and establish
all facts necessary to establish adverse possession. Though we got this law of adverse
possession from the British, it is important to note that these days English
Courts are taking a very negative view towards the law of adverse possession. The
English law was amended and changed substantially to reflect these changes,
particularly in light of the view that property is a human right adopted by the
European Commission. This Court in Revamma (supra) observed that to understand the
true nature of adverse possession, Fairweather v. St Marylebone Property Co
 2 WLR 1020 :  2 All ER 288 can be 1considered where House of Lords
referring to Taylor v. Twinberrow  2 K.B. 16 termed adverse possession as
a negative and consequential right effected only because somebody else's positive
right to access the court is barred by operation of law. As against the rights
of the paper-owner, in the context of adverse possession, there evolves a set of
competing rights in favour of the adverse possessor who has, for a long period
of time, cared for the land, developed it, as against the owner of the property
who has ignored the property.
right to property is now considered to be not only constitutional or statutory right
but also a human right. Human rights have already been considered in realm of individual
rights such as right to health, right to livelihood, right to shelter and
employment etc. But now human rights are gaining a multi faceted dimension. Right
to property is also considered very much a part of the new dimension. Therefore,
even claim of adverse possession has to be read in that context.
changing attitude of the English Courts is quite visible from the judgment of Beaulane
Properties Ltd. v. 1Palmer (2005) 3 WLR 554. The Court here tried to read the human
rights position in the context of adverse possession. But what is commendable
is that the dimension of human rights have widened so much that now property dispute
issues are also being raised within the contours of human rights. With the
expanding jurisprudence of the European Courts of Human Rights, the Court has taken
an unkind view to the concept of adverse possession.
Paragraphs from 26 to 29 of Hemaji Waghaji Jat (supra) are set out as under:- 26.
With the expanding jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, the Court
has taken an unkind view to the concept of adverse possession in the recent judgment
of JA Pye (Oxford) Ltd. v. United Kingdom (2005) 49 ERG 90 which concerned the
loss of ownership of land by virtue of adverse possession. In the said case,
"the applicant company was the registered owner of a plot of 23 hectares
of agricultural land. The owners of a property adjacent to the land, Mr and Mrs
Graham (the Grahams) occupied the land under a grazing agreement. After a brief
exchange of documents in December 1983 a chartered surveyor acting for the applicants
wrote to the Grahams noting that the grazing agreement was about to expire and requiring
them to vacate the land."
The Grahams continued
to use the whole of the disputed land for farming without the permission of the
applicants from September 1998 till 1999. In 1997, Mr Graham moved the Local Land
Registry against the applicant on the ground that he had obtained title by adverse
possession. The Grahams 1challenged the applicant company's claims under the Limitation
Act, 1980 (the 1980 Act) which provides that a person cannot bring an action to
recover any land after the expiration of 12 years of adverse possession by
another. 27. The judgment was pronounced in JA Pye (Oxford) Ltd. v. Graham (2000)
3 WLR 242 : 2000 Ch 676. The Court held in favour of the Grahams but went on to
observe the irony in law of adverse possession. The court observed that the law
which provides to oust an owner on the basis of inaction of 12 years is
"illogical and disproportionate". The effect of such law would "seem
draconian to the owner" and "a windfall for the squatter". The court
expressed its astonishment on the prevalent law that ousting an owner for not taking
action within limitation is illogical. The applicant company aggrieved by the
said judgment filed an appeal and the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court decision.
The Grahams then
appealed to the House of Lords, which, allowed their appeal and restored the
order of the High Court. 28. The House of Lords in JA Pye (Oxford) Ltd. v. Graham
(2003) 1 AC 419 : (2002) 3 WLR 221 : (2002) 3 All ER 865 (HL), observed that the
Grahams had possession of the land in the ordinary sense of the word, and, therefore,
the applicant company had been dispossessed of it within the meaning of the
Limitation Act of 1980. 29. We deem it proper to reproduce the relevant portion
of the judgment in P.T. Munichikkanna Reddy v. Revamma (2007) 6 SCC 59: (SCC p.
79, paras 51-52) "51. Thereafter the applicants moved the European Commission
of Human Rights (ECHR) alleging that the United Kingdom law on adverse
possession, by which they lost land 2to a neighbour, operated in violation of
Article 1 of Protocol 1 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights
and Fundamental Freedoms (`the Convention'). 52. It was contended by the
applicants that they had been deprived of their land by the operation of the domestic
law on adverse possession which is in contravention with Article 1 of Protocol
1 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
(`the Convention'), which reads as under:
`Every natural or
legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possession. No one
shall be deprived of his possession except in the public interest and subject
to the conditions provided for by law and by the general principles of international
law. The preceding provisions shall not, however, in any way impair the right
of a State to enforce such laws as it deems necessary to control the use of
property in accordance with the general interest or to secure the payment of taxes
or other contributions or penalties.' "This Court in Revamma case also
mentioned that the European Council of Human Rights importantly laid down three-pronged
test to judge the interference of the Government with the right of "peaceful
enjoyment of property": (SCC p. 79, para 53) "53. ... [In] Beyeler v.
Italy [GC] No. 33202 of 1996 '' 108-14 ECHR 2000-I, it was held that the `interference'
should comply with the principle of lawfulness and pursue a legitimate aim (public
interest) by means reasonably proportionate to the aim sought to be
The Court observed:(Revamma
case 79-80, paras 54-56) "54. ... `The question nevertheless remains whether,
even having regard to the lack of care and inadvertence on the part of the
applicants and their advisers, the deprivation of their title to the registered
land and the transfer of beneficial ownership to those in unauthorized possession
struck a fair balance with any legitimate public interest served. In these circumstances,
the Court concludes that the application of the provisions of the 1925 and 1980
Acts to deprive the applicant companies of their title to the registered land imposed
on them an individual and excessive burden and upset the fair balance between the
demands of the public interest on the one hand and the applicants' right to the
peaceful enjoyment of their possessions on the other.
There has therefore been
a violation of Article 1 of Protocol 1.' 55. The question of the application of
Article 41 was referred for the Grand Chamber Hearing of the ECHR. This case sets
the field of adverse possession and its interface with the right to peaceful enjoyment
in all its complexity. 56. Therefore it will have to be kept in mind the courts
around the world are taking an unkind view towards statutes of limitation overriding
Hemaji Waghaji Jat case, this Court ultimately observed as under: 2 "32.
Before parting with this case, we deem it appropriate to observe that the law of
adverse possession which ousts an owner on the basis of inaction within
limitation is irrational, illogical and wholly disproportionate. The law as it exists
is extremely harsh for the true owner and a windfall for a dishonest person who
had illegally taken possession of the property of the true owner. The law ought
not to benefit a person who in a clandestine manner takes possession of the property
of the owner in contravention of law. This in substance would mean that the law
gives seal of approval to the illegal action or activities of a rank trespasser
or who had wrongfully taken possession of the property of the true owner. 33. We
fail to comprehend why the law should place premium on dishonesty by legitimising
possession of a rank trespasser and compelling the owner to lose his possession
only because of his inaction in taking back the possession within
limitation."Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution - a principle of a
important development in the protection of property rights was the Fifth Amendment.
James Madison was the drafter and key supporter for the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth
Amendment states: "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without
just compensation". The main issue is to pay just compensation for acquiring
the property. There are primarily two situations when a landowner may obtain compensation
for land officially transferred to or 2depreciated by the government. First, an
owner may be entitled to compensation when a governmental entity intentionally
acquires private property through a formal condemnation proceeding and without the
owner's consent. The State's power to take property is considered inherent
through its eminent domain powers as a sovereign. Through the condemnation
proceedings, the government obtains the necessary interest in the land, and the
Fifth Amendment requires that the property owner be compensated for this loss.
second situation requiring compensation under Fifth Amendment occurs when the government
has not officially acquired private property through a formal condemnation proceeding,
but "nonetheless takes property by physically invading or appropriating it".
Under this scenario, the property owner, at the point in which a
"taking" has occurred, has the option of filing a claim against the
government actor to recover just compensation for the loss. When the landowner sues
the government seeking compensation for a taking, 2it is considered an inverse condemnation
proceeding, because the landowner and not the government is bringing the cause
inherited this law of adverse possession from the British. The Parliament may
consider abolishing the law of adverse possession or at least amending and making
substantial changes in law in the larger public interest. The Government instrumentalities
- including the police - in the instant case have attempted to possess land adversely.
This, in our opinion, a testament to the absurdity of the law and a black mark upon
the justice system's legitimacy. The Government should protect the property of a
citizen - not steal it. And yet, as the law currently stands, they may do just
that. If this law is to be retained, according to the wisdom of the Parliament,
then at least the law must require those who adversely possess land to compensate
title owners according to the prevalent market rate of the land or property in
question. This alternative would provide some semblance of justice to those who
have done nothing other than sitting on their rights for the statutory period, while
allowing the adverse possessor to remain on property. While it may be indefensible
to require all adverse possessors - some of whom may be poor - to pay market rates
for the land they possess, perhaps some lesser amount would be realistic in most
of the cases. The Parliament may either fix a set range of rates or to leave it
to the judiciary with the option of choosing from within a set range of rates so
as to tailor the compensation to the equities of a given case.
Parliament must seriously consider at least to abolish "bad faith" adverse
possession, i.e., adverse possession achieved through intentional trespassing. Actually
believing it to be their own could receive title through adverse possession sends
a wrong signal to the society at large. Such a change would ensure that only those
who had established attachments to the land through honest means would be
entitled to legal relief.
case, the Parliament decides to retain the law of adverse possession, the Parliament
might simply require adverse possession claimants to possess the property in question
for a period of 30 to 50 years, rather than a mere 12. Such an extension would help
to ensure that successful claimants have lived on the land for generations, and
are therefore less likely to be individually culpable for the trespass (although
their forebears might). A longer statutory period would also decrease the frequency
of adverse possession suits and ensure that only those claimants most
intimately connected with the land acquire it, while only the most passive and
unprotective owners lose title.
to the facts of this case, if the Police department of the State with all its might
is bent upon taking possession of any land or building in a clandestine manner,
then, perhaps no one would be able to effectively prevent them.
is our bounden duty and obligation to ascertain the intention of the Parliament
while interpreting the law. Law and Justice, more often than not, happily coincide
only rarely we find serious conflict. The archaic law of adverse possession is one
such. A serious re-look is absolutely imperative in the larger interest of the
possession allows a trespasser - a person guilty of a tort, or even a crime, in
the eyes of law - to gain legal title to land which he has illegally possessed for
12 years. How 12 years of illegality can suddenly be converted to legal title is,
logically and morally speaking, baffling. This outmoded law essentially asks
the judiciary to place its stamp of approval upon conduct that the ordinary Indian
citizen would find reprehensible.
doctrine of adverse possession has troubled a great many legal minds. We are
clearly of the opinion that time has come for change.
the protectors of law become the grabbers of the property (land and building), then,
people will be left with no protection and there would be a total anarchy in the
is indeed a very disturbing and dangerous trend. In our considered view, it must
be arrested without further loss of time in the larger public interest. No Government
Department, Public Undertaking, and much less the Police Department should be permitted
to perfect the title of the land or building by invoking the provisions of adverse
possession and grab the property of its own citizens in the manner that has
been done in this case.
our considered view, there is an urgent need for a fresh look of the entire law
on adverse possession. We recommend the Union of India to immediately consider
and seriously deliberate either abolition of the law of adverse possession and in
the alternate to make suitable amendments in the law of adverse possession. A
copy of this judgment be sent to the Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice,
Department of Legal Affairs, Government of India for taking appropriate steps
in accordance with law.
Special Leave Petition is dismissed with costs of Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty
Thousand only) to be paid by the State of Haryana for filing a totally frivolous
petition and unnecessarily wasting the time of the Court and demonstrating its evil
design of grabbing the properties of lawful owners in a clandestine manner. The
costs be deposited within four weeks from the date of pronouncement of this
judgment. In this petition, we did not issue notice to the defendants, therefore,
we direct that the costs be deposited with the National Legal Services Authority
for utilizing the same to enable the poor litigants to contest their cases.
Special Leave Petition being devoid of any merit is accordingly dismissed.