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Can Property Title Be Claimed Through Adverse Possession In India

Introduction:

Adverse Possession:

Any person who gains title to a property of another person or individual through legal aid by actual, open, hostile and so on for a period prescribed by state law. Here, the person who is gaining the title in another person’s property excludes him from his property wholly or partly where he actually stays for a period prescribed by the law of the state. Adverse possession is a type of prescription. There is another way to acquire a title is by occupying it for a period of the specified time.

Important Necessary Elements to Constitute Adverse Possession:

1. Property:- There should be a property which may be movable or immovable.

2. Nature of possession required over the property to constitute adverse possession:- There should be actual possession of an individual who is claiming the title of the property from another person and some acts of possession does not amount to adverse possession. Any person or an individual is required to continue living in the same property for a specific period of time as stated by the state law. In simple words, we can say that possession must be actual, visible, exclusive and so on.

3. Possession must be continuous:- The possession must be continuous to constitute adverse possession and without continuance, for a period of time as specified by the state law, it can not constitute adverse possession.

4. Possession should be with the intention of the ouster of the real owner.

5. Dispossession of the true owner:- Dispossession and discontinuance are both relevant terms. In the case of dispossession, an individual or person comes in and drives or throws out another person who is in the possession and in case of discontinuance, an individual or any person leaves or goes out of the property in which he has possession and another person or an individual comes into the possession.

Requirements for Adverse Possession:

  • Open and notorious
  • Exclusive and continuous
  • Hostile
  • Actual and so on.

Three Points of Adverse Possession:

  • When a person or an individual is enjoying the property of another person, he should have knowledge on whom the title is vested.
  • The person or an individual who has a title of the property or the person is the owner of the property must give up his property to another person who has possession of his property for a long time according to the law of the state.
  • Any person in possession of another person’s property by contract then it does not amount to adverse possession. For example say, the parties contract for 12 years or for 99 years then the party who is in possession of another person’s property cannot claim the title of the property or cannot claim any benefit from the property.
  • Any person can claim adverse possession through the Limitation Act. According to the Limitation Act, any person who holds the possession of another person’s property for 12 years legally and not by contract can claim adverse possession.

Case:

“Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Karnataka Board of Wakf  Vs.- GOI ( 2004) 10 SCC 779, held that an owner of a property would be in possession as long as there is no intrusion or any possession of a property by any person for a specified period of time. If the owner of the property does not use the property and leaves it as it is then also his title does not get affected. And if any person gets possession of the property of another person for a long period of time and the owner does not bring any action against him then the other person gets possession of the property legally as stated by the state law.”

Conclusion:

Adverse possession gives the title to another person who is not the real owner of the property. Adverse possession is a method of acquiring title from another person’s property but to get the title of the property the person must maintain some conditions as per the state law. Limitation Act gives us article 6 and 65 which further says that to acquire title one must possess a property for 12 years and in case of government property the prescribed period is 30 years. There are many disputes arising regularly regarding adverse possession.

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