Acquisition of property by adverse possession

Acquisition of property by adverse possession


Adverse possession may be a philosophy below that someone in possession of land in hand by some other person could acquire valid title to that, see you later as bound common law needs area unit met, and also the adverse soul is in possession for a spare time, as outlined by the statute of limitations. Adverse Possession is that variety of Possession or occupancy of land that is inconsistent with the title of anyone to whom the land truly belongs and tends to extinguish that person title, that provides that nobody shall build associate degree entry or distress, or bring associate degree action to recover any land or rent, however among twelve years next, once the time once the proper initial increased and will away with the philosophy of adverse possession. Adverse possession is commenced in wrong and is aimed against the proper. Plea of Adverse Possession isn’t a pure question of law but a merging one in all reality and law. this idea appeared within the code of Hammurabi, close to 2000 years before the Christ era.


Adverse possession was outlined by the Supreme Court within the case of Amarendra Pratap Singh v. Tej Bahaddur Prajapati as, “A person, though having no right to enter into possession of the property of somebody else, will thus and continues in possession putting in place title in himself and adversely to the title of the owner, commences prescribing title into himself and such prescription having continued for twelve years, he acquires title not on his own however on account of the default or inaction on a part of the important owner, that stretched for twelve years results into extinction of the latter’s title.”

Elements establishing adverse possession:

  1. Continuity in adverse possession: The possession and occupancy of the property by the claimant/trespasser shall be continuous, uninterrupted and unbroken for the whole statutory limited length.
  2. Hostile possession: It means the claimant/ occupier is occupying the land despite knowing that he/she doesn’t hold any legal title to occupy or possess the aforementioned property.

A person who claims adverse possession ought to show:

  • On what date did he come into possession
  • What was the character of his possession?
  • whether or not the factum of possession was far-famed to the opposite party
  • however long his possession has continued and
  • His possession was open and undisturbed.
  1. Actual possession: the possession should be a possession, as the development of a house, the erection of a shed or some structure, fencing of a property, the grazing of cattle on the land, the farming and harvest home of crops on the land for the complete statutory amount.
  2. Exclusive possession: throughout the statutory limitation amount, the applicant should be within the sole physical possession of the property against the legitimate right assertion, and also the title of the rightful owner or different claimants. The building of a house, or the erection of boundary walls area unit are samples of “exclusive ownership”. It should not be taken possession or of pseudo- possession.

Acts that do not constitute adverse possession

  1. PERMISSIVE POSSESSION: It cannot be reborn into an adverse possession, notably wherever possession is lawful from the point in time unless alternative clear actions are committed by the dweller which will have the result of denying the title of owner. The permissive character of possession is often inferred from the circumstances of the case, even when there is no clear proof. As shortly because the complainant shows his intention that the permissive possession would stop, the permissive soul would stop to enter the property and, if he doesn’t do, therefore, his continuing presence would be incorrect and would build him at risk of surrendering possessions with profits.
  2. ABSENCE OF RIGHTFUL CLAIM: “In the case of Palaniyandi Malavarayan v. Dadamalali Vidayan, it was contended before Honorable Andhra Pradesh High Court about adverse possession by a trust that the right to the trusteeship of a temple cannot be acquired by adverse possession so long as there is no lawful trustee who could claim to recover the office from the person who claims to hold it adversely to him”.
  3. ABSENCE OF INTENTION: it’s the intention to assert the exclusive title that makes possession adverse. Animus possidendi should be established in conjunction with the style of occupancy by the squatter that once more varies from sort to sort. it’s a well-known principle within the fiduciary relationship that the possession of the agent is that the possession of the principle and thus the prevailing relationship between the parties can not be allowed to be as adverse.


Adverse possession as a shield:

In Gurudwara Sahib v Gram Panchayat village sirthala, The plaintiff requested a declaration that he had obtained title to the suit property through adverse possession. In addition, the plaintiff sought to prevent the defendant from being evicted from the property. While the trial court determined that the plaintiff was in adverse possession of the property after hearing the evidence and granted injunctive relief to prevent the defendant from taking possession, the high court held that the plaintiff could not seek a declaration of ownership based on adverse possession because the plea can “only be used as a shield and not as a sword.”.

 Case laws:

In-State of West Bengal v. The Dalhousie Institute Society,

In this case, the Supreme Court held that title was acquired by adverse possession based on an invalid grant and the right was given to the claimant/applicant to claim compensation. The Supreme Court held that a person acquires title by adverse possession.

Babubali HanamantappaIjari vs. Shalinibai

It was held that a person who gets into possession under an invalid document, such possession if continuously enjoyed without interruption for over 12 years it becomes an adverse possession investing a title in the possessor. It was further held that plea of title and alternative plea of adverse possession cannot go together and cannot be accepted.

Ravinder Kaur Grewal and Ors. vs. Manjit Kaur and Ors

The Supreme Court held that, “plea of acquisition of title by adverse possession can be taken by Plaintiff Under Article 65 of the Limitation Act and there is no bar under the Limitation Act, 1963 to sue in case of infringement of any rights of a Plaintiff”.



Adverse possession is one in each of the ways for feat title to the important property by possession for a statutory amount underneath sure conditions. The same amount is ruled by statute. underneath this school of thought, the person might establish his own against verity owner when the fulfillment of all legal necessities. The owner of the property should have actual information of adverse possession. The word continuity means the regular uninterrupted of the occupancy land. As per Articles six and sixty-five of the Limitation Act, the prescribed amount is twelve years and therefore the prescribed amount within the case of the govt. is thirty years. The place to begin of limitation begins from the expression of hostile ill will amounting to a denial of the title of the important owner to his information. The load lies on the party to line up the title supported adverse possession. Presumption and possibilities cannot be substituted for proof. The maxim that “law and equity do not help those who sleep over their rights” is invoked in support of the prescription of title by adverse possession.



Author: Abhishek B G,

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