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Adverse Possession-meaning of and requirements of acquisition of title by adverse possession-Suit claiming title to the property on the basis of Municipal records-Possession of the property by plaintiff three years prior to filing of the suit-Allegation against defendants of encroachments on a portion of the property-Defendants stating that the land belonged to Government and they were in adverse possession of the same-Held: Defendants’ plea of being in adverse possession of the property is not established-If the occupant is not sure of the actual ownership of the property, the question of his being in hostile possession and denying the title of the true owner does not arise-A possession, in order to be adverse, should be a hostile possession in express or implied denial of the title of the true owner-Such possession must be peaceful, open and continuous-If possession can be referred to a lawful title, the same cannot be considered to be adverse-The burden to prove is on the person who bases his title on adverse possession-Limitation Act, 1963-Section 65-Evidence-Burden of proof. Words and Phrases: ” Adverse possession”-Meaning of. Appellants filed a suit claiming title to the property in question by virtue of entries in the Municipal records. Appellants purchased the property from its owner two days after filing of the suit. The erstwhile owner had mortgaged the property in favour of the appellant. The allegation of the appellants was that the respondents had encroached upon a portion of the property putting a hutment about 3 years prior to filing of the suit. Respondents denied the title of the appellants, contending that they were in possession of the premises for about 16 years; that the land was a Government land; that they were paying tax to the municipality; that they were in adverse possession of the land; and that the area had been declared a slum area. Respondents also filed a counter suit. Trial Court dismissed the suit of the appellants and allowed that of the respondents. Appellate Court upheld the title of the appellants and granted them relief of possession setting aside the judgment of trial court in both the suits. In second appeal, High Court held that the respondents had established their plea of adverse possession of a portion of the property, hence grant of decree for declaration of title and possession to that extent in favour of appellants was bad in law. Hence the present appeals.

CASE NO.: Appeal (civil) 3594 of 2006 PETITIONER: T. Anjanappa and Ors RESPONDENT: Somalingappa and Anr DATE OF JUDGMENT: 22/08/2006 BENCH: ARIJIT PASAYAT & LOKESHWAR SINGH PANTA JUDGMENT: J U D G M E N T (Arising out of SLP (C) Nos. 24307-24308 of 2004) ARIJIT PASAYAT, J Leave granted. Challenge in these appeals is … Continue reading

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