Adverse Possession

Article written by Advocate Alpa Jogi on Adverse Possession

Adverse Possession

Adverse possession is when the true owner of a property loses his/her ownership rights owing to inaction on his/her part to remove a person in possession within a statutory period from the property. After lapse of the statutory limitation period for eviction, the true owner is barred from initiating any legal proceeding to repossess his/her property and the person in possession acquires the title to that property by adverse possession..

The statutory period of limitation for possession of an immovable property or any interest therein, as stipulated in section 65 of Limitation Act, 1963, is 12 years in case of private property and 30 years in case of Government/state/public property from the date since the possessor adversely possesses the property of the true owner.

In a significant judgement, The Supreme Court on 7th August 2019 held that plea of title by adverse possession can be taken by plaintiff under Article 65 of the Limitation Act and there is no bar under the Limititation Act 1963 to sue on aforesaid basis in case of infringement of any rights of plaintiff.

The Supreme Court overruled its own decision of year 2014 in the case of Gurudwara Sahab v. Gram Panchayat Village Sirthala. In that judgment, the Court had held that a declaration of title cannot be sought based on adverse possession. While adverse possession can be used as a "shield" by a defendant against dispossession, it cannot be used as a "sword" by a plaintiff seeking title declaration.

Note : Above information is in general form, issued with a motive to help. Author disowns any kind of liability.

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