Will long possession of a property by a caretaker/servant entitle him to acquire an interest in property? SC decides

Supreme Court: Holding that caretaker/servant can never acquire interest in the property irrespective of his long possession, Bench of Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S Oka, JJ., held that trial court committed manifest error in appreciating the pleadings on record from plaint filed at the instance of a caretaker/servant.

Appellant-defendant approached this Court assailing the decision of lower court on the application filed at his instance under Order VII Rule 11, Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

Factual Matrix

Appellant-defendant initially entered into an agreement to sell of the subject property and after a formal conveyance deed a sale deed was executed and his right of ownership over the subject property in question became absolute.

Respondent 1-plaintiff submitted that he was in possession of the subject property as a caretaker/servant.

Respondent-1-plaintiff’s prayer was:

  • For declaration that plaintiff is a lawful occupier as caretaker/servant of the sole owner of the A schedule property and occupied and adverse possessor of the B Schedule property.
  • for the permanent injunction restraining defendant to disturb or evict the peaceful possession of the plaintiff otherwise then the due course of law.

Analysis, Law and Decision

Supreme Court opined that trial court committed a manifest error in appreciating the pleadings on record from plaint filed at the instance of respondent 1-plaintiff who as a caretaker/servant can never acquire interest in the property irrespective of his long possession and the caretaker/servant has to give possession forthwith on demand and so far as plea of adverse possession is concerned as it lacks material particulars and the plaint does not discloses the cause of action for institution of the suit.

Bench held that lower court’s decision was not sustainable on the first principles of law.

Therefore, appeal succeeded and was allowed, and Court directed respondent 1-plaintiff to handover, vacant and peaceful possession of the subject property in question free from all encumbrances within 3 months.[Himalaya Vintrade (P) Ltd. v. Md. Zahid, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 744, decided on 16-09-2021]

Join the discussion

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.