Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The 3-judge bench of Arun Mishra, SA Nazeer and MR Shah, JJ has held that the Article 65 of Limitation Act, 1963 not only enables a person to set up a plea of adverse possession as a shield as a defendant but also allows a plaintiff to use it as a sword to protect the possession of immovable property or to recover it in case of dispossession.

The Court held that a person in possession cannot be ousted by another person except by due procedure of law and once 12 years’ period of adverse possession is over, even owner’s right to eject him is lost and the possessory owner acquires right, title and interest possessed by the outgoing person/owner as the case may be against whom he has prescribed. By perfection of title on extinguishment of the owner’s title, a person cannot be remediless.

“In case he has been dispossessed by the owner after having lost the right by adverse possession, he can be evicted by the plaintiff by taking the plea of adverse possession. Similarly, any other person who might have dispossessed the plaintiff having perfected title by way of adverse possession can also be evicted until and unless such other person has perfected title against such a plaintiff by adverse possession.”

Rejecting the contention that there is no conferral of right by adverse possession, the Court held that there is the acquisition of title in favour of plaintiff though it is negative conferral of right on extinguishment of the right of an owner of the property. The right ripened by prescription by his   adverse possession is absolute and on dispossession, he can sue based on ‘title’ as envisaged in the opening part under Article 65 of Act. The Court, hence, held that

“the 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 on aforesaid basis in case of infringement of any rights of a plaintiff.”

[Ravinder Kaur Grewal v. Manjit Kaur, 2019 SCC OnLine SC 975, decided on 07.08.2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Prathiba M. Singh, J. decreed a suit injuncting the defendant from unauthorisedly broadcasting the songs over which the plaintiff had a copyright.

The plaintiff — Super Cassettes Industries — filed a suit against the defendant (cable network) for infringement of its copyright in certain songs. It was alleged that the defendant broadcasted the said songs on its channel without permission or license. When the plaintiff sent notice to the defendant, it replied by stating that it did not own the channel in question. Subsequently, the present suit was filed.

The High Court noted that despite the service of summons and notice, the defendants did not put in appearance before the Court. It was also noted that the defendant made false reply to the notice sent by the plaintiff. In view of the Commercial Courts, Commercial Division and Commercial Appellate Division of High Courts (Amendment) Act, 2018 as well as the Delhi High Court (Original Side) Rules, 2018, the Court observed it to be a well-settled law that “it is no longer necessary in every matter, even when the defendant is not appearing, that the plaintiff has to lead evidence. The filing of evidence can be exempted if, from the pleadings and documents relied upon, the suit can be decided.”On perusal of the screenshots submitted by the plaintiff, the Court was satisfied that the defendant was infringing the copyright of the plaintiff. In such view of the matter, the Court decreed the suit in favour of the plaintiff and granted an injunction against the defendant as prayed for by the plaintiff. Further, a decree of damages was passed in favour of the plaintiff in light of its false reply to plaintiff’s notice. [Super Cassettes Industries (P) Ltd. v. I-Vision Digital LLP, 2018 SCC OnLine Del 12384, decided on 12-11-2018]