Vasantha (D) vs Rajalakshmi @ Rajam (D) 2024 INSC 109 :: [2024] 2 S.C.R. 326 – Adverse Possession – Limitation Act- S 34 Specific Relief Act – Amendment Of Plaint

Adverse possession – the physical fact of exclusive possession and the animus possidendi to hold as owner in exclusion to the actual owner are the most important factors that are to be accounted in cases related to adverse possession. Plea of adverse possession is not a pure question of law but a blend of fact and law. Therefore, a person who claims adverse possession should show : (a) on what date he came into possession; (b) what was the nature of his possession; (c) whether the factum of possession was known to the other party; (d) how long his possession has continued; and (e) his possession was open and undisturbed. A person pleading adverse possession has no equities in his favour. Since he is trying to defeat the rights of the true owner, it is for him to clearly plead and establish all facts necessary to prove his adverse possession – Referred to Saroop Singh v. Banto (2005) 8 SCC 330 , Karnataka Board of Wakf v. Govt. of India (2004) 10 SCC 779, Hemaji Waghaji Jat v. Bhikhabhai Khengarbhai Harijan (2009) 16 SCC 517 and P.T. Munichikkanna Reddy v. Revamma (2007) 6 SCC 59. (Para 20-21)

Limitation Act, 1961; Section 27 – The lapse of limitation bars only the remedy but does not extinguish the title. (Para 32)

Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 ; Order VI Rule 17 – Amendment of a plaint can be made at any stage of a suit , even at the second appellate stage – Referred to Harcharan v. State of Haryana, (1982) 3 SCC 408 and Rajender Prasad v. Kayastha Pathshala, (1981) Supp 1 SCC 56. (Para 33)

Special Relief Act, 1963; Section 34 – When the plaintiff was aware that the defendant was in possession of the suit property and therefore it was incumbent upon him to seek the relief which follows – Not permissible to claim the relief of declaration without seeking consequential relief. [Referred to Union of India v. Ibrahim Uddin (2012) 8 SCC 148] – (Para 30-33)

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