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Diya Arvind   27 February 2022

legal maxims

what is the scope of the maxim "Animus Possidendi"?


 2 Replies

Aarushi   27 February 2022

Animus Possidendi is made up two. The first word, animus means intention, while the next possidendi means possess. When we combine these two, we get a phrase, which means intention to possess. This maxim finds its use in the Property Law in case of adverse possession. The Court says that in cases of adverse possession, the presence of this maxim is a requirement. Mere possession of land does not guarantee a claim on the title, an intention of possession has to be present when a person claims any title over a property. This maxim establishes the intention of the person in possession to claim his/her title. Animus need not necessarily be of the possessor; an agent can also hold animus.

Konda Lakshama Bapuji v. Government of Andhra Pradesh & Ors.

In this case, the Court held that along with Corpus Possidendi, the presence of Animus Possidendi is a must. This means that just because a person has occupied a property for a period of time, the title of that property cannot go to them. Their intention to claim a title over the property has to be presence. And the time period for the purpose of adverse possession will only begin from the date when Animus Possidendi is established. The time period to claim adverse possession against the Government is 30 years.

N.N. Majumdar v. State

In this case, the Court held that Animus Possidendi need not be absolute and it does not hold the person to be the owner of the object necessarily. Thus, the Court gave examples of a pledge and tenant. In case of a pledge, the pledgee has the possession of the object, which will be later returned by him on repayment of debt. A similar thing happens with the tenants.

Niharika Lohan   02 June 2023

Hi Diya

this term literally means an "intention to possess" , it is applicable and relevant in property laws.

Sec. 27 of the Limitation Act, 1963 deals with adverse possession, an essential ingredient of which is animus decidendi. Wherein, a person has possession of a property for twelve or more years, then the law presumes the person to be entitled to the property as an owner.

The logic behind this law is that the one who takes care of the land is in a deserving position and is entitled. Whereas, law does not help the ones who sleeps over their rights.

I hope you found this fruitful.

for further information you can contact me at Niharikalohan@yahoo.com

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