DATE OF JUDGEMENT:
6th December, 2021
Justices M.R. Shah and B.V. Nagarathna
Bangalore Development Authority (Appellant)
N. Nanjappa (Respondent)
The Supreme Court held that title of the obstructor with respect to the subject property has to be decided by the Executing Court and the title cannot be determined in separate suits.
- The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) had acquired certain land in 1977 under the Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976. However, a dispute arose with respect to a part of the acquired property and after years of dispute, a lease agreement was agreed upon. Thereafter, respondent 1 filed a successful ejectment petition against respondent 2 and the BDA appealed against the handing over of the property to the decree holder.
- The Executing Court rejected the applications of the BDA and the subsequent writ petitions before the High Court were also disposed. Thus, the BDA appealed before the Supreme Court.
- The appellants contended that for raising objection, it is not necessary that the objector must be in the possession of the property and it would suffice if the obstructor claims title to the subject property. However, in the instant case, the property was handed over to the BDA by the Government.
- Furthermore, the appellants contended that the respondent 1 and respondent 2 had illegally entered into the lease agreement as the property was acquired and taken over by the BDA. The respondent, on the other hand, contended that the BDA does not have the possession of the subject property.
Code of Civil Procedure
- Order XXI Rule 97: Resistance or obstruction to possession of immovable property.—(1) Where the holder of a decree for the possession of immovable property or the purchaser of any such property sold in execution of a decree is resisted or obstructed by any person in obtaining possession of the property, he may make an application to the Court complaining of such resistance or obstruction.
[(2) Where any application is made under sub-rule (1), the Court shall proceed to adjudicate upon the application in accordance with the provisions herein contained.]
- Order XXI Rule 101: Question to be determined.—All questions (including questions relating to right, title or interest in the property) arising between the parties to a proceeding on an application under rule 97 or rule 99 or their representatives, and relevant to the adjudication of the application, shall be determined by the Court dealing with the application and not by a separate suit and for this purpose, the Court shall, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law for the time being in force, be deemed to have jurisdiction to decide such questions
- Whether the obstructor’s title to the subject property can be determined in a separate suit other than the execution proceedings?
- Whether the lease agreement was valid or not?
- The Court notes that the case of the appellant was that since the property was acquired by the BDA under the Bangalore Development Authority Act, 1976, subsequent lease agreement with respect to the subject property was null and void.
- The Court observed that as per Order XXI Rule 97 and 101 the issues of interest, title or interest in the property has to be determined by the Executing Court and a separate suit is mot needed to be filed for the same.
- Therefore, the Court set aside the orders of the Executing Court and the High Court and allowed the petitions filed by the appellants.
- The Supreme Court directed the Executing Court to implead the appellants in the execution proceedings and adjudicate on the objections filed by the BDA.
The Court rightly held that the obstructor’s title must be decided during the execution proceedings itself. If the obstructor is allowed to claim title in separate suits then it would lead to delays in the execution of the decrees. Furthermore, the Executing Court is in a better position to determine the title, rights or interest of a party in the subject property and can adequately consider the evidence and facts while arriving at a conclusion.
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