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Smt Gitarani Paul Vs Dibyendra Kundu (1990): Suit For Possession Of Property Cannot Be Challenged On The Ground That Date Of Dispossession Of The Property Is Not Known

Ashwitaa Shetty ,
  08 October 2021       Share Bookmark

Court :
Supreme Court of India
Brief :

Citation :
1991 AIR 395, 1990 SCR Supl. (3) 464

Crux:
Suit for possession of property cannot be challenged on the ground that date of dispossession of the property is not known.

Date of Judgement:
06th December, 1990

Bench:
Kuldip Singh (J), Ramaswamy, K.

Parties:
Appellant –Smt. Gitarani Paul
Defendant –Dibyendra Kundu

Subject

This case involved dispossession from the property by the defendants and subsequent suit initiated by plaintiff claiming possession and valid title in the property.

Legal Provisions

  • Section 5 of Specific Relief Act, 1963 provides that the person entitled to possession of specific immovable property may recover it as per the manner prescribed in the Code of Civil Procedure.
  • Section 6 of Specific Relief Act, 1963 provides that a person who holds a valid title to the property or claiming to hold valid title in property may do so by filing a suit for recovery of possession of dispossessed immoveable property.

Overview

  • The appellant had purchased the land from Bauries, under the Raiyats by way of sale deeds.
  • The appellant contended that defendants accompanied by some Policemen had planted standing crops and gama grass seedlings in the land owned by the appellant, thereby disturbing the possession of the land.
  • The appellant instituted a suit in the trial court for declaration of title and possession of the suit land. The trial court affirmed in the favour of the appellant.
  • The defendant, aggrieved by order, appealed the decision of the trial court and the findings of the trial court were affirmed by First Appellate Court.
  • The defendant, appealing the decision of First Appellate Court inthe High Court, stated that the actual date of dispossession was not mentioned in the plaint and unless the same was pleaded and proved, the suit for possession was not competent.The High Court allowed the appeal of the defendant and set aside the judgments of the lower courts.
  • The appellant, by special leave, approached the Supreme Court against the judgement passed by the High Court.

Issues

  • Can the suit for declaration of title in the property be rejected on the ground that the date of dispossession of the property is not known?
  • Can any restriction be imposed on Bauries under Raiyats, from selling their rights without approval from the higher authorities?

Judgement Analysis

  • The Supreme Court remarked that the High Court had erroneously ignored the findings of the lower courts and had accepted appeal by the defendants on an issue which was neither raised nor argued before the lower courts.
  • The Supreme Court had further stated that the High Court had misinterpreted the pleadings and the evidence on the record.
  • The Supreme Court affirmed that the appellant had held a valid title to the property and it was not necessary for the plaintiff to prove the date of dispossession of property and other details to the High Court.
  • The Supreme court stated that there is no prior pleadings or proceedings that restricts Bauries under Raiyats, from selling their rights without approval from the higher authorities.

Conclusion

The Honourable Supreme Court, while rejecting the contention of the defendants and the judgement passed by the High Court, held that in the suit filed by the appellant regarding dispossession of the property, the only fact to be proved by appellant is that they held a valid title to the property and were entitled to the property. The date of dispossession of the property and other details are not required to be ascertained once it is established that the appellant holds a valid title to the property.

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