Land Dispute Resolution: Upholding Permissive Possession in Case of Inheritance

In a recent landmark judgment by the Supreme Court of India, a long-standing land dispute involving inheritance has been conclusively resolved. The case, which centered around the possession of a property marked ‘ABCD’, saw the court upholding the permissive nature of possession by the Respondent. This ruling has significant implications for property law and inheritance cases, setting a precedent for future disputes. Let’s delve into the details of this crucial legal decision.


  • Banta, father of Jit Ram and Sibo, died on 02.07.1992.
  • Sibo filed a Civil Suit for declaration that she had become the owner and was in possession of land based on a Will executed by Banta.
  • The Respondent contested by claiming an independent interest in the property due to a Will executed by Sibo in his favor.
  • The Will presented by Sibo was deemed suspicious and her case was not proven.
  • Satnam Singh’s appeal against the judgment was dismissed, making the decree final as against Sibo and him.
  • Jit Ram later filed a Civil Suit against the Respondent for possession of a portion of the property, which was dismissed with an alternative plea of adverse possession.
  • The original Civil Suit filed by Sibo in 1993 and its subsequent legal battles form the basis of the current appeal.
  • Appellate Court found that the claim of Sibo had been dismissed in the earlier round, rendering any title transfer via a Will to the Respondent invalid.
  • Respondent’s possession was confirmed as purely permissive, undermining any claim of adverse possession.
  • Respondent filed Regular Second Appeal in High Court after the Appellate Court’s decision.
  • Respondent’s possession of the property was considered open and hostile, as he had constructed on it in 1989.
  • High Court allowed the Second Appeal, reversing the finding on adverse possession but upholding the dismissal based on the Will.
  • Trial Court initially dismissed the suit citing adverse possession and limitation.
  • Civil Appeal against the Trial Court’s decision was granted in 2013 by Additional District Judge, Hoshiarpur.

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  • Possession of the Respondent of portion marked ‘ABCD’ and his occupation of the structure was permissive in nature.
  • The record indicates that the possession was purely permissive.

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  • The element of hostility was completely missing.
  • The possession was not hostile to the owners of the property.
  • High Court erred in accepting the Second Appeal
  • Appellate Court’s finding was correct
  • No basis for High Court to set aside Appellate Court’s finding
  • Structure was built by the Respondent
  • Structure is dilapidated with a value not exceeding Rs.5,000/-

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  • The amount is to be deposited in the Trial Court for release to the Respondent if he vacates and hands over possession of the structure within two weeks.
  • Failure to vacate means the Respondent forfeits the deposited sum, which can be withdrawn by the Appellants to execute the decree dated 19.07.2013.
  • The Appellants are directed to pay Rs.50,000 towards the cost of the structure that was spent by the Respondent in 1989.
  • The appeal is allowed, with no costs imposed.
  • The Judgment and Order under Appeal is set aside regarding adverse possession, and the Judgment and Decree dated 19.07.2013 passed by the Appellate Court is restored upon payment of Rs.50,000 to the Respondent within four weeks.


Case Number: C.A. No.-009087-009087 / 2019

Click here to read/download original judgement

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