Sunday, December 3, 2023

Any one owner can seek possession of jointly-owned land: Punjab and Haryana High Court

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The Punjab and Haryana High Court has reiterated that any one owner out of the co-owners can seek possession of the entire joint land.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul passed the order, after dismissing the petition filed by Siriya.

The revision petition was preferred under Article 227 of the Constitution for setting aside the order dated May 23, 2022 passed by the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Narwana in Execution Petition in case titled as ‘Tulsi Puri through his LRs Vs Siriya through his LRs,’ whereby objections under Order 47 read with Section 151 of CPC preferred by the petitioners were dismissed.

The Counsel for the petitioner inter alia contended that the Court below while passing the order dated May 23, 2022 whereby his objections under Order 47 read with Section 151 of CPC were dismissed, committed manifest error.

He further submitted that the trial Court failed to appreciate that the respondents were shown to be joint owners of shares to the extent of 14/442 in the jamabandi 2012-13. However, they had sought possession of land measuring 8 kanal 7 marla in the execution proceedings.

He also submitted that the respondents could not seek possession of land beyond 0 kanal 6 marla as their ownership rights were limited to the extent of their respective shares only. Thus, in the absence of other co-owners they had no right to take possession of land beyond their share.

The Counsel further argued that since there had been non-compliance of order 1 Rule 8 of CPC by the Trial Court, the decree could not be executed.

The Court pointed out that the suit land is in the joint ownership of the respondents and other co-owners as per the entries recorded in the ownership column of the jamabandi for the year 2012-13. Not only this, admittedly no partition by metes and bounds has also been effected.

In the circumstances the Court is unable to concur with the submissions of the counsel that the respondent being a co -owner could not seek possession of land beyond his share.

The Court relied on the judgement of the Supreme Court in M/s India Umbrella Manufacturing Co Vs Bhagabandei Agarwalla (D) by LRs : 2004(1) RCR (Civil) 686 and Mohinder Prasad Jain Vs Manohar Lal Jain : 2006(2) RCR (Civil) 36 has held that any one owner out of the co-owners can seek possession of the entire joint land.

Such a co-owner would do so on his own behalf, in his own right and as an agent of other co-owners. The consent of other co-owners would be assumed to have been taken unless it is shown to the contrary that co-owners were not agreeable and despite their disagreement, a suit had still been instituted.

“Counsel has failed to bring to the notice of the Court any material from which it could be shown that other co-owners were not agreeable to take possession. Moreover, the scope of interference in execution proceedings is very limited as the Court cannot go behind the decree. The execution proceedings cannot be allowed to become another round of litigation”, the Court observed, while dismissing the petition.

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