What is wrongful possession?
The term ‘Possession’ in its simplest form means ‘to have’ or ‘to occupy’. It means that any person who is said to have possession of anything or any object is the one who can control/use it. This means that even if a person rightfully owns an estate, he/she may not have possession over it. Wrongful possession of a property means a situation where a person who is not the rightful owner of the property, occupies it via malafide and wrongful means by creating false documentation, coercion or by force. One of the most common examples of the wrongful possession of the property is when a tenant illegally occupies the property and refuses to vacate the premises. The tenant in such cases not only infringes the rent agreement but also violates the landlord’s rights of property possession.
Why do you need to file wrongful possession suit?
The issue of wrongful possession of property is faced mostly by the NRI’s. Since they themselves are unable to manage their property in India, they leave the property with servants or relatives who act as caretakers of the property. These caretakers end up claiming adverse possession over the property. Therefore, to get rid of those unauthorised persons, a suit for wrongful possession is filed by virtue of which the possession of the property gets retained in the hands of its rightful owner.
One should first issue a legal notice to the person retaining wrongful possession, asking to vacate the premises immediately.
A suit for wrongful possession under section 5 of The Specific Relief Act can then be filed if the legal notice does not get adhered to.
One can also file a complaint to the superintendent of police, in whose jurisdiction the property lies.
A criminal proceeding can also be directly initiated against the person who illegally possesses the property, as under section 145 of CrPC.
It has been ruled out by the Apex Court that nobody should let any person occupy the property for a period of 12 years as that amounts to transfer of ownership rights over the property in the form of adverse possession. The prescribed period for government-owned property is 30 years.
Original documents of the property
Patta (land deed)
Copy of Legal notice
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