Case BriefsForeign Courts

Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka: This appeal was filed before a Bench of Mahinda Samayawardhena, J., for ejectment of defendants from the land of the plaintiff.  

Facts of the case were that the plaintiff filed this action against defendants for a declaration of title to the land, ejectment of the defendants from the land and for damages. Defendants opposed plaintiff’s action and claimed that the plaintiff was holding property in trust for defendants, thus defendants had acquired prescriptive title to the land. Plaintiff’s action was dismissed by District Judge and passed judgment in favour of defendants to have prescribed to the land. Hence, this appeal was filed. District court had come to a finding that the defendants came into the land with the leave and licence of the plaintiff and from the date on which they came into possession of the land, they have started prescriptive possession against the plaintiff. 

Court of Appeal found the above finding of District Judge to be untenable. Permissive possession, however long it may be, was not prescriptive possession and to claim it, compelling cogent evidence was required. The time when an individual started adverse possession is a sine qua non for claim of prescription. Court noted that when the legal title to the premises is admitted or proved to be in the plaintiff, the burden of proof is on the defendant to show that he is in lawful possession. Since, defendant in the instant case had failed to discharge the onus to prove, the judgment of District Judge was set aside[Mohamed Shariff Mohamed Sanoon v. Mohamed Yoosuf Junaid, Case No. CA/417/1998/F, decided on 18-01-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Punjab and Haryana High Court: A Single Judge Bench comprising of Gurvinder Singh Gill, J., dismissed a revision petition filed assailing the order of the Appellate Authority which in turn upheld the order of Rent Controller, Ludhiana, whereby the petitioner was ejected from the property in question.

The respondent filed an ejectment petition before the Rent Controller on the grounds that the petitioner-tenant had defaulted in paying the rent since June 2008. The petitioner contended that the respondent was not the landlord as he had taken the premises on rent from one Narinder Singh. The Rent Controller found that a relationship between tenant and landlord existed between the parties. And since the petitioner defaulted in paying the rent, petitioner was ordered to be ejected from the property concerned. The Appellate Authority confirmed the findings and upheld the order passed by the Rent Controller. Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner approached the High Court.

The High Court perused the record and found that the abovementioned Narinder Singh, in his examination, had stated that he had sold the property concerned to the petitioner. A power of attorney and a Will was also executed in favor of the petitioner. The Court did not find any registered sale deed proving the factum of sale; however, the abovesaid documents showed that there was some arrangement between the petitioner and Narinder Singh whereby the petitioner exercised the rights of the landlord. The Court held the law to be well settled that a person can be a landlord even without having ownership rights in the property. The High Court did not find any infirmity in the impugned order and the revision petition was thereby dismissed. [Ashok Kumar v. Piara Singh, 2018 SCC OnLine P&H 733, dated 29-05-2018]