Supreme Court: Caretaker/Servant Can Never Acquire Interest In Property Irrespective Of His Long Possession
The Apex Court opined that the Trial Court had committed a manifest error in appreciating the pleadings on record from the plaint filed at the instance of the Respondent
The Supreme Court of India allowed the owner's appeal by holding that that the caretaker/servant could never acquire interest in the property irrespective of his long possession and that he had to give possession on demand.
A Division Bench of the Supreme Court of India, comprising Justices Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S Oka, dealt with the matter titled Himalaya Vintrade Pvt Ltd v Md. Zahid & Anr.
The facts of the case were that the Appellant – Defendant's right of ownership over the subject property in question became absolute after executing a sale deed. However, the Respondent – Plaintiff filed a suit to declare himself as the lawful occupier as the caretaker/servant of the sole owner of the property. The Appellant – Defendant objected to the suit by filing an application under Order VII Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC) but the Trial Court dismissed the said application on the ground that the subject matter of dispute could be examined only after the written statement was filed. The order of dismissal by the Trial Court was upheld by the High Court and therefore, the present appeal was filed by the Appellant – Defendant challenging the same.
The Court after considering the material on record, opined that the Trial Court had committed a manifest error in appreciating the pleadings on record from the plaint filed at the instance of the Respondent – Plaintiff.
The Court held that that the caretaker/servant could never acquire interest in the property irrespective of his long possession and that the caretaker/servant had to give possession forthwith on demand. It was further observed that the plea of adverse possession lacked material particulars and that the plaint did not disclose the cause of action for institution of the suit.
Therefore, the Court allowed the appeal by quashing the order of the High Court as well the original plaint filed by the Respondent – Plaintiff. The Court further directed the Respondent – Plaintiff to handover, vacant and peaceful possession of the subject property in question free from all encumbrances within three months