Mahesh Kumar
Asked August 16, 2016

How to claim ownership over land

  • 1 Answer
  • 315 Views

The fact of the case are as follows: 1. This matter pertains to my property located in Ghaziabad (UP). 2. In 1993-94 my father was looking for a plot of land in Ghaziabad and happen to meet Mr.Yadav who was allotted a plot by GDA (Ghaziabad Development Authority). 3. My father paid Rs. 5000 as advance payment and a conveyance deed (bainama) was made and signed by Mr.Yadav and My father. In the conveyance deed Mr.Yadav stated to have received Rs. 5000 and agreed to give possessions of plot after receiving another Rs.70,000. The conveyance deed was registered in the office of Sub-registrar. 4. Next week my father paid Rs.70,000 and Mr.Yadav made a general power of attorney in the name of my mother. The general power of attorney gave all the powers to manage the land including sale of plot in future. Subsequently a sale deed was also registered at the office of sub-registrar, GDA between my mother (PoA holder) and GDA ( and not Mr.Yadav). The stamp duty and free hold fee was paid by my father to GDA. My mother purchased the land from GDA as power of attorney holder of Mr.Yadav. 5. My father built a house on the plot in 1996 and our family started living. I and my brother are still living and occupying this house with our families. In 2004 my mother died and later my father also died in 2010. 6. We are living in the same house and paying property tax, water tax every year to GDA. There is no dispute between us. For 20 years we are living on this land and house build by my father. I want to know how we can become owner of this plot or sell this land (property).

Answer 1

Dear Sir,

 

At the outset, let me clear it out that if the property was bought in the name of your mother but was financed by your father, then it constitutes as a benami transaction. Benami transaction are invalid as per the law of the country. However, since this is not at contention here, there is no need to get into the details of this matter.

 

You mentioned that the property was bought by your mother as a power of attorney (PoA) holder. A PoA holder is generally an agent of the Principle. But here you said that your mother had the property and got it registered. It’s a bit confusing. But the general rule is that, if the PoA of attorney holder dies, the contract comes to an end. And most importantly it does not pass on to his/her legal heirs. Therefore unless, the property absolutely belonged to your mother, you won’t have any inheritance right over the property. Thus you cannot own it nor sell it.

 

However, there is one possible way to get ownership over the property. That is by claiming adverse possession. Adverse Possession is a concept in the law of transfer of properties. As per this concept, if a property is occupied by some person other than the actual owner, after certain conditions are met, the property will pass on to that person. Some of the conditions are:

  • Actual possession is required. Mere paying of taxes will not suffice.
  • The world must know that the person is living in that property.
  • There has to be continuous and uninterrupted possession. 
  • Uninterrupted means that there should no dispute over the property from the original owner. If there is no case filled by the original owner within 12 years of possession, then the title of the property will get transferred to possessor legally.

     

    If only you can prove adverse possession, can you have ownership over the property. Then you will become the owner and can do whatever you wish to do with it.

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