What is Adverse Possession in India ?

Adverse possession is a legal concept in India, as in many other jurisdictions, that deals with the acquisition of ownership rights over a property by someone who has occupied and possessed it continuously and openly for a certain period of time. The idea behind adverse possession is that if a person occupies land or property without the owner’s permission for a long period and the owner does not take any legal action to reclaim it, the person in possession may gain legal ownership of the property.

To claim adverse possession in India, certain conditions must generally be met:

Continuous and Uninterrupted Possession: The occupier must show that they have possessed the property continuously and without any interruption for a specific period of time. This period varies from state to state but is typically around 12 years.

Open and Notorious Possession: The possession of the property must be visible and known to others, including the owner. It should not be hidden or secretive.

Hostile Possession: The possession must be adverse or hostile to the rights of the true owner. It means that the occupier must possess the property with the intention of claiming ownership without the owner’s permission.

Exclusion of True Owner: The person claiming adverse possession should exclude the true owner from possession during the statutory period.

It’s important to note that adverse possession is a complex legal doctrine, and the specific requirements and procedures may vary depending on the state laws in India. Also, adverse possession claims can be subject to legal challenges and may not always succeed. The true owner of the property can initiate legal proceedings to protect their rights and prevent adverse possession from being established.

If you are dealing with a situation involving adverse possession, it is crucial to seek legal advice from a qualified lawyer who can provide guidance based on the specific laws applicable to your location and circumstances.

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