Long continuous possession by itself cannot be termed as adverse possession: SC

long and continuous possession by itself cannot be termed as adverse possession

The Bench consisting of Hon’ble Justice L. Nageswara Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta of the Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that long and continuous possession by itself cannot be termed as adverse possession.

Case Name: Shri Uttam Chand vs Nathu Ram 

Case No: Civil Appeal No. 190 of 2020

Judges: Justice L. Nareswaro Rao and Justice Hemant Gupta

Facts of the case: 

The plaintiff in the current matter filed a suit for possession based on the purchase of a property. The plaintiff filed a suit for possession in the year 1979 alleging that the defendants have unauthorized possession of the property and has refused to vacate the same. 

On the other hand, the defendants in their written statement have completely denied that the plaintiff as a real owner of the property. They were of the view that the house had existed on the property as the owner for two centuries. 


1. Whether the suit is properly valued for Court fee & Jurisdiction?

2. Whether the suit is time-barred?

3. Whether the plaintiff is the owner of the property in suit?

4. Whether the defendants become an owner by adverse possession of the property in suit?

5. Whether the defendants are in unauthorized occupation of the property in dispute?

The High Court verdict:

The Hon’ble Delhi High Court held that the defendants lived in an open, uninterrupted, peace, and hostile possession for a total period of 12 years from March 1964 to March of 1976. It was of the view that the suit which was filed by the plaintiff on the 17th February 1979 was barred by limitation.

The Supreme Court’s verdict:

The bench gave reference to the Case of LRs vs. Mahant Suresh Das (known as the Ayodhya Case). The court was of the view that the concept of adverse possession is based on the concept of the acceptance that ownership of the property is in control of another against whom the claimant asserts possession adverse to the title of the other.

Views of the bench:

The bench in the present case was of the view that the defendants have not admitted the vesting of the suit with the managing officer, the defendant in the present case has not only denied the title to the managing officer but also the plaintiff. The plea of the defendants is a continuous possession. The evidence is that of continuous possession. 

The court concluded that the views of the High Court that the defendant has confirmed their title to the suit by adverse possession are not legally fit are set aside and the suit to the present matter is decreed. 

The concept of the adverse possession explained: 

The doctrine of the adverse possession is the acquisition of the title by the person is possession although the person is not the real owner of the property. The time duration of the same is set at 12 years with the knowledge, been without the permission of the owner, the title of the property has to be vested in the possessor. 

Edited by Vartika Gajendra Singh

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje


Shubhang Gomasta
I am Shubhang Gomasta currently pursuing my master's in Law from MATS University, Raipur. I am a law graduate from Tamil Nadu National Law University. Not a book worm exactly but an enthusiastic writer and a blogger. I have a deep interest in areas such as Arbitration, Competition Law and Securities Law. In my free time, my activities include analyzing current affairs especially governmental policies and decisions.