SC slaps Rs 50,000 fine on Haryana govt in land case | delhi | Hindustan Times
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SC slaps Rs 50,000 fine on Haryana govt in land case

The Supreme Court has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the Haryana government for trying to grab a private land under the doctrine of adverse possession.

delhi Updated: Oct 06, 2011 00:27 IST
HT Correspondent

The Supreme Court has imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the Haryana government for trying to grab a private land under the doctrine of adverse possession.

Rejecting the government's appeal, claiming the ownership of 8 bighas of land in Gurgaon, a Bench of justices Dalveer Bhandari and Deepak Verma asked it to revisit the "baffling law" on adverse possession.

The law, which was framed during the colonial era, allows a trespasser to take over a private land if he squats on it for 12 years.

The trespasser can become the owner of the land without paying anything to the original owner.

In this case, the Haryana police claimed ownership over the land in the revenue estate of Hidyatpur Chhavni, after squatting on it for more than 12 years.

“If the state police department is bent on taking the possession of a land or building in a clandestine manner, perhaps no one would be able to prevent it effectively,” the Bench observed.

It added, “It is unfortunate that the superintendent of police and a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) official made repeated attempts to grab the property by filing appeals before different forums, claiming the right of ownership by way of adverse possession."

The Bench took a dig at the Gurgaon SP and said “citizens may lose faith in the entire police administration”.

The court said that the police, responsible for the safety and security of people, was busy trying to grab a property from its original owner in a clandestine manner.

Advising Parliament to re-look the law, inherited from the colonial era, the Bench observed: “How 12 years of illegality can suddenly be converted to legal title is, logically and morally speaking, baffling.”

The Supreme Court Bench added, “This outmoded law asks the judiciary to place its stamp of approval on a conduct that the ordinary Indian citizen would find reprehensible.”