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LAW OF ADVERSE POSSESSION ENCOURAGING CRIMINALS TO GET JUDICIAL PROTECTION 2011 SC

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Supreme Court of India, State Of Haryana vs Mukesh Kumar & Ors. on 30 September, 2011, Bench: JUSTICE Dalveer Bhandari, and JUSTICE Deepak Verma, observed “The Government should protect the property of a citizen - not steal it. And yet, as the law currently stands, they may do just that. If this law is to be retained, according to the wisdom of the Parliament, then at least the law must require those who adversely possess land to compensate title owners according to the prevalent market rate of the land or property in question. This alternative would provide some semblance of justice to those who have done nothing other than sitting on their rights for the statutory period, while allowing the adverse possessor to remain on property. …. The archaic law of adverse possession is one such. A serious re-look is absolutely imperative in the larger interest of the people………….. Adverse possession allows a trespasser - a person guilty of a tort, or even a crime, in the eyes of law - to gain legal title to land which he has illegally possessed for 12 years. How 12 years of illegality can suddenly be converted to legal title is, logically and morally speaking, baffling. This outmoded law essentially asks the judiciary to place its stamp of approval upon conduct that the ordinary Indian citizen would find reprehensible. ………….. The doctrine of adverse possession has troubled a great many legal minds. We are clearly of the opinion that time has come for change……… If the protectors of law become the grabbers of the property (land and building), then, people will be left with no protection and there would be a total anarchy in the entire country.”

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