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Adverse possession: Law Commission says it is for benefit of public; Law Ministry members say it enables land mafia

The Secretaries of the Department of Legal Affairs and the Legislative Department, who are ex-officio members of the Commission, expressed their reservations with the report and how its findings were arrived at.

The Commission has not consulted the relevant Ministries of the Government of lndia and States from where useful inputs could have been received. ln the absence of the inputs of the Ministries of Government of lndia and the State Governments the benefit of broad-based deliberation have been avoidably curtailed.

Pertinently, the members noted that adverse possession is prone to misuse by powerful builders and mafias.

To claim that adverse possession protects the rights of the poor ignores the abuse of the law by land mafias, builders and powerful interest groups who are not disqualified to claim adverse possession under the present law.. it is an appropriate moment to strike off this provision of adverse possession from the Law of Limitation.

The law is in ‘glaring opposition’ to the Directive Principles Of State Policy calling for a welfare state and an egalitarian social order, the dissenting members added.

“lf plea of adverse possession succeeds against the State, common good suffers since adverse possession does not set limit on the extent of land nor its purpose nor the income level of the occupant claiming adverse possession of Government land.

Source: Barandbench

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