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Merely Placing Sale Deed On Record Doesn't Absolve Party From Establishing Right To Claim Land Compensation When Possession Not Established: Delhi HC

Nupur Thapliyal
8 July 2022 3:15 PM GMT
Merely Placing Sale Deed On Record Doesnt Absolve Party From Establishing Right To Claim Land Compensation When Possession Not Established: Delhi HC
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The Delhi High Court has observed that merely placing the Sale Deed on record will not absolve a party from its burden to establish its right to claim compensation in respect of a land when the fact of possession in its favour is not established from the documents available on record.A division bench comprising of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Gaurang Kanth was dealing with a plea...

The Delhi High Court has observed that merely placing the Sale Deed on record will not absolve a party from its burden to establish its right to claim compensation in respect of a land when the fact of possession in its favour is not established from the documents available on record.

A division bench comprising of Justice Siddharth Mridul and Justice Gaurang Kanth was dealing with a plea seeking a direction against the authorities to hand over or restore back the vacant and peaceful possession of a land. In the alternative, the Petitioner also sought a direction against the authorities to acquire the land in question under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition and Resettlement Act, 2013.

It was the case of the Petitioner, Citicap Housing Development Limited, that the land in question was not acquired by the Government and the same was in possession of its respective owners.

It was stated that the Registrar of High Court had executed the sale deed dated November 8, 1993 in favour of the Petitioner. In terms of the said registered sale deed, the Petitioner was claiming itself to be the absolute owner of the land in question. Further, the land in question was mutated in the name of the Petitioner in the revenue records.

It was thus the case of the Petitioner that the land in question was in illegal possession of the DDA and hence they approached DDA for handing over the possession of the land in question to the Petitioner.

As DDA failed to take any action on the said request, the Petitioner approached High Court by filing a writ petition. Vide order dated December 1, 1997, the Court directed the parties to maintain status quo with regard to the land in question.

It was then contended that during the pendency of the aforesaid Petition, the Petitioner applied for demarcation of the land in question with the SDM (Kalkaji). The demarcation was carried out and the demarcation report concluded that the land in question was the part of a developed colony, however, the exact location of the land in question could not be identified during the demarcation proceedings.

It was argued by the Petitioner that they had issued a legal notice to the Delhi Jal Board asking them to vacate the land in question. However, no positive response with regard to the said legal notice was received.

The Petitioner had filed various representations with the Respondents for acquiring the land in question and to award market value of the said land as compensation to the Petitioner or in the alternative, to allot another plot having same market value as that of the land in question. However, no response was received. Accordingly, the petitioner approached the High Court.

The Court was of the view that the matter involved disputed questions of fact which could not be adjudicated in a writ petition. It noted that the Petitioner claimed to be the purchaser of the land in question. However, it was also noted that the Respondents were in possession of the land in question even before the execution of the sale deed in respect of the said land in favour of the Petitioner.

"There appears to be nothing on record to show that the vacant possession of the land in question was ever handed over to the Petitioner. The identity of the land in question is still under dispute and the issue as to in whose possession is the land in question is yet to be established. How, when and under what circumstances, the Respondents came into possession of the land in question is also to be ascertained. All these facts, according to this Court, have to be established by leading evidence in accordance with law," the Court said.

It added "The Petitioner has to establish its right under the law to claim the substantial relief as claimed in the present Writ Petition. Merely by placing on record the Sale Deed will not absolve the Petitioner from its burden to establish its right to claim compensation in respect of the land in question when the factum of possession in favour of the Petitioners not established from the documents available on record."

The Court was therefore of the view that the Writ Petition was not the appropriate remedy for the Petitioner. The Court noted that the Petitioner was a subsequent purchaser who purchased the land in question from the earlier original or recorded owners, however, there was nothing on record to show that the possession of the said land in question was handed over to the Petitioner.

Therefore, the Court dismissed the petition by ordering thus:

"The Petitioner is however at liberty to pursue other remedies as available under the law for establishing its rights to claim substantial reliefs as claimed under this Petition. It is clarified that this Court has examined the matter on the limited issue of its maintainability and no opinion has been expressed on the merits of the Petition."

Case Title: CITICAP HOUSING DEVELOPMENTS LTD v. UNION OF INDIA & ORS

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 627

Click Here To Read Order 


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