SC: Prayer for declaration in a suit for possession doesn’t effect limitation

Today, i.e. on 3rdJuly 2019, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, in the matter of Sopanrao & Anr. v. Syed Mehmood & Ors. pronounced that in a suit for possession, merely because one of the reliefs sought is of declaration that will not mean that the outer limitation of 12 years is lost.

The Hon’ble Supreme Court observed that:

Merely because one of the reliefs sought is of declaration that will not mean that the outer limitation of 12 years is lost. (Para 9)

In a suit filed for possession based on title the plaintiff is bound to prove his title and pray for a declaration that he is the owner of the suit land because his suit on the basis of title cannot succeed unless he is held to have some title over the land. However, the main relief is of possession and, therefore, the suit will be governed by Article 65 of the Limitation Act, 1963. This Article deals with a suit for possession of immovable property or any interest therein based on title and the limitation is 12 years from the date when possession of the land becomes adverse to the plaintiff. (Para 9)

Copy of judgement: Judgement_03-Jul-2019

-Tushar Kaushik

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