In a recent judgment, the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi observed and held that it is the manifest duty of the person claiming adverse possession to prove that there was an assertion of hostile ownership on his part along with uninterrupted and continuous possession.
The said ratio was delivered by the High Court of Delhi in the matter of Ram Chander Vs. Bisania., RFA No. 314/2018 decided on 17.08.2018.
In the present appeal, the only limited issue before this Hon’ble Court was whether the trial court was justified in dismissing the suit of the Appellant/ Plaintiff holding that the Respondents/ Defendants are in adverse possession of the suit property although the ownership of the same was with Appellant/ Plaintiff.
The High Court of Delhi while setting aside the decision of the trial court held that the Ld. Trial court has erred in interpreting that the respondents have adverse possession of the said property only because the respondents were openly and continuously without interruption’ in possession of the suit property. However, the said reasons are not sufficient in law to determine the status of adverse possession.
The Hon’ble Court further observed that while claiming adverse possession, the possession has to be open and continuous and at the same time must be hostile to the true owner and there has to be an assertion of ownership title in the person who claim adverse possession to the knowledge of the true owner and the world at large.
Since in the present case, the evidence with respect to the assertion of hostile ownership is missing by the respondents/ defendants, it can not be said that the respondents/ defendants were in adverse possession of the property. Merely having electricity or water meters in name of the said person is not assertion of hostile title.