SC: Legal Entitlement Of A Land Necessary For Filing A Suit For Trespassing and Illegal Land Grabbing.

The Supreme Court on 18th April, 2018 said that Legal Entitlement Of A Land Necessary For Filing A Suit For Trespassing and Illegal Land Grabbing. This decision was given by the bench of Hon’ble Justices Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta in the case of M. Durga Singh & Ors. V. Yadagiri & Ors. [CIVIL APPEAL NO. 5645 OF 2006] The dispute in this appeal pertained to 500 square yards in Survey No.87 of Lingampally Village, Chikkadapally Mandal, Hyderabad District. This area was said to form a part of the total area in Survey No.87 approximating acres 0-34 guntas. The appellants claimed to be the owners of the land in question while the respondents were said to be land grabbers who are liable to be evicted.
Suit No.106 of 1967 was filed by the predecessors-in-interest against the predecessors of the respondents. In this suit, a claim was made for 20 square yards of land from Survey No.87. In the paper book, the extent of land appears at one place to be 33.5 square yards. Be that as it may, the suit was dismissed on merits by the Trial Court on 29th March, 1975 and it was held that the appellants had not been able to prove their title to the suit land and the boundaries had not been specifically stated. It is important to note that one of the findings given by the Trial Court in the judgment is that the respondents had a house on the land in dispute.
Eventually, the appellants preferred Land Grabbing Case No. 17 of 1993 before the Special Court established under the Andhra Pradesh Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Act, 1982. In this case the contention urged by the appellants was that the respondents had grabbed about 500 square yards of land owned by the appellants in Survey No.87. The proceedings before the Special Court were dismissed by a judgment and order dated 11th October, 1994.
The appellants were given a full-fledged hearing by the Special Court under the Act in which the following issues were framed:
1. Whether the petitioners are the owners of the petition schedule property?
2. Whether the respondents are not land grabbers within the meaning of Act No. 12 of 1982?
The Special Court dealt with all these issues and concluded that the appellants had failed to establish that they are the owners of the schedule property and there was no material to establish their ownership. It was also held that the appellants had not been able to show that the respondents had trespassed on the suit property without legal entitlement and were therefore land grabbers within the meaning of the Act.The Special Court concluded that there is no certainty about the land alleged to have been grabbed by the respondents. The location of the land was not clear, the area was notclearly identified, the description of the land was very vague, no measurements of the land were given and the boundaries of the land were also not clear.
The Supreme Court in its final verdict said “In view of the above, we have no hesitation in concluding that the Special Court was fully justified in dismissing the land grabbing case filed by the appellants and the High Court was also justified in dismissing the writ petition filed by them. We find absolutely no reason to interfere with the views expressed and accordingly we dismiss the appeal.”