Property deeds are vital documents in the world of real estate, serving as the foundation of property ownership. Whether you’re buying a new home, selling a piece of land, or transferring property to a family member, understanding property deed is essential. . According to Sec 54 of Transfer of Property Act, A property deed/sale deed is a legal document that conveys ownership or interest in a property from one party to another. It serves as concrete evidence of property ownership, detailing the rights, restrictions, and responsibilities associated with the property. When a property is sold or transferred, a deed is typically involved to record the transaction.

In this article, we’ll understand the property with the case law of Poonam Ram Vs Moti Ram SC 2019.

Brief of facts:           

In spite of the fact that he lacked any supporting evidence, Moti Ram had filed a lawsuit over an immovable property for which he asserted possessory title. His claim was largely based on his extended ownership of the land. In contrast, Poona Ram claimed ownership of the land and provided title documents as proof of his superior claim. The First Appellate Court declared that Poona Ram had amply shown his ownership of the land, given his presentation of title papers, and overturned the Trial Court’s ruling in favor of Moti Ram.

In contrast, the High Court of Rajasthan upheld the trial court’s decision in a subsequent appeal. The High Court’s reasoning was based on two main ideas:

  1. Poona Ram’s failure to assert a superior claim or disprove Moti Ram’s title to the property
  2. Moti Ram, although not currently in physical possession of the property, held a possessory title due to his long-term occupation.

Based on these considerations, Poona Ram decided to take the matter to the Supreme Court.

Final Judgment:

The Hon’ble Supreme Court stressed in its ruling the need of providing evidence of settled or established ownership when claiming possessory title to a piece of land. This called for a review of Moti Ram’s claim to the suit property to see if he had a superior title to it and whether he was in established possession of it, which would require legal dispossession. The Court also talked on the importance of Section 64 of the Limitation Act, which deals with actions taken to obtain possession of real property based on prior possession rather than title. The Court made it clear that such a lawsuit is based on possessory title rather than proprietary possession if it is filed within 12 years after the date of dispossession. The Court also discussed the idea of “settled possession,” contending that such possession, having been in existence for a long time and being acknowledged by the genuine owner, entitles the possessor to safeguard their possession and request that of a true owner. The Court further noted that Moti Ram had not offered any documentation demonstrating his real possession of the land under dispute. Having physical control over a thing or a piece of land is referred to as actual possession. Therefore, the defendant had not offered convincing evidence of possession based on the right of casual possession, and no documentary proof supported the claim of actual and continuous possession of the suit property. As a result, the Supreme Court correctly overturned the High Court of Rajasthan’s decision. In the absence of such proof, the owner is nevertheless entitled to retake possession by employing reasonable force.


People who occupy someone else’s property for a long time are frequently the subjects of illegal adverse possession claims because they take advantage of this circumstance to contest the rights of the original owner. However, the Hon’ble Supreme Court emphasized that the rightful owner of land who has been wrongfully ejected from it may regain possession peacefully and without using excessive force if they have legal ownership documents, have filed a complaint against the illegal occupier or someone attempting adverse possession, or have issued a notice against them.

Bhavesh Jangra – Legal Intern

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