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P&H HC to Assess Legal Possession of 96- yr Old Gift Validity

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punjab and haryana high court Law Insider

Khushi Bajpai

Published on: 05 August 2022 at 19:40 IST

 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has instructed the trial court to assess, among other things, the legitimacy of the deed, which was given to a community involved in the skinning, washing, and drying of animal skin over a century ago by the ruler of the then-princely state of Malerkotla.

In his ruling, Justice Arun Palli also made it plain that a suit for a “injunction simpliciter” could also address the issue of title. The property has been used by the community “from time immemorial,” which is where the case first began.

According to Justice Palli, the then-ruler granted them legal possession of the property and left it to them in a gift document dated November 26, 1926. The “suit property” was therefore included in the continuing.

Justice Palli added that it was undeniable that the plaintiff-community members had filed a “simpliciter complaint for injunction.” However, the injunction that was prayed for was not only to protect possession but also to prevent any interference with their possession, management, control, and right to build on the property that was the subject of the lawsuit.

Whether the contested land belonged to the community and was given to it via the gift deed, or whether the document was forged and made up, was one of the questions the trial court framed.

Both sides were aware of the genuine nature of the dispute, according to Justice Palli. They led their evidence as a result. However, the trial court decided not to make a decision on any of the six questions it had framed because it believed that the subject of ownership or title could not be addressed in a simpliciter petition for an injunction.

In addition, Justice Palli claimed that the trial court avoided deciding the issue of the execution and legality of the gift deed since doing so would have determined “nothing but the ownership of the claimants.”

Justice Palli added that the trial court’s approach, analysis and understanding of the matter was, ex facie, flawed.

“There cannot be any quarrel with the general proposition that in a simpliciter suit for injunction, the question of title/ownership cannot be examined. But it has not been laid down as yet as an absolute principle of law that notwithstanding anything, the question of title can never be examined or gone into in a suit for injunction simpliciter”.