10 Parameters for Quashing of FIR or Criminal Complaint
Rohtas Singh Vs Union of India and Ors
RFA No. 1010/2018
About/from the judgment:
Stating that “indigency does not mean entitlement to be dishonest“, the Delhi High Court has imposed costs of Rs. 25,000 on a poor litigant for contesting a frivolous suit over a plot of land worth Rs. 100 crore.
The said amount shall be deposited towards the Bharat Ke Veer corpus, the Court has directed.
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Valmiki Mehta in an appeal preferred against an order of the trial court. The trial court had dismissed Appellant’s deceased father’s (the original Plaintiff) suit for declaration of ownership right over the said plot of land at Parliament Street, New Delhi.
After Delhi Metro Rail Corporation “illegally dispossessed” the Plaintiff’s family from the said 500 sq. yds. plot at Parliament Street, the Plaintiff moved the trial court claiming ownership by adverse possession. Due to his poor condition, he was allowed to contest the suit without any court fee. The worth of the said plot of land, as recorded by the Court, stood at around Rs. 100 Crores. The Plaintiff and his family members were working as domestic servants in the neighborhood of the said plot of land.
The Plaintiff had argued that they had “uninterrupted and exclusive possession” of the property for the last 40 years, and had hence become owners by adverse possession. To establish their control over the property, the Plaintiff stated that since 1952, the property was assessed for the purpose of municipal tax in the name of his father. It was also claimed that 7 pakka rooms were constructed at the spot, and a cycle stand was also in place since 1940.
DMRC submitted before the Trial Court that in 2000, the Government of India had allotted the said plot as well as the surrounding area to it. Plaintiff had illegally encroached not upon 500 sq. yds. plot but an area of 40 sq. mtrs. It also denied all other averments made by that Plaintiff. Stating that the Plaintiff had no right, title and interest over the property, DMRC argued that the case was false and frivolous.
Upon cross-examination of the original Plaintiff and examining the evidence in the matter, the trial court dismissed the suit after it found that the Plaintiff’s claims were baseless and false.
In appeal, the High Court agreed with the findings of the trial court and observed,
“Courts do not easily accept pleas of adverse possession because adverse possession commences in a wrong and is maintained against a right. On the basis of just one document being Ex.PW1/3 (Municipal Tax receipt dated 1952) and that too with respect to Municipal Quarter No. 37, it cannot be held that the plaintiff was in adverse possession of the suit plot of 500 sq. yds. for 40 years prior to 31.01.2001.”
Noting that Parliament Street is one of the most expensive areas in Delhi, the Court observed that the Plaintiff had initiated the suit only to “acquire material things”.
“Unfortunately, in a city like Delhi, and more so as is often referred to as this Kalyug, people will stop at nothing to acquire material things. The plaintiff was one such person who wanted ownership by adverse possession of a plot of 500 sq. yds. in Sansad Marg/Parliament Street. It is most unfortunate that the appellant as well as the plaintiff were indigent persons and they have been allowed to contest the suit as well as file this appeal without paying any court fee, but indigency does not mean entitlement to be dishonest.”
Finding that there was no merit in the appeal, the High Court dismissed it with costs of Rs. 25,000 after noting that one of the legal heirs of the deceased Plaintiff is a government employee.
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