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If title of a property is in issue, the relief of declaration is always implicit, and it is not necessary to separately pray for it: High Court of Delhi

The Court, even in a case of possession, can record a finding on the title. In the present case, the question of title was not only specifically pleaded but was also made a specific matter of dispute through the second Suit. The issues were framed accordingly and the parties led evidence on the same. Therefore, no fault can be found on the learned Trial Court proceeding to examine the respective claim of title to the Suit Land by the appellants and respondent nos. 1 and 2. This was held in MADAN MOHAN DASS & ANR. V. BRIGADIER YELLEPEDDY S RAO (RETIRED) & ORS. [RFA 1075/2019 & CMs 54485/2019, 20749/2020] in the High Court of Delhi by a single bench consisting of JUSTICE NAVIN CHAWLA.

Facts are that two suits were filed by respondents against the appellants in relation to claim of title to the Suit Land wherein, an ex parte order of injunction was passed in favour of the respondents. Appeals have been filed challenging the common judgment and order passed by the learned Additional District.

The counsel for the appellants contended  that the respondents were not entitled to any relief in the Suit inasmuch as they could not claim ownership of the Suit Land based on the alleged Agreement to Sell and the General Power of Attorney alleged to have been executed by Smt. B.G. Lakshmi and her husband, late Sh. B.K. Garudachar in their favour.

The counsel for the respondents denied the submission of the appellants, and submitted that the defendant, in her Written Statement had duly admitted the execution of the Agreement to Sell, receipt and the General Power of Attorney in favour of the respondents.

The court made reference to the judgment of Apex court in uraj Lamp & Industries Pvt. Ltd. Thr. Director vs. State of Haryana & Anr., wherein parameters for granting anticipatory bail have been laid down it was held that “ It has been submitted that making declaration that GPA sales and SA/GPA/will transfers are not legally valid modes of transfer is likely to create hardship to a large number of persons who have entered into such transactions and they should be given sufficient time to regularize the transactions by obtaining deeds of conveyance. It is also submitted that this decision should be made applicable prospectively to avoid hardship”.

The court also made reference to judgment of the Apex court in M. Siddiq (Dead) through LRs (Ram Janmabhumi Temple Case) v. Mahant Suresh Das & Ors, wherein it was observed that “.Several decisions of this Court have interpreted the provisions of Section 110. Section 110 is based on the principle that possession in and of itself may raise a presumption of title. But this applies when the facts disclose no title in either of the disputants in which case, as it is said, possession alone decides. Hence, on the other hand, it is also well settled that the presumption cannot arise when the facts are known.”.

Considering the facts of the case and the legal precedents, the court observed that, the respondents have affixed the requisite court fee treating the Suit to be for seeking a declaration. The parties also appreciated the nature of the suit filed by the respondent and accordingly, the issues were settled and the parties led their evidence. That as no prejudice was caused or has even been alleged to be caused to the appellants the hyper-technical objection of the appellants, could be sustained and is rejected. Thus dismissing the appeal.

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