The High Court of Karnataka Court Enforces Eviction, Penalizes Appellant Rs. 50,000 for Baseless Adverse Possession Argument

Case Title – Chinnaswamy. K Vs. Theosophy Company (Mysore) Pvt. Ltd.
Case Number – Civil Revision Petition No. 483 of 2023 (SC)
Dated on – 9th May, 2024
Quorum – Justice N S Sanjay Gowda

In the case of Chinnaswamy. K Vs. Theosophy Company (Mysore) Pvt. Ltd.  the Appellant was employed by the Respondent-Company as a watchman. As a part of his employment benefits, the Appellant was provided with rent-free quarters by the company. The Appellant reached the age of superannuation on November 30, 2016. Despite his retirement, the Appellant refused to vacate the accommodation provided by the company. The Respondent-Company sent a legal notice to the Appellant, which was ignored. The Respondent-Company then instituted a suit for eviction (S.C. No. 1507/2017) against the Appellant. The Trial Court ruled in favour of the Respondent-Company on 8th of June, 2023, ordering the Appellant to vacate the property. The Appellant instituted a revision petition challenging the judgment.

The main issue of the case whirled around whether a jural relationship of ‘landlord and tenant’ existed between the Appellant and the Respondent-Company due to the provision of rent-free accommodation?

Whether the Appellant and his family had perfected their title to the suit schedule property through adverse possession?
Whether the Respondent-Company was a legitimate entity and the rightful owner of the suit property?

The Appellant, through their counsel, in the said case contented that the Respondent-Company was non-existent and that his family had acquired the title of the property through adverse possession.

The Appellant denied ever being employed by the Respondent-Company, asserting that he engaged in selling vegetables and gardening work.
It was asserted by the Appellants that the property belonged to BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) and that the fraudulent transactions involving one Ramaswamy Reddy had clouded the title.

The Respondent, through their counsel, in the said case furnished evidence of its existence, including Articles of Association, Memorandum of Association, Income Tax Returns, Bank Statements, a certificate of incorporation, and other relevant documents along-with a registered gift deed and khatha certificates showing the ownership of the suit property. 

The Respondent presented documents such as the Appointment Letters, Salary Registers, Bank Statements, and a Memorandum of Employment confirming the status of the Appellant as a employee and the provision of the Rent-free Accommodation.
Moreover, the Respondent refuted the claim of adverse possession by providing evidence of continuous ownership and employment-related occupancy of the Appellant.

The court in the case of Chinnaswamy. K Vs. Theosophy Company (Mysore) Pvt. Ltd, discovered that the Respondent-Company was a legitimate entity based on the documentary evidence provided and confirmed the ownership of the property through the registered gift deed and Khatha certificates. The court established that the Appellant was indeed an employee of the Respondent and was provided with Rent-free accommodation as part of his employment benefits. The court dismissed the claim of the Appellant for adverse possession, stating it unsupported by the evidence and deemed the eviction suit maintainable.

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Judgement Reviewed by – Sruti Sikha Maharana
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