“Supreme Court Rules Out Easement by Necessity in Presence of Alternative Property Access”

Case title: Manisha Mahendra Gala & Ors. V. Shalini Bhagwan Avatramani & Ors.

Case no.: Civil Appeal No. 9643 Of 2010

Dated on: 10th April 2024

Quorum: Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra


In the legal realm, disputes often arise over property rights, particularly when it comes to access and usage of shared pathways or roads. The case of Manisha Mahendra Gala & Ors. vs. Shalini Bhagwan Avatramani & Ors., hereafter referred to as the Gala case, delves into the intricacies of easementary rights over a 20ft. wide road situated on land owned by the respondents, the Ramani family. The Supreme Court of India, through its judgment dated April 10, 2024, provided a detailed analysis of the facts, submissions, issues, and the ultimate legal decision.

The dispute revolves around a 20ft. wide road located on Survey No.57 Hissa No.13A/1, presently owned by the Ramani family. The appellants, Gala family, claimed easementary rights over this road for access to their property, Survey No. 48 Hissa No.15. The Gala family argued that they had been using the road for many years and that their access to their land depended solely on this pathway. The case stemmed from two separate suits: Suit No.14 of 1994 filed by Joki Woler Ruzer (later succeeded by Mahendra Gala and then the Gala family) for declaration of easementary rights, and Suit No.7 of 1996 filed by the Ramani family to declare the Gala family’s lack of rights over the road.


The appellants, represented by senior counsel Shri Huzefa Ahmadi, contended that the Gala family’s usage of the road for many years granted them easementary rights. They also argued that the Sale Deed dated 17.09.1994, transferring land to Mahendra Gala, acknowledged their right of way over the road.


On the other hand, the respondents, represented by counsel Shri Devansh Anoop Mohta, disputed the Gala family’s claims, asserting that they had no legal right to the road.


  • Whether the appellants have acquired easementary rights over the disputed road.
  • Whether the findings of the lower courts were valid and justifiable.
  • Whether the Sale Deed dated 17.09.1994 conferred easementary rights.


The Court analyzed the evidence presented and legal precedents. It concluded that the appellants failed to establish uninterrupted use of the road for over 20 years, a requirement for acquiring easementary rights by prescription. The Sale Deed did not confer such rights, as the appellants’ predecessors did not possess them. Additionally, the Court rejected the argument of easementary rights by necessity, as there was an alternative access route available. It upheld the decisions of the lower courts, dismissing the appellants’ appeals.

The Supreme Court dismissed the appeals, ruling that the appellants had not acquired easementary rights over the disputed road. The judgement reaffirmed the principle that factual findings of lower courts can be reviewed by appellate courts, and highlighted the importance of clear evidence in establishing legal rights.

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Judgement Reviewed by – Chiraag K A

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