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Heirs can claim right over a property within specified time

Time limit prescribed to institute a suit is 12 years

I bought a property in 1982 from a person who had purchased the property in 1967 from a legal heir of the said property. But now some more people claim to be legal heirs of the original owner and are claiming title and possession for their share. What is the legal remedy, if any, for me to nullify claims made by these legal heirs?

—Sudhir

While answering this query, we are assuming that the person (say A) from whom you purchased the property in 1982 has in turn purchased the property from a person (B) who inherited the said property from his father under his father’s last will and testament, i.e. the property was bequeathed to him under his father’s last will and testament. We are further assuming that when you have stated that persons claiming to be legal heirs of the original owner, you are referring to heirs of B.

We are also assuming that the person from whom you purchased the said property (A), had paid full stamp duty on the sale deed executed between the original owner (B) and him (A’s title document) while purchasing the property from the original owner (B) in 1967, under the provisions of the applicable stamp act and that the said sale deed was duly registered under the provisions of the Registration Act, 1908.

We are also assuming that you have paid full stamp duty under the provisions of the applicable stamp act on the sale deed executed by the subsequent owner (A) and you (i.e. your title document) while purchasing the property from the subsequent owner (A) in 1982, and that the said sale deed was duly registered under the provisions of the Registration Act.

As per the provisions of the Limitation Act, 1963, the time limit prescribed to institute a suit for possession for enforcing a right relating to an immovable property is 12 years.

Thus the legal heirs of the original owner are barred by law as per the provisions of the Limitation Act and cannot file a suit today, i.e. 46 years after the property was transferred by the original owner to the subsequent owner. Thus the claim of the persons claiming to be legal heirs of B is barred.

In the event that the legal heirs of the original owner (B) are trying to deprive you of your possession of the said property, you may file a suit before a court of competent jurisdiction for declaration of title under section 34 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963.

However a suit under the said section can only be filed against a person who is denying, or who is interested in denying, a person’s title to any legal character or right in any property. In the present situation, unless the legal heirs of the original owner are attempting to interfere with your possession of the immovable property, it would not be advisable to file a suit under the said section 34 of the Specific Relief Act.

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