Objections to the execution of decree for possession

Scope of powers of Executing Court:

The respondents instituted a suit under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act against the appellant, alleging that the appellant had forcibly taken possession of the land. In response it was the case of the appellant that he was neither in possession of the land nor had he dispossessed the respondents. The suit was decreed by the trial court ex-parte on 30 May 2009, upon which execution was initiated by the respondents as decree-holders.

Bar u/s 185 of Land Reforms Act:

The appellant appears to have filed objections to the execution of the decree on 12 July 2010 on the ground that Section 185 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act bars a civil suit for the recovery of possession. The objections were dismissed by the executing Court on 21 August 2010 with the following observations:

“The Delhi Land Reforms Act is applicable with regard to the agricultural land only but the land in question is not agriculture land which has been vehemently argued by the counsel for the DH and in support of her contention placed on record the copies of the electricity bills pertaining to the same khasra number which is subject matter of the instant execution proceedings. Even otherwise, it is a matter of common knowledge that most of the rural land in Delhi has become urbanized and private colonies, may be unauthorized, have mushroomed on such agricultural land. This fact has since been substantiated with the help of electricity bills which takes out the sting from the contentions raised by the counsel for the objector and in the process strengthens the case of the DH, the arguments is thus, brushed aside that the court lack of inherent jurisdiction on account of the fact that land in question is governed by the Delhi Land Reforms Act being agriculture land.” The order of the executing court was challenged by the appellant under Article 227 of the Constitution. The High Court dismissed the petition by its judgment dated 19 September 2014. The High Court rejected the submission that the decree obtained under Section 6 of the Specific Relief Act was a nullity on the ground that the suit was barred by Section 185 of the Delhi Land Reforms Act, 1954.”

The High Court has relied upon the earlier decisions of the court following Ram Lubbaya Kapoor v J R Chawla (1986 RLR 432), in which it has been held that to be ‘land’ for the purpose of the Delhi Land Reforms Act,1954, the land must be held or occupied for purposes connected with agriculture, horticulture or animal husbandry and if it is not used for such purposes, it ceases to be land for the purposes of the Act. The same view has been taken by the Delhi High Court in Narain Singh and Anr v Financial Commissioner ((2008) 105 DRJ 122), Neelima Gupta and Ors v Yogesh Saroha (156 (2009) DLT 129), and Anand J Datwani v Ms Geeti Bhagat Datwani (2013 (137) DRJ 146).

Scope of power of executing court: (See section 47 of CPC)

The validity of a decree can be challenged before an executing court only on the ground of an inherent lack of jurisdiction which renders the decree a nullity. In Hira Lal Patni v Sri Kali Nath ((1962) 2 SCR 747),  Court held thus: Continue reading “Objections to the execution of decree for possession”