RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF LAND

Published By The Daily Star on March 19, 2011 (Link Above)

This week Your Advocate is Barrister Omar Khan Joy, Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh. He is the head of the chambers of a renowned law firm, namely, ‘Legal Counsel’, which has expertise mainly in commercial law, corporate law, family law, employment and labor law, land law, banking law, constitutional law, criminal law, IPR and in conducting litigations before courts of different hierarchies. Our civil and criminal law experts from reputed law chambers will provide the legal summary advice.

Query
Dear Sir,I own a piece of land in my village. One of the neighbours of that land wants to purchase it and he several times insisted me to sell it to him. I refused his proposal initially and I told him if I ever decide to sell my land then he will be the one to whom I will sell. The main problem is that he is too much adamant and he wants to occupy the land at any cost without further delay.

At present he is threatening me over cell phone that, if I don’t sell the land to him, he will not allow me to enjoy the benefit of that land. Moreover, he forcibly occupied some portion of my land by digging a narrow canal around it, which is adjacent to his own land. Though he was told not to dig my portion of land but he ignored it. As a result 2 kathas from my original land has been occupied by him.

To the extreme of his behaviour, during cultivation period he does not allow my people to cultivate the land. I talked to him over cell phone about the matter but he overlooked it and replied that, “you live in Dhaka and you do not need this land. Why don’t you sell the land to me? I will make you bound to sell the land to me”.

I even talked with the local people of that area regarding this situation but that didn’t help me much to stop his greed towards my land. At present I am quite helpless. Please let me know how I can have my legal grievance addressed.

Humun Azad
Tajmahal Road
Mohammadpur. Dhaka.

Response
I would like to thank you very much for your query. From the given fact, it appears that you are looking for recovering the possession of your land from the neighbour and also to stop him from his misdeed.

As far as recovering possession of your land is concerned, the Specific Relief Act 1877 appears to be relevant. From the fact it is not clear for how long part of your land was forcibly occupied. Therefore, you may not able to file a suit under Section 9 for recovery of possession as it can only be done within six months of dispossession. However, you may have recourse to Section 8 of the same Act as there is no such bar for the application of this section.

Alternatively, you may also file a case under Section 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898. This section empowers the Magistrate to restore the possession to the party forcefully dispossessed. However, in order to invoke this section, it is necessary to inform the Magistrate that a dispute concerning the piece of land is likely to cause breach of peace.

Regarding the threat made to you over phone, you can file a General Diary (GD) in the local Police Station for any future reference.

Although you have mentioned that the local people are not co-operating you regarding this matter nonetheless, you should try for settling the matter beyond the court. We always prefer negotiation beyond the court as litigation is always time consuming.

I hope the aforesaid opinion will help you to solve your problem.

For detailed query contact: omar@legalcounselbd.com