Caretaker cannot gain possessory title to property


Allowing an appeal in Maria Margarida Sequeria Fernandes and Others v Erasmo Jack de Sequeria (Dead) through LRs, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that a caretaker, watchman or servant “can never acquire interest in the property irrespective of his long possession”. The court also held that “no one acquires title to the property if he or she was allowed to stay in the property gratuitously”.

House_in_GoaThis “unfortunate litigation” as the court described it, centred on a two-decade-long legal battle between Fernandes and her deceased brother, Sequeria, whom she had appointed as a caretaker of her property after she married in 1974.

Sequeria moved out of the property in 1991. Fernandes returned to it in 1992, but was forced out a few months later after Sequeria obtained an injunction. The injunction was upheld by Bombay High Court.

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The update of court judgments is compiled by Bhasin & Co, Advocates, a corporate law firm based in New Delhi. The authors can be contacted at or Readers should not act on the basis of this information without seeking professional legal advice.