Lal Lakeer And Abadi Deh

Lal Lakeer and Abadi Deh

Historical background of Lal Lakeer and Abadi Deh property:

When the British went to the subcontinent for the purpose of trade, they needed a map to avoid the difficulty of traveling. So, along with trade, they also started making maps. At that time, most of the human settlements were settled along the banks of rivers. A lot of time was required to collect the data of that residential area. Due to lack of time, a red line was drawn wherever there were human settlements which is called as Lal Lakeer and Abadi Deh. What was its pupose? Its only purpose was to point out that the population is already present here and when the time will be available, its data will be collected and its detailed map will be drawn.

It showed that the data of this red line area has not been collected yet, it has not been registered and there is no incorporation of this area in the government record. So besides this area of red line, the record of other area was compiled with specification of khewat and Khatuni in record of revenue. All the records by the British were handed over to the Government of India and Pakistan while returning back. However, the two governments later did not get enough time to register this red line area and add it to the official record  of revenue department so that their mutations and registered deeds etc. can be executed. So these areas are still named as Laal Lakeer or Abadi Deh Property.

Revenue record of Lal Lakeer or Abadi Deh property:

Regarding Lal Lakeer or Abadi Deh property rights, the law is laid down in a case in which the court faced a dispute relating to ownership of a house situated in Abaadi Deh. The ruling was given that it is not true that the record of area of Lal Lakir is not incorporated in the record of revenue. The truth is that this area is duly recognized in the revenue record and that there exists revenue record bearing names ‘Shajra Abadi’ and ‘Khasra Abadi’ which was carefully prepared during the course of settlement operations with regard to areas lying within the boundary of villages in the Province of Punjab. That Shajra Abadis contained full details of owners and occupants of various units as well as information about the type of construction present thereon, whereas Khasra Abadis contained accurate account of all units in Abaadis detailing their different shapes and complete measurements of each unit.

Kamal Din vs. Manzoor Ahmad (1989 CLC 2148)

Riasat Ali V. Yaseen 2022 MLD 1825

Adjudication by demarcation of Lal Lakeer Property

In a case where the question arose that whether the defendants are in possession of house no 2502 or 2501, it was held by the Supreme Court of Pakistan that the trial court should have examined the old revenue record with a view to identify the exact location of both the houses no 2501 and 2502, therefore the case was remanded with direction to summon the old revenue record, pertaining to underneath land of the houses including Shajra Khistwar , Massavi, Register Haqdaran Zameen and thereafter appoint a Revenue Officer as local commissioner to visit the site and identify/ demarcate both houses in view of above noted documents and submit report for disposal of suit accordingly. Relevant case laws are given below:

Muhammad Aslam V Muhammad Nazir Khan 2008 SCMR 1075

Nooruddin and 11 others V Abdul Wahid 2000 SCMR 91

Anwar Club and another V Muhammad Sarwar PLD 1992 Lahore 63

Even in the presence of sale deed, revenue record and site plan, the demarcation of the two plots was ordered by the appellate court which was upheld 

Aziz Mukhtar Ahmad and others V Madrissa Fayyaz Ul Haq through Nazim and others 2007 YLR 295

In Shana’s case, it was decided that where evidence revealed that there are two different khasra numbers, one of Abadi Deh and the other of Ghair Mumkin Chaparr, in these circumstances, the courts were required to appoint local commission to investigate and demarcate at the spot to ascertain the existing construction and it’s location.

Shana V Punjab Province through Collector and another 2006 YLR 2874

High Court Rules for Demarcation

For cases like identification and Demarcation, specific procedure is provided in High Court Rules and Orders (Volume 1) to be followed. Rule 1,2 and 3  of chapter 1-M provides:

I. Local inquiry.—In ‘Hadd-Shikni’ suits and other suits of boundary disputes of land, falling within the jurisdiction of a Civil Court, it is generally desirable that enquiry be made on the spot. This can usually be done in the following ways:–

(a) by suggesting that one party or the other should apply to the Revenue Officer to fix the limits under section 117(1) of the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1967 (XVII of 1967). Time for such purpose should be granted under Order XVII, rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure;

(b) by appointing a local commissioner, and

(c) by the Court itself making a local enquiry.

2. Enquiry by Revenue Officer.—An order of the Revenue Officer made under section 101 of the Land Revenue Act is not conclusive; but when his proceedings have been held in the presence of, or after notice, to the parties of the suit, and contain details of enquiry and of the method adopted in arriving at the result it would be a valuable piece of evidence. It may be noted that an Assistant Collector of the second grade can deal with cases in regard to boundaries which do not coincide with the limits of an estate.

3. Appointment of Commissioner.–

Similarly the report of the Local Commissioner should contain full details so that the Court may satisfactorily deal with the objections made against it. No person other than a Revenue Officer (or retired Revenue Officer) not below the rank of a Field Kanungo should usually be appointed a Local Commissioner.” Rule 4 lays down the instructions for the guidance of the Local Commissioner. 

Ubedul Haq and 4 others V Muhammad Tufail and another 2003 YLR 1219

Owner’s right would prevail in Laal Lakeer property

In case of Taj Wali the ruling was based upon the maxim Possessio contra omnes valet praeter eur cui ius  sit possessionis ( he that hath possession hath right against all but him that hath the very right); adversus extraneous vitiose possessio prodesse solet ( prior possession is a good title of ownership against all who cannot show a better title).

It was held that the above principle has now crystallized and, it is legally settled that the person in possession of an immovable property acquires a vested right to possess, which cannot be taken away unless the challenge is made thereto by a person who shows prior or better title through transfer inheritance. One has to be mindful that this right is subject to legislation, as is witnessed in villages in the Province of Punjab under Punjab Conferment of Proprietary Rights on Non-Proprietors in Abadi Deh Act, 1995. No such legislation has been introduced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa rendering protection to possessory rights in Abadi Deh. Accordingly, the rights of Taj Wali Shah, as a co-owner would prevail over that of Bakhti Zaman, as a possessor.

Taj wali Shah V Bakhti Zaman 2019 SCMR 84

Co-owner’s right over entire undivided property would prevail against mere Possessor

The rule is that  regarding undivided immovable property, when a suit is filed by one of the co-sharers for ejectment of a trespasser or person exercising possession over disputed property, filing of such a suit could not be considered that he denied the title of other co-sharers. He must be deemed to be in possession on behalf of other co-sharers and adverse possession can not be founded on the basis of such exclusive possession. Such a suit would be considered for the benefit of all the co-sharers 

 Ahmad and others V Parshotam and Others AIR 1929 OUDH 337

Taj wali Shah V Bakhti Zaman 2019 SCMR 84 

Possession of Common pathway of Abadi Deh

Mere usage of a common pathway by the respondents in the absence of any proof of exclusive possession of it does not amount to possession. Pathways form part of the Abadi Deh and are to be used by everyone in the village, unless of course, the residents (or respondents in this case) had through any means denied access of the pathway over the years to other residents of the village, thereby establishing exclusivity of possession. Khaka Tasweeri shows that the pathway is connected to other pathways in the village and is a communal pathway just like the other pathways in the village.

Even otherwise, the opening of the second gate by the appellant into the pathway does not in any manner block or restrict the usage of the passage by the respondents. The passing reference to the right to privacy due to long usage is also incorrect as the said pathway merges into other thoroughfares in the village and maintains a communal and public character.

Muhammad Irfan V Mst Gull Afroz Jan (deceased) 2018 SCMR 1199

Case laws on civil matters.