NRI property litigation, which forms 60% of our litigation practice, is a major practice area of LexLords. The practice area also includes advisory work. We believe that any property decision has to be taken after consultation with the property lawyer having long experience in property litigation so that in future the need for litigation does not arise or is minimized.
We understand that disputes and disagreements are part of life. Such disputes may arise in business, family or in relation to property. Our lawyers in property litigation group provides expert advice in property matters to foreign companies, persons of Indian origin, NRI and regularly participate in court work including appeals, revisions and SLP’s in Supreme Court of India.
Our lawyers have a reputation of being assertive and highly skilled in litigation related to property of NRI. We are also experienced negotiators and perform exceedingly well during mediation and arbitration which are part of alternate dispute resolution mechanisms in vogue in India today.
How to increase chances of success in property litigation?
Property litigation must be started with great care. The first step in property litigation is “the plaint” or “the written statement”, depending on which side are you appearing for. The plaint has all the important facts of the case and the last paragraph of the plaint explained to the court as to how the court has pecuniary and territorial jurisdiction to start trial. Let us understand the jurisdictional aspect of the plaint. Pecuniary jurisdiction means the court in which the cases being filed has the jurisdiction to try the case in regard to the amount of money which is involved in the matter. For example, in certain states in India district courts do not have jurisdiction to try property disputes for more than twenty lakh. Such cases, depending on the state in which the cases being filed, are filed directly in High Court. Territorial jurisdiction means that the court in whose jurisdiction the property is located shall have the jurisdiction to start trial in respect of that property. If the disputed properties are located in several jurisdictions, case has to be started in several jurisdictions, depending on the state laws. Another matter which must be clarified before complaint is filed in the court is limitation. Every case can be filed in the court within a specified period of limitation, after which a case cannot be filed. It must be explained to the court in the plaint itself as to how the plaint/the case is within the period of limitation and is therefore not barred. In case of written statement (if Non-Resident Indian (NRI) is appearing as defendant), all the objections mentioned above must be taken so that the case of the plaintiff’s dismissed after final arguments.
If there is any defect in the case, especially as to the jurisdiction limitation, the court will not outrightly reject the case itself. However at the time of final arguments, such points may be taken as mentioned above and the court may be inclined to dismiss the plaint itself merely on the ground of jurisdiction or limitation. Years may pass when the first step of litigation has been taken and when the court arrives at a decision. After so many years, the first step decides the fate of the case. Therefore it is very important that the first step takes most of the time of lawyers and clients. Our lawyers, having more than forty years of experience, are expert in handling the nitty-gritties of law and making sure that the first step lasts throughout dependency of the trial, appeals and all revisions which may be filed by the plaintiff or the defendant. We ensure that the client knows the entire process and to our interaction with the client, we are fully aware of all the facts – in our favour or against us – to ensure success in litigation.
Let us understand this with the help of an example. A client from United Kingdom approached us about a property dispute of property which is located in Bhatinda. When we started the case, the opposite side (defendants) took all the pleas mentioned above in their written statement. Throughout dependency of this case, starting from Bhatinda at district court (at two levels – civil Judge senior division and district judge), a regular second appeal in Chandigarh High Court and a special leave to petition under article 136 of the Constitution of India in Supreme Court arguments were made on the pleas mentioned above. Since the case was filed on solid foundations, our client won the case throughout from trial court in Supreme Court in all the appeals and revisions. Our lawyers have similar experiences in Delhi, Mumbai and Gujarat.
LexLords Property Litigation services
Our litigation services to NRI clients includes court cases in relation to –
- Breach of contract in relation to commercial and residential property
- Claims of compensation and damages
- Construction and development disputes with builders and promoters
- Disputes between co-sharers
- Disputes before land revenue authorities like tehsildar, district Magistrate, Commissioner, FCR
- Certiorari (a kind of writ) in High Courts arising from land disputes before revenue authorities.
- Illegal and fraudulent transfer of property
- Illegal possession of property
- Intestate succession including probate
- Letters of administration
- Litigation in relation to wills
- Negligence during construction of property
- Partition of property
- Succession certificate
- Tenancy disputes with landlords or tenants
- Wills and trusts