Examine the proposition, “Possession is nine points of the Law”


Q.11. Examine the proposition, “Possession is nine points of the Law?


Discuss the relationship between ‘possession’ and ‘ownership’

Ans. Possession and ownership.—Possession is a de facto relation while ownership is a ‘de jure’ relation of a person with the thing ; one exists in fact, the other exists in law,

Possession is the security of facts; ownership is the guarantee of law.

Possession is nine points in law.—Apart from these distinctions, possession and ownership are closely related. Usually they co-exist and concur, Even if they do not concur in the same person, they do invariably tend to coincide. Ownership always tries to realise itself in possession and conversely, possession tries to justify itself in ownership.

All that it means is that law will presume that a possessor has a right in law as well unless contrary is proved.

“Possession”, says Ihering, “is the objective realisation of owner-ship”. It is in fact what ownership is in right. Possession is the dejure exercise of a claim, and ownership is the de facto recognition of one. Ownership is the guarantee of the law ; possession is the guarantee of facts. Possession is the de facto counterpart of ownership, possession is evidence of ownership, the possession of a thing is presumed to be in the owner of it and may put all other claimants to proof of their title. The first possession of a thing which as yet belongs to no one is a good title of right. A chimany sweeper, who finds a ring, may not be the owner, but his possessory right allows him to recover the value of the stone set in the ring from a Jeweller who refused to return it after it was handed to him for examination. Long possession creates title even to property which originally belonged to another. Thus by adverse possession exercised undisputed and continuously for a long period, ownership, may be acquired. The transfer of possession is one of the chief methods of transferring ownership. Ownership without possession is right, unaccompanied by that environment of fact in which it normally realises itself. Ownership strives to realise itself in possession and possession endeavours to justify itself in ownership.

Section 110 of the Indian Evidence Act lays down that whenever a question arises as to whether a person who is possessing something, is its owner or not, the burden of proving that he is not the owner will always be on the person so pleading.

There may be ownership without possession and possession with-out ownership, but usually they go together and coincide. Possession, even without ownership, may have the utmost practical importance. Pos-session tends to ripen into ownership. But ownership without possession, may wither away and extinguish.