Rights of legal heirs on grandfather's land illegally acquired
Person A purchased a piece of land 2 acres 37 cents from person B on 1st June 1949 in a remote village near Kanchipuram Tamil Nadu, Person A later settled in a different city and expired in 1975. His family was not aware of this land until they discovered the original land related sale deed and other documents in 2012. Soon after all his legal heirs including 2 daughters and 4 sons visited that place and to their surprise found that the land had already been sold to a person C (expired in 2006) via a registered sale deed dated 1969, now Person C daughter-in-law has been enjoying this property (Person C, her husband and her only son have expired leaving behind an only daughter and a daugther-in-law (who are alive), the only daughter has also given up her share to her sister-in-law (Person C's daughter-in-law) and hence the daughter-in-law has been the only sole legal heir enjoying the property (she also does not have any children)
Now surprised with this suspicious sale deed, person A's family carefully scrutinised the so-called sale deed and discovered that the signature of their father (Seller) was indeed a bogus one and didnt match his actual signatures in the other documents (proofs available). Now Person C and her legal heirs have been cultivating this agricultural land since 1969 and have all the land related patta/khatha and other documents in their name and also have recently (2 months ago) paid the property tax and other statutory taxes to the government. They also have the support of the village panchayat head and when Person A's legal heirs (sons and daughters) went to claim their father's land they where discouraged and chased away initially. After a few months, in a local panchayat meeting, person C legal heir (daughter in law) agreed to pay a sum of 5 lakhs as compensation to Person A's family.
Now, what are the rights of Person A's legal heirs:
a) If they contest and claim this land in the court of law?
b) Since Person A and his family had almost forgotten about this land for so many years and person C's and her legal heirs have been cultivating this agricultural land from 1969 (without any rights other then this so-called "bogus sale deed"), if contested in the court, can the judgement favour Person C?
Asked in Property Law from Chennai, Tamil Nadu
.1) A legal heirs have to file suit for declaration that they are the owners of the property and to set aside sale deed made in favour of C on grounds of forgery
2) seek an injunction restraining sale of land by C legal heirs
3) court will decide rival claims based on evidence on record
4) if you are .able to prov signatures were forged on basis of handwriting expert opinion you would succeed
if the sale deed turns out to be a false one the title will not be legal, hence the transfer of it and present possession, holding an d occupation are questionable.So the holder of the property will lose their legal right of it
The present holder of the property can take defense of adverse possession , The sale deed has to be disproved.
From your description great chance is there for A' legal heirs if they cna prove the signatures are bigus.
1. It seems that the sale deed is the result of a fraud committed by C wherein the signatures of A have been forged.
2. The legal heirs of A can challenge the sale in the court to claim their lawful share in the property of A which has been inherited by them subsequent to A's demise. Once the sale is struck down as illegal by the court the law of inheritance will open in favour of A's legal heirs.
3. Which way the judgment of a court would go cannot be foretold by anyone.
1.The legal heirs if person A should immediately file a declaratory suit before the local Court praying for the declaration that the the signature of A appearing in the so called sale deed by which he has purportedly sold the property to person C is forged for which the said sale deed is invalid. The Court should also be prated for a direction upon the registrar and all other land related departments like land revenue department to cancel the name of person C and/or his legal heirs duly substitution with the name of person A and/or his legal heirs,
2. If the legal heirs of person C can establish that they are or she is in possession of the said land for more than 12 years against the expressed unwillingness of the legal heirs of person A then they/she can claim title of the property on the ground of advserse possession,
3.Engage an experienced lawyer having expertise in dealing with property matters.