Hiba Oral Gift & Adverse Posession
I am a Sunni Muslim and have 3 brothers and 2 sisters. My father died in the year 1996 leaving behind the following three properties:
1.Undisputed - Self Earned, 20 Acre Agricultural Land at prime location
2.Undisputed - Self Earned, 10 Acres Agricultual Land at prime location
3. Disputed - Ancestor property of 25 Acre Land Agricultural Land at rural location.
Property 1: My father had divided the 20 Acres land amonst all his children during his lifetime, this property remains undisputed
Property 2: In the year 2000 (6 years after the death of my father), all the 4 brothers and 2 sisters got the mutation of this property in our names and still possess this property as joint property.
Property 3: My father gifted the 20 Acre Agricultural property to me in the year 1994 (2 years before his death) via oral Hiba, in presence of witness. At the time of gifting the land he handed over an original sale deed pertaining to the land which was bought by his father (i.e. my grandfather) in the year 1954. I got the mutation of the said property in my name in the year 2001 (7 years after the oral hiba & 5 years after the death of my father)
Last year, in 2015 (19 years after the death of my father & 17 years after the mutation transfer of the land in my name), all my brothers and sisters have filled a partition suit against me, claiming their right on the suit property. They were well aware of the fact that the Property 3 was gifted to me by my father via Oral Hiba as I used to take care of him during his olden days. My siblings were also aware of the fact that I am the owner and sole possessor of this Property No. 3. However, there was a delay of 7 years in the mutation, the mutation of this property was done in the year 2001 on the basis of the oral hiba.The delay was due to my ill health and my work location being very far away from the property location.
In the Written Statement to the suit filed, my advocate has mentioned the following facts:
I am the absolute owner of the suit property on the basis of oral hiba that was done by my father during his lifetime. Alternatively, I claim adverse possession since I am in possession of this land for more the 12 years (20 years). I had informed about my possession and oral hiba to my siblings at the time of Third Day death Ceremony of my father (i.e. In the year 1996)
My advocate has suggested 2 options to me about the inheritance of this property:
Option 1: I mention that the suit property has come to my father through his father (i.e. my grandfather) and I produce the original sale deed of the year 1954 when my grand father has purchased this land. As mentioned, my father had handed over this sale deed to me at the time or oral hiba, in the year 1994. My father became the absolute owner of this property after the death of his father (i.e. my grandfather).
Option 2: I mention that the suit property was earned by my father itself. My father being the absolute owner of this property has the right to make a gift of the property in my favour.
Kindly suggest which of option 1 & 2 would be better. Follows are the Pros & Cons of both the options in my opinion
Option 1 Pros: The handing over of the Sale Deed by my father at the time of Oral Hiba. If I produce this original sale deed in the court, this will serve as an additional evidence for the act of Oral Hiba.
Option 1 Cons: My father has one sibling, a deceased brother. His hiers may claim the property later if they come to know that the said property had belonged to their grandfather. However this is very unlikely as they are permanently settled in the US.