CIVIL

Quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit – What is annexed to the soil goes with the soil

On this admitted position the petitioners cannot be held to be trespassers in respect of the dharmasala, temple and shops; nor can it be held that the dharmasala, temple and shops belonged to the State, irrespective of the question whether the trust created was of a public or private nature. A trustee even of a public trust can be removed only by procedure known to law. He cannot be removed by an executive fiat. It is by now well settled that the maxim, what is annexed to the soil goes with the soil, has not been accepted as an absolute rule of law of this country;

These decisions show that a person who bona fide puts up constructions on land belonging to others with their permission would not be a trespasser, nor would the buildings so constructed vest in the owner of the land by the application of the maxim quicquid plantatur solo, solo cedit.

It is, therefore, impossible to hold (1) (1866) 6 W.R. 228.see Thakoor Chunder Parmanick v. Ramdhone Bhuttacharjee (1); Lala Beni Ram v. Kundan Lall (2) and Narayan Das Khettry v. Jatindranath (3).

(2) (1899) L. R. 26 I.A. 58.

(3) (1927) L.R 54 I.A. 218.

that in respect of the dharmasala, temples and shops, the State has acquired any rights whatsoever merely by reason of their being on the land belonging to the State. If the State thought that the constructions should be removed or that the condition as to resumption of the land should be invoked, it was open to the State to take appropriate legal action for the purpose. Even if the State proceeded on the footing that the trust was a public trust it should have taken appropriate legal action for the removal of the trustee as was opined by the State’s Legal Remembrancer. It is well recognised that a suit under s. 92, Civil Procedure Code, may be brought against persons in possession of the trust property even if they claim adversely to the trust, that is, claim to be owners of the property, or against persons who deny the validity of the trust. Learned Counsel for the respondents has drawn our attention to the statement of Ramji Das made ill 1925 and the order of the Revenue Minister dated December 13, 1954, and has contended that Ramji Das himself admitted that he was a more trustee. Be that so; but that does not give the State or its executive officers the right to take the law into their own hands and remove the trustee by an executive order. We must, therefore, repel the argument based on the contention that the petitioners were trespassers and could be removed by an executive order. The argument is not only specious but highly dangerous by reason of its implications and impact on law and order.


Supreme Court of India in Bishan Das And Others vs The State Of Punjab And Others on 19 April, 1961 [ 1961 AIR 1570, 1962 SCR (2) 69]
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