The Top Landmark Property Cases That Shaped Legal Precedent

Property law is one of the most complex and dynamic areas of law in India. It deals with various aspects of ownership, transfer, possession, use and enjoyment of land and buildings. Property law also involves the protection of intellectual property rights, such as patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs.

In this blog, we will look at some of the landmark property disputes in India that shaped legal precedent. These cases have had a significant impact on the development of property law for various types of property disputes and the rights of various stakeholders involved in property transactions.

Landmark Cases on Ancestral Property

One of the most contentious issues leading to property disputes in India is the inheritance of ancestral property, especially among Hindus. Ancestral property refers to the property that has been inherited by a person from his or her ancestors for up to four generations. According to the Hindu Succession Act of 1956, daughters did not have any inheritance rights in ancestral property. However, this changed in 2005, when an amendment was made to the Act that gave equal rights to daughters as sons in ancestral property disputes in India.

However, the amendment also clarified that it cannot be applied retrospectively. Therefore, if a property was alienated or partitioned before December 20, 2004, when the Bill was introduced, daughters could not claim their share.

Prakash v. Phulavati (2016)

The Supreme Court, in this case, held that the daughter’s right to ancestral property depends on whether her father was alive on September 9, 2005, when the amendment came into force. This set the precedent for many other inheritance property disputes in India.

Danamma v. Amar (2018)

This was another landmark case on ancestral property disputes in India, where the Supreme Court held that a daughter’s right to ancestral property does not depend on whether she was born before or after the amendment. The court ruled that a daughter becomes a coparcener (a person who shares equal rights in an undivided property) by birth and has the same rights and liabilities as a son.

Landmark Cases on Consumer Protection

Another important aspect of property disputes in India is consumer protection, which aims to safeguard the interests of buyers against unfair practices by sellers or developers. The Consumer Protection Act of 1986 provides a mechanism for consumers to file complaints against defective goods or services, including real estate projects with the help of law firms in Chandigarh or elsewhere. The Act also establishes various forums for the redressal of consumer grievances, such as district consumer forums, state consumer commissions and the National Consumer Commission.

Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure Ltd v. Govindan Raghavan (2019)

In one of the landmark cases on consumer protection, the Supreme Court held that a buyer can approach the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) directly if the aggregate value of his or her claims exceeds Rs 1 crore, irrespective of whether he or she is filing individually or as part of an association. The court also held that a buyer can seek compensation for mental agony and harassment caused by delay in the possession or delivery of flats by developers through property lawyers Chandigarh or elsewhere.

M/S Imperia Structures Ltd v. Anil Patni (2020)

In another landmark case on consumer protection in property disputes in India, the Supreme Court, in this case, held that a buyer can seek a refund of his or her money along with interest if there is an unreasonable delay in handing over possession of flats by developers. The court also held that a buyer can invoke the arbitration clause in the buyer-seller agreement only if he or she agrees to it voluntarily and not under any coercion or influence.

Landmark Cases on Intellectual Property Rights

Intellectual property rights are another crucial aspect of property law, according to Lex Solutions, as it deals with the protection of creations of the mind, such as inventions, artistic works, designs and symbols. These include patents, trademarks, copyrights and designs, which grant exclusive rights to their owners to use, exploit and benefit from their creations.

Novartis AG v. Union of India (2013)

In one of the landmark cases on intellectual property rights, the Supreme Court rejected the patent application of Novartis for its anti-cancer drug Glivec on the ground that it did not satisfy the criteria of novelty and inventive step. The court also held that mere incremental changes or improvements in existing drugs do not qualify for patent protection under Section 3(d) of the Patents Act, 1970.

Bajaj Auto Ltd v. TVS Motor Company Ltd (2010)

In another landmark case on intellectual property rights, in this case, the Madras High Court granted an interim injunction to Bajaj Auto against TVS Motor for using its patented technology of twin spark plugs in its two-wheelers. The court held that Bajaj Auto had made out a prima facie case of infringement and irreparable injury and that the balance of convenience was in its favour.


What are the most common types of property cases in India?

The most common types of property cases in India are either disputes over inherited property, property title/ownership, delays in possession, non-payment of dues, joint property ownership disputes, real estate fraud, and illegal possession.

Why is inherited property the most disputed?

Inherited property is most disputed in India because the law of division of property is different for people belonging to different religions. There are several other factors too, like unwritten or spoken wills, title fraud, and much more that make inheritances highly disputable.

What are some of the laws regarding property cases in India?

Some of the laws regarding property cases in India are the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 and Registration Act, 1908, the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013, and the Transfer of Property Act, 1882.

How can property disputes be resolved?

In India, there are two legal ways to resolve property disputes, settlement or litigation.


These are some of the landmark property disputes in India that shaped legal precedent. They have contributed to the evolution of property law and the protection of various rights and interests of property owners, buyers, sellers, developers and consumers. They have also addressed some of the emerging challenges and issues in property law, such as ancestral property, consumer protection and intellectual property rights.

As you can see, property law can be a very complicated issue for both the courts and the general public, which is why most of these landmark cases are settled in higher courts. That’s why it’s a good idea to always have a property lawyer in Chandigarh, or wherever else you reside so that you have someone to guide you through the murkiness of property laws in India.