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WorkshopPaperSubject:EasementandLicence.
EASEMENT
Introduction:
Whenever immovable property is involved, there are
certain rights connected to the enjoyment of such immovable
property, without which rights, such property may not be
conveniently and fully held and enjoyed. Such rights are called
easement.
The term Easement is defined in Section 4 of The
IndianEasementAct,1882whichreadsasunder
Aneasementisarightwhichtheowneroroccupierofcertain
land possesses, assuch, for the beneficial enjoyment of that
land,todoandcontinuetodosomething,ortopreventand
continuetopreventsomethingbeingdone,inorupon,orin
respectofcertainotherlandnothisown,
Dominantandservientheritagesandowners.Thelandforthe
beneficial enjoyment of which the right exists is called the
dominant heritage, and the owner or occupier thereof the
dominantowner;thelandonwhichtheliabilityisimposedis
calledtheservientheritage,andtheowneroroccupierthereof
theservientowner.
Explanation.Inthefirstandsecondclausesofthissectionthe,
expressionlandincludesalsothingspermanentlyattachedto
theearth;theexpressionbeneficialenjoymentincludesalso
possibleconvenience,remoteadvantage,andevenanamenity;
and the expression to do something includes removal and
appropriation by the dominant owner, for the beneficial
enjoymentofthedominantheritage,oranypartofthesoilof
the servant heritage, or anything growing or subsisting
thereon.

Easement is a term connected to Property. Under the

propertylaws,Easementplaysmostimportantrolewhichenablesa
person owning property to enjoy his property rights without any
hurdle.EasementasdefinedunderFirstChapterandSection4ofthe
Act,isarightwhichtheowneroroccupierofcertainlandpossesses,
assuch,forthebeneficialenjoymentoftheland,todoandcontinue
todosomething,ortopreventandcontinuetopreventsomething
beingdone,inorupon,orinrespectofcertainotherlandnothis
own.
KindsofEasements:
Section5 of TheIndian EasementAct, definesdifferent
kindsofeasementslikeContinuousanddiscontinuous,apparentand
nonapparenteasements.
Acontinuouseasementisonewhoseenjoymentisormaybe
continualwithouttheactofman.
Adiscontinuouseasementisonethatneedstheactofmanfor
itsenjoyment.
Anapparenteasementisonetheexistenceofwhichisshown
bysomepermanentsign,which,uponcarefulinspector bya
competentperson,wouldbevisibletohim.
Anonapparenteasementisonethathasnosuchsign.
Illustrations
(a)

A right annexed to Bs house to receive light by the


windowwithoutobstructionbyhisneighbourA.Thisisa
continuouseasement.

(b)

ArightofwayannexedtoAshouseoverBsland.Thisis
adiscontinuouseasement.

(c)

RightsannexedtoAslandtoleadwaterthitheracrossBs
land byanaqueductandtodrawoffwaterthencebya
drain. The drain would be discovered upon careful
inspection by a person conversant with such matter
Theseareapparenteasements.

(d)

ArightannexedtoAshousetopreventBfrombuilding
oilhisownland.Thisisanonapparenteasement.

EssentialofanEasement:
A]

Theremustbeanowneroroccupierofcertainland.

B]

Theremustbearightvestedinsuchowneroroccupier

(assuchowneroroccupier)todoandcontinuetodosomething,or
topreventandcontinuetopreventsomethingdonein,orupon,orin
respectof,someotherland.
C]

The right must be for the beneficial enjoyment of his

land. Thus, if the right is not in any way connected with the
enjoyment of the dominant tenement (property) it cannot be an
easement.
D]

Theotherlandinoruponwhichtherighttobeexercised,

mustnotbeownedoroccupiedbyhim,butbysomeotherperson.

Characteristicsofaneasement:

A]

Theremustbeadominantandservienttenement.

B]

Therightofeasementmustbepossessedforthebeneficial
requirementofthedominanttenements.

C]

Dominantandservientownersmustbedifferentpersons.

D]

Therightshouldentitlethedominantownertodoandto

continue to do something or to prevent and continue to


preventsomethingbeingdone,inoruponorinrespectofthe
servienttenement.
E]

That something must be of a certain or well defined


characterandmustbecapableofformingthesubjectmatter
ofagrant.

Conditionsfortheacquisitionofaneasement

A]

Peaceably:Theword'peaceably'washeldtomeanthatthe

plaintiff who claims to be the dominant owner has neither been


obligedtoresorttophysicalforcehimselfatanytimetoexercisehis
right within 20 years; nor had he been prevented by the use of
physicalforcebythedefendantinhisenjoymentofsuchright.
B]

Openly:Exceptinthecaseoflightandair,theenjoyment

mustbeopenandmanifestandnotclandestine.Thereasonofthe
requirement that the user must be open lies in the fact that
acquiescence lies at the root of all prescription, and where the
enjoyment is not open it cannot be said that it is within the
knowledgeoftheowneroftheservienttenement.
C]

Asaneasement: Ifaspersonclaimsasiteasowner,he

cannot claim a right of way over the same as an easement. The


wordsdenotethattheactsrelieduponasevidenceoftheexistenceof
arightmustbedonebyonepersonuponthelandoftheother.
D]

Asofright: Itmeansthattheenjoymentmustbeasofa

right for twenty years (if against the government thirty years) or
morewithoutanyleaveorlicence.

E]

Without interruption : Means without any obstruction on

thepartofthepersonagainstwhomtheeasementisclaimed.Mere
nonuseroftheeasementforatimeisnotaninterruptionwithinthe
meaningofthesection.
F]

Enjoymentmustbefortwentyyears:Theenjoymentmust

becontinueddowntowithintwoyearsofthedateofsuitinwhich
the right is contested i.e. where a person is in the continuous
enjoymentofaneasementformorethan20yearsandanobstruction
isthereaftermade,hemustbringhissuittoestablishhisrightwithin
aperiodoflimitationoftwoyearsfromthedateofsuchobstruction,
otherwisehisrightwillbedefeated.

WhowillacquiretheEasement:
The following are the categories of the persons who

acquiretheeasement.
A]

Occupier: Whereapersonisinpossessionofpropertyon

behalfofowner,hecanclaimaneasement.
B]

Tenant: Tenants in dominant tenement enjoying an

easementasofright,acquireitfromthelandlord.Whentheplaintiff
anddefendantaretenantsofacommonlandlord,theplaintiffcan
notacquireanyrightofeasementoverthedefendants'tenancyland
eitherundersection13orsection15;forthebenficialenjoymentof
his land. There is however,nobartohisacquiringtherightasa
customary easement or on the basis of implied grant from the
landlordbutnotonthebasisofprescription.Tenantcanacquirean
easementovertheadjoininglandbelongingtohislandlordforthe
beneficialenjoymentofotherimmovablepropertynothisownbut
belongingtosomeoneelsewhichalsohehappenstooccupyforthe

timebeingasatenant.Tenantcanclaimrightofeasementoverhis
landlord's property based in immemorial user but not on
prescription.
C]

Coowner : Easmentary right can not be claimed by co

ownerinrespectofalandheldbyhimincoownershipwithother.
Theothercoowner'sconsentisnotnecessaryfortheacquisitionof
anyeasementbyanycoowner. Butashisrightoftransferofhis
interestisonlyalimitedrighthecannotimposeanyeasementon
thejointpropertyoranypartthereofwithouttheconsentofhisother
coowner.
D]

Lessee: No lessee can acquire an easement over the

immovable propertyleasedto himforthebeneficialenjoymentof


anotherpropertyofwhichhehappenstobetheowner.
E]

Trespasser:Althoughthephrase,anypersoninpossession

wouldapparentlyincludeatrespasseralso,butitcannotbesaid
that,heacts,onbehalfoftherealowner.Therefore,atrespasser
cannotacquiretheeasement.
F]

Transfereeofland:Therightofeasementofanimmovable

propertyisrequiredforthebeneficialenjoymentofsuchproperty.
Thisrightisaccordtothecivilizedsociety.Theenjoymentofrightof
easementdependsonthecoordinationoftherightsexistingonthe
seriventanddominantheritage.

HowanEasementisacquire:

A]

Bygrant(section8):Videsection8,aneasementmaybe

imposedbyanyoneinthecircumstancesandtotheextent,inandto
which he may transfer his interest in the heritage on which the
liabilityistobeimposed.Agrantofaneasementmaybemadeorally

withoutanywritingbecausethecreationofeasementbytheservient
owneroverthelandinhisownershiporoccupationdoesnotamount
toatransferofownership.Thegrantofeasementmaybeexpressor
implied from the circumstances and conduct of the parties to the
easement.Itmaybepresumedfromthelonguserormaybeinferred
fromsomeusageprevailinginthelocality.
B]

By necessity, when there is a severance of two tenements

(section13):Aneasementofnecessitymeansanecessitywhichis
absolutely necessary forthe enjoymentofatenement intoseveral
independentunits.Mereconvenienceisnotthetestforaneasement
ofnecessity.Easementofnecessityarisesonlywhere,byatransfer,
bequestorpartition,asingletenementisdividedintotwoormore
tenementsandanyofthoseistobesituatedthatitcannotbeenjoyed
atallwithout certain privilege upon anothersuchtenements.The
creation of an easement of necessity is an outcome of the prior
relationshipbetweenthetenements.
C]

By quasi necessity, when there is a severance of two

tenements(section13):Thetermquasieasementhasbeenapplied
tothoseeasementswhicharenoteasementofabsolutenecessitybut
whichcomeintoexistenceforthefirsttimebypresumedgranton
severance of two or more tenement formerly united into the sole
ownershipofoneperson.Quasieasementmustbe(a)apparent(b)
continuousand(c)necessaryforenjoyingthedominantheritageasit
wasenjoyedbeforeseverance.Thequasieasementclaimedmustbe
in existence at the time when the severances took place. So that
there may be possibility of an implied grant or an implied

reservation.If theywerenot presentatthetimeofseverancebut


cameintoexistenceafterwardssuchrightcannotbeclaimedasquasi
easementundersection13.
D]

Byprescription(section15):Prescriptionmeansacquisition

ofarightortitlebyuserofpossessionduringtheperiodandinthe
mannerprescribedbylaw.Amanwhocannotshowanyothertitle
mayacquirepropertyorcertainrightsbyshowingthathehasbeen
inpossessionofthepropertyorenjoyingrightsforaverylongtime.
Thereasonwhythelawencouragesthismodeofacquiringrightis
that, if a man after long, continue and uninterpreted user was
requiredineverycasetoprovetheoriginofhistitleespeciallyinthe
oldtimes,whenwritingwasnotinvogueitwouldresultingreat
hardshipandinjusticetohim.
(A)

Easementary right of way and other varieties of

easementrightscanbeacquiredif(a)theyhavebeenenjoyed,(b)as
an easement (c) for twenty years, (d) without interruption by a
personclaimingtitletothem,(e)openly,(f)peaceablyand(g)asof
right.
(B)

Easementaryrightsoflight,airandsupportcanbe

acquirediftheyhavebeenpeaceablyenjoyed,withoutinterruption,
asaneasement,fortwentyyears.Therightsoflight,airandsupport
neednotbeenjoyedeither'openly'or'asofright'or'byaperson
claimingtitlethereto'.Sucheasementscanbeacquiredbypeaceable
enjoymentwithoutitsenjoymentbeingasofright.Itisonlyincase
ofothereasements,itisnecessarytoenjoythemasofrightinorder
toacquireanabsoluterightinrespectofthem.
Alltheaboveseveningredientsofaneasementaryrightmust

beprovedtohavebeenpresentduringthewholeoftheprescriptive
period of 20 years. In case of easement against Government the
statutoryperiodis30years.
In the case of Uttamrao Tulshiramji Madghe vs.
ShrawanNatthujiBagul,2014(3)Mh.L.J.751.Sec.13ofEasement
Act provides for easement of necessity and quasieasement, while
Sec. 15 of Act provides for easement by prescription which are
independentprovisions.Ifthepartiesarelegallyentitledtoexercise
easementaryrightunderboththeprovisions,itisopenforthemto
doso.
InthecaseofPundlikNarayanPednekarvs.Augusto
Fernandes, 2013 (1) Mh.L.J. 259.(a) Easements Act Sec. 15
Easementbyprescriptionplaintiff'sclaimtothesuitaccessisonly
bywayofeasementofprescriptionQuestionofpossibillityofthe
plaintiff's being able togothepublicroadbyan alternateaccess,
doesnotariseandwouldhavearisenonlyiftheywantedtomaintain
theirclaimtothesuitaccessbywayofeasementofnecessity,etc.
(b)Section 15EasementbyprescriptionEvenifitis
takenforgrantedthattheplaintiffshavebeenusingtheaccessfrom
thepropertyofthedefendantstogotothesaidPanchayatroad,the
saidusercanonlybefromthetimeofcomingintoexistenceofthe
saidroadwhichwassomewhereintheyear198485Suitfiledby
the plaintiff on 27.9.1988Thus,theallegedcontinuous,peaceful
andopenusewasonlyforfewyearssincepriortothefilingofthe
suitwhichislessthaneven10yearsTherefore,theplaintiffisnot
entitledtoclaimthesuitaccessasaneasementbyprescription.
E]

Bylostgrant,presumedfromimmemorialuser:Arightof

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easementisalsocreatedbygrant.Agrantofsuchrightispresumed
from long use or possession although the actual transaction of
makingsuchagrantcannotbediscovered.Ifapartyhasbeenusing
aparticularlandforaparticularpurposefromtimeimmemorial,it
canbesaidthathehasearnedthatrightonthebasisofdoctrineof
lostgrant.Thereisnoperiodfixedfortheimmemorial.
F]

Bycustoms(section18):Acustomaryeasementisnotan

easementinthetruesenseofthatexpression. Itisnotannexedto
theownershipofadominanttenement,anditisnotexercisablefor
the more beneficial enjoyment of the dominant tenement; it is
recognizedandenforcedasapartofthecommonlawofthelocality
where it obtains. A customary easement arises in favour of an
indeterminate class of persons such as residents of a locality or
members of a certain community, and though not necessarily
annexedtotheownershipofland,itisenforceableasarighttodo
andcontinuetodosomethinguponlandorasarightpreventand
continue to prevent something done upon land. Sanction for its
enforceability being in custom, the right must satisfy all the tests
whichalocalcustomforrecognitionbycourtsmustsatisfy.
G]

By transfer : Section 19 lays down that a transfer or

devolutionofapropertywhichmaybeduetoactofpartiesorby
operationoflaw,willconveythepersoninwhosefavourthetransfer
ordevolutiontakesplaceallthoseeasementswhichareannexedor
are appurtenant to the heritage transferred, unless a contrary
intention appears. If nothing is mentioned in the instrument of
transfer, all easement enjoyed before the transfer will pass to the

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transfereeandinthisrespect,thissectionenjoinsuponthetransferor
to have the transferdeed drafted very carefully to avoid future
litigation.
H]

By law/statue/legislature : certain laws/statute/legislature

hasgrantedtheeasement.Fore.g.LandAcquisitions(Mines)Act.
I]

Bytheoperationofthedoctrineofacquiescence :Where

theservientownerbyactiveencouragementorpassiveacquiescence
orothersuchconduct,hasinductedabeliefinthedominantowner
upon which the dominant owner has acted, he would acquire an
easementovertheservientproperty.
RIGHTTOALTERMODEOFENJOYMENTANDNECESSARYRIGHTS.

Chapter III of the Easement Act, contemplates the

provisionsregardingtheincidentsofeasements.Aspersection21of
the Act, an easement must not be used for any purpose not
connected with the enjoyment of the dominant heritage.
Illustration:A,asownerofafarmY,hasarightofwayoverB'sland
toY.LyingbeyondY,AhasanotherfarmZ,thebeneficialenjoyment
ofwhichisnotnecessaryforthebeneficialenjoymentofY.Hemust
notusetheeasementforthepurposeofpassingtoandfromZ.
Aspersection22oftheAct,thedominantownermust
exercisehisrightinthemodewhichisleastoneroustotheservient
owner; and, when the exercise of an easement can without
detrimenttothedominantownerbeconfinedtoadeterminatepart
of the servient heritage,suchexerciseshall,at the request ofthe
servientowner,besoconfined.

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This section is divided into 2 parts. The first part


prescribesthefirstmodeinwhichthedominantownermustexercise
his right and the second part puts limitation on the right of the
dominant owner to exercise his right of easement on servient
heritage. This section shows that the right of easement is not
absolute.
RIGHTTOALTERMODEOFENJOYMENT(SECTION23)
Subject to the provisions of section 22, the dominant
ownermay,fromtimetotime,alterthemodeandplaceofenjoying
the easement, provided that he does not thereby impose any
additionalburdenontheservientheritage.
Exception Thedominantownerofarightofwaycannotvaryhis
lineofpassageatpleasure,eventhoughhedoesnottherebyimpose
anyadditionalburdenontheservientheritage.
Thedominantownerhasbeengivenfulldiscretioninthe
enjoyment of an easement. However, he cannot violate the
provisionsofsection22oftheEasementAct.Inaway,section22
constituteanexceptionofsection23.Similarly,restrictionisimposed
upon the dominant owner that he cannot impose any additional
burdenontheservientheritagewhileenjoyinghisrightofeasement
inanywayhelikes.Thus,sufficientchecksandbalanceshavebeen
providedontherightofthedominantownertoexercisehisrightof
theeasement. Asheldby Hon'bleApexCourtinAnguri,Smt.V.
JiwanDass,reportedinAIR1988SC202.If,byalterationofmode
and place enjoying easement, there occurs increase in burden of
easement on servient owner, section 23 does not protect such

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situation. In other words,section23wouldnotcome tohelpthe


plaintiffiftheadditionalburdenonthepropertyoftheplaintiffshas
beenimposedbytheactionofthedefendants.
ACCESSORYORNATURALRIGHTS
Aspersection24oftheEasementAct,rightstodoacts
necessary to secure the full enjoyment of an easement are called
accessoryrights.Theedifiesofthisprinciplemustbeunderstoodto
allow everything necessary to give effect to right. These are the
rights to do acts necessary to secure the full enjoyment of the
principleeasement.Agoldenmeanhasbeenachievedbythissection
inbetweentherightsofthedominantownerandthatoftheservient
ownerinregardtoeasement.Thissectionhasgiventhevastpowers
tothedominantownertodoallactsnecessaryforthefullenjoyment
of easement. Full enjoyment implies beneficial enjoyment. This
power,ofcourse,canbeexercisedonlyagainsttheservientowner
andnotagainsttheworldatlarge.Aninterestoftheservientowner
is also required to be protected. An obligation is cast upon the
dominantownertorepairthedamage,ifany,causedbytheactof
theservientheritage.
DUTIES AND LIABILITIES OF DOMINANT OWNER AND SERVIENT
OWNER

As per section 25 of the Act, the expenses incurred in


constructing works, or making repairs, or doing any other act
necessary for the use or preservation of an easement, must be
defrayedbythedominantowner.
As per section 26 of the Act, where an easement is
enjoyedbymeansofanartificialwork,thedominantownerisliable

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to make compensation for any damage to the servient heritage


arisingfromthewantofrepairofsuchwork.
Aspersection27oftheAct,theservientownerisnot
boundtodoanythingforthebenefitofthedominantheritage,and
he is entitled, as against the dominant owner,to use the servient
heritageinanywayconsistentwiththeenjoymentoftheeasement;
buthemustnotdoanyacttendingtorestricttheeasementorto
renderitsexerciselessconvenient.
Aspersection29oftheAct,thedominantownercannot,
bymerelyalteringoraddingtothedominantheritage,substantially
increaseaneasement.
Disturbancetotherightofenjoymentofeasementandremedies
thereon : Sec. 32. The owner or occupier of the dominant
heritageis toenjoytheeasementwithoutdisturbancebyanyother
person.

Disturbancemeansobstruction,interruptionordisruptions.

Disturbancein relation toeasementlawmeansthatany


suchactthatlessenthepracticalutilityoftheenjoymentofthe
easement. Interference with the right of easement may be graded
into three degrees. 1) Interference which does not result into
substantial damage and which gives no cause of action. 2)
Interferencewhichmaycausedamagebutwhereinjunctioncannot
givereliefbutonlydamageswouldbesufficient.3)Interference
whereinjunctionistheproperremedy.
RemediesondisturbanceofEasementaryRights:
Undersec.33to36oftheEasementAct,variousremedies

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providedtodominantownertoprotecthisrightofeasement.
1. Suit forcompensationSec.33oftheAct prescribe thatthe
ownerofanyinterestinthedominantheritage,ortheoccupierof
such heritage, may institute a suit for compensation for the
disturbance of the easement or of any right accessory thereto:
provided that the disturbance has actually caused
substantialdamagetotheplaintiff.
Meaningofsubstantialdamage:
1)Under the explanation of Sec.33, meaning of the
substantivedamageisprescribed.IntheExplanationIofSec.33itis
clarified that the doing of any act likely to injure the plaintiff by
affectingtheevidenceoftheeasement,orbymateriallydiminishing
thevalueofthedominantheritage,issubstantialdamage.
2)Wheretheeasementdisturbedisarighttothefreepassageof
lightpassingtotheopeningsinahouse,nodamageissubstantial
withinthemeaningofthissectionunlessitfallswithinthe
firstExplanation,orinterferesmateriallywiththephysicalcomfort
of the plaintiff, or prevents him from carrying on his accustomed
business in the dominant heritage as beneficially as he had done
previoustoinstitutingthesuit,
3)Wheretheeasementdisturbedisarighttothefreepassageof
lighttotheopeningsinahouse,damageissubstantialwithinthe
meaningofthissectionifitinterferesmateriallywiththephysical
comfortoftheplaintiff,thoughitisnotinjurioustohishealth.
Sec.34Whencauseofactionarisesforremoval
of support. The removal of the means of support to which a
dominantownerisentitleddoesnotgiverisetoarightto

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recover compensation unless and untilsubstantialdamageis


actuallysustained.
2.

SuitfordeclarationandInjunctiontorestraindisturbance.

TheHon'bleSupremeCourtinRamKanyaBai&AnrvsJagdish
&OrsCivilAppealNo.4922OF2011,4July,2011
Whenaperson(dominantowner)hasaneasementaryright,
and the servientownerdisturbs,obstructsorinterfereswithhis
easementaryright,ordenieshiseasementaryright,theremedyof
thedominantowneristoapproachthecivilcourtforthereliefof
declarationand/orinjunction.Similarly,whenapersonwhodoesnot
have an easementary right, tries to assert or exercise any
easementaryrightoveranother'sland,theownerofsuch
land can resist such assertion or obstruct the exercise of the
easementaryrightandalsoapproachthecivilcourttodeclare
thatthedefendant has noeasementary right of thenature
claimed,overhislandand/orthatthedefendantshouldbe
preventedfromassertingsuchrightorinterferingwithhispossession
andenjoyment.
Sec. 35 Injunction to restrain disturbance :
SubjecttotheprovisionstheSpecificReliefAct,1877,Sections52
to57(bothinclusive),aninjunctionmaybegrantedtorestrainthe
disturbanceofaneasement.
(a)Iftheeasementisactuallydisturbedthencompensation
forsuchdisturbancemightberecoveredunderthisChapter.
(b)Ifthedisturbanceisonlythreatenedorintended.When
theactthreatenedorintendedmustnecessarily,ifperformed,
disturbstheeasement.

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3.Thedominantownercanalsofileasuitformandatoryinjunction
togetexecutedhisrightofeasement.
EXTENT,INCREASEANDEXTINCTIONOFEASEMENT

ExtentofEasementSection28
With respect to the extent of easements and the
modeoftheirenjoyment,thefollowingprovisionsshalltakeeffect:
Easementofnecessity
An easementofnecessityiscoextensive withthe
necessityasitexistedwhentheeasementwasimposed.
Othereasements
Theextentofanyothereasementandthemodeof
itsenjoymentmustbefixedwithreferencetotheprobableintention
ofthepartiesandthepurposeforwhichtherightwasimposedor
acquired.
Rightofway
(a)Arightofwayofanyonekinddoesnotinclude
arightofwayofanyotherkind:
Righttolightorairacquiredbygrant
(b)Theextentofarighttothepassageoflightor
air to a certain window, door or other opening, imposed by a
testamentaryornontestamentaryinstrument,isthequantityoflight
orairthatenteredtheopeningatthetimethetestatordiedorthe
nontestamentaryinstrumentwasmade:
Prescriptiverighttolightorair
(c)Theextentofaprescriptiverighttothepassage
of light or air to a certain window,dooror otheropeningisthat

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quantity of light or air which has been accustomed to enter that


openingduringthewholeoftheprescriptiveperiodirrespectivelyof
thepurposesforwhichithasbeenused:
Prescriptiverighttopolluteairorwater
(d)Theextentofaprescriptiverighttopolluteair
orwateristheextentofthepollutionatthecommencementofthe
periodofuseroncompletionofwhichtherightarose;and
Otherprescriptiverights
(e)Theextentofeveryotherprescriptiverightand
themodeofitsenjoymentmustbedeterminedbytheaccustomed
useroftheright.
In the case of Chintamani Hargovan vs. Ratanji
Bhimbhai,AIR1920Bom.223.Sec.28ofEasementAct,theextent
of any easement ( other than an easement of necessity) and the
modeofitsenjoymentmustbefixedwithreferencetotheprobable
ilntention of the parties and the purpose of whilch the right was
imposedoracquired.Intheabsenceofevidenceastosuchintention
andpurpose,arightofwayofanyonekinddoesnotincludearight
ofwayofanyotherkind.
IncreaseofEasementSection29:
Thedominantownercannot,bymerelyalteringor
addingtothedominantheritage,substantiallyincreaseaneasement.
Where an easement has been granted or
bequeathedsothatitsextentshallbeproportionatetotheextentof
the dominant heritage, if the dominant heritage is increased by
alluvions, the easement is proportionately increased, and, if the

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dominant heritage is diminished by diluvision, the easement is


proportionatelydiminished.
Saveasaforesaid,noeasementisaffectedbyany
changeintheextentofthedominantortheservientheritage.
Questionoffact
Thequestionwhetheranadditiontothedominant
heritagehasincreasedsubstantially,theburdenoftheeasementon
theservientheritageisaquestionoffact.
Substantially
TheSectionsaysthatthedominantowner,canot,
bymerelyalteringoraddingtothedominantheritage,substantially
increaseaneasement.Theemphasisisonthewordsubstantially.
Contract
The extent of an easementary right can be
increasedordecreasedonlybythecontracttothateffect.
Excessuser
Theservientownercanpreventtheexcessuserof
aneasementbythedominantownerprovidedhecandosowithout
obstruction to its rightful use. (1) Thus, there is a distinction
betweentherightfuluseandexcessiveandunreasonableuseofthe
easement. Prescriptive right to discharge water used for washing
rooms on another's land would not include right to discharge all
kindsofwatermingledwithfilthfromthelatrinesetc.(2)Person
storingwaterforbenefitofhislandcannotenlargestorebyflooding
landonhigherlevelbelongingtoanother.(3)Aneasementholder
cannotincreasetheburdenontheservienttenement,ifhedoes,he
wouldlosetheeasementrightashehasrenderedhimselfincapable

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ofenjoyingitintheoriginalform.
Burdenofproof
Theburdenofproof uponthepersonwhoclaims
therightofeasementisthatbythechangeofthenatureofbuilding,
additionalburdenisnotimposedupontheservienttenement.
ExtinctionofEasement:
Section37 Whenfromacausewhichpreceded
theimpositionofaneasement,thepersonbywhomitwasimposed
ceases to have any right in the servient heritage, the easement is
extinguished.
Section38Aneasementisextinguishedwhenthe
dominant owner releasesit, expresslyorimpliedly,tothe servient
owner.
Section39Aneasementisextinguishedwhenthe
servientowner,inexerciseofapowerreservedinthisbehalf,revokes
theeasement.
Section40Aneasementisextinguishedwhereit
hasbeenimposedforalimitedperiod,oracquiredoncondiltionthat
itshallbecomevoid ontheperformanceornonperformanceofa
specifiedact,andtheperiodexpiresortheconditionisfulfilled.
Section 41 An easement of necesity is
extinguishedwhenthenecessitycomestoanend.
Section42 Aneasementisextinguishedwhenit
becomesincapableofbeingatanytimeandunderanycircumstances
beneficialtothedominantowner.
Section43 Where,byanypermanentchangein

21

the dominant heritage, the burden on the servient heritage is


materiallyincreasedandcannotbereducedbytheservientowner
withoutinterferingwiththelawfulenjoymentoftheeasement,the
easementisextinguishedunless,
(a)itwasintendedforthebeneficialenjoymentof
thedominantheritage,towhateverextenttheeasementshouldbe
used;or
(b)theinjurycausedtotheservientownerbythe
changeissoslightthatnoreasonablepersonwouldcomplainofit;or
(c)theeasementisaneasementofnecessity.
Section 44 An easement is extinguished where
theservientheritageisbysuperiorforcepermanentlysoalteredthat
thedominantownercannolongerenjoysucheasement:
Section 45 An easement is extinguished when
eitherthedominantortheservientheritageiscompletelydestroyed.
Section46Aneasementisextinguishedwhenthe
same person becomes entitled to the absolute ownership ;of the
wholeofthedominantandservientheritages.
Section 47 A continuous easement is
extinguished when it totally ceases to be enjoyed as such for an
unbrokenperiodoftwentyyears.
Section 48 When an easement is extinguished,
therights(ifany)accessorytheretoarealsoextinguished.
RevivalofEasements.

The general rule is stated that an easement once

extinguishedcannotberevived,andthatifitistoexistagainitmust

22

becreateddenovo.
Sec. 51 Revival of easements :An easement extinguished under
Sec.45 revives (a) when the destroyed heritage is, before twenty
yearshaveexpired,restoredbythedepositofalluvions;(b)whenthe
destroyed heritage is a servient building and before twenty years
haveexpiredsuchbuildingisrebuiltuponthesamesite;and(c)
when the destroyed heritage is a dominant building and before
twentyyearshaveexpiredsuchbuildingisrebuiltuponthesame
siteandinsuchamannerasnottoimposeagreaterburdenonthe
servientheritage.
AneasementextinguishedunderSec.46reviveswhenthe
grantorbequestbywhichtheunityofownershipwasproducedisset
aside by the decree of a competent court. A necessary easement
extinguished under the same section revives when the unity of
ownershipceasesfromanyothercause.
Asuspendedeasementrevivesifthecauseofsuspension
isremovedbeforetherightisextinguishedunderSec.47.

LICENCE
Whatisalicence:
1]

A licence is a personal right granted to a person to do

somethinguponimmovablepropertyoftheguarantoranddoesnot
amount to the creation of an interest in the property itself. It is
purelyapermissiverightandispersonaltotheguarantee.Itcreates
nodutiesandobligationsuponthepersonmakingthegrantandis
therefore, revocable except in certain circumstances expressly

23

providedforintheActitself.Thelicencehasnoothereffectthanto
conferalibertyuponthelicenseetogouponthelandwhichwould
otherwisebeunlawful.
2]

Section52oftheIndianEasementActdefineslicenceasfollows

:Where one persongranttoanother,ortoadefinite numberof


other persons, a right to do, or continue to do, in or upon the
immovablepropertyofthegrantor,somethingwhichwould,inthe
absenceofsuchright,beunlawful,andsuchrightdoesnotamount
toaneasementoraninterestintheproperty,therightiscalleda
licence.
CharacteristicsofLicence
1)

Notransferofinterest:Alicenceisapermissiontodosome
actwhich,withoutsuchpermission,wouldbeunlawful.

2)

Nointerestinaccretions:Alicenseehasnointerestinthe
propertyandtherefore,heacquiresnorightbyaccretion.

3)

Neither transferable nor heritable : A licence is neither


transferable;norheritable.

4)

Alicenceisamatterpurelypersonalbetweengrantorand
grantee.

5)

Section 52 of Easement Act does not require any


consideration,materialornonmaterial,tobeanelementof
the definition oflicence,nordoesit requirethat theright
underthelicencemustarisebywayofcontractorasaresult
ofmutualpromises.

6)

Thepersonwhograntsthelicencemustbetheownerofthe
property.Theotherpersonwhogetsthepermissionmustbe
astrangerorhavenorightintheproperty.

24

7)

licence creates no duties and obligations upon the person


makingthegrantandisthereforerevocableexceptincertain
circumstancesexpresslyprovidedintheActitself.

8)

Alicenceisusuallyrevocablebygrantor,exceptinthetwo
casesmentionedinthesection60ofEasementAct.

9)

Asubsequenttransferofthepropertyterminatesalicence.

10) A licensee cannot sue trespassers and strangers in his own


name.
11) Alicenceisterminatedbydeathofeitherparty.
3]

Videsection53oftheActalicencemaybegrantedbyanyone

in the circumstances and to the extent in and to which he may


transfer his interest in the property affected by the licence. Such
grantmaybeexpressorimplied.Alicencecannotbetranferedby
thelicenseeorexercisebyhisservantoragents.Theonlyexception
made in the case of licence to attend a place of a public
entertainment.Inthiscasethelicencemaybetransferredunlessa
differentintentionappears.Thelicensorisunderadutytodisclose
anydefectinthepropertylikelytobedangeroustothelicenseeof
whichthelicensorisbutthelicenseeisnotaware.Ifthelicensorfails
inhisdutyanddoesnotdiscloseanyhiddenriskinuseofthesubject
ofthelicenceandifanylossiscausedduetosuchnondiscloser.The
licensorisliablefordamages.
Gratuitouslicensee:
4]

ThewordGratuitousmeanswithoutconsiderationorfreely.

25

1.

Gratuitous licensee shall not transfer license to any other


person.

2.

Gratuitous licensee shall not file suit against trespasser or


stranger.
Incaseof VishivanathV.Jandabhai reportedin1990(2)

Bom.C.R.406, itwasheldthatagratuitouslicenseecannotclaim
anylegalrightintheproperty.
5]

Rightsoflicensee

1.

Decision passed by court against licensor is binding on the


licensee.

2.

Whenlicenceisrevoked,thenlicenseeisentitledtoreasonable

timetoleavethepropertyaffectedtherebyandtoremoveanygoods
whichhehasbeenallowedtoplaceonsuchproperty.
3.

When gratuitous licensee executes work of permanent

character during licence and with the consent of licensor, then


gratuitous licensee is entitled to get compensation of expenses
incurredbyhimafterrevocationoflicence.
6]

DutiesofGratuitouslicensee:

1.

Itisthedutyofgratuitouslicenseethat he shallnotcause

injuryordamagetotheproperty.
2.

Itishisdutythatheshallnotmakeanypermanentchangein

thepropertyoflicensorwhichisinhispossession.
3.

Itishisdutytoabideeachandeverytermsandconditionof

licence.

26

4.

Iflicensorisnotawareaboutanyinjuryordamagecausedto

the property of licensor by third person, then it is the duty of


licenseetoinformittolicensor.
5.

Itishisdutytodiscloseanydefectinthepropertyoflicenceto

licensorifhefindsit.
6.

Aftercompletionofperiodoflicense,gratuitouslicenseehasto

vacate premises/ property or to give possession of property to


licensor.
7. Itishisdutytotakecareof propertyorpremisesoflicence
duringtheperiodoflicence.
7]

RevocationofLicence:
AconjointregardingofSs.59and60oftheActwouldestablish

thatthough ordinarilyall licencesarerevocable whenthegrantor


transfers the property, yet, in two exceptional cases provided for
underS.60,thetransferwouldnotbyitselfputanendtothelicence.
Provisions of S.60 qualifies and restricts the scope of general
provisionswithreferencetotherevocabilityoflicenceunderS.59of
theAct.Ifthelicenceisforsomereasonsirrevocablebythegrantor
himselfS.59doesnotauthorizethetransfereetorevokeit. The
transfereeofthepropertyfromalicensorhasnohigherrightsthan
thoseofthetransferorandconsequentlythetransfereeisnotentitled
torevokethelicencewhenthelicenseehadbuiltupontheland.
8]

Leave and License agreement comes to an end on the

ceasingoftheinterestofthelicensorinthepropertyparticularlyif
theagreementmerelycreateslicence.Alicenceisneitherannexedto
thepropertyinrespectofwhichitisenjoyed,norisitatransferable

27

orheritableright,butisarightpurelypersonalbetweengrantorand
licensee.Therefore,wherealicenseedies,thelicenceexpiresandthe
legalrepresentativesofthelicenseeholdasmeretrespassers.
9]

License when revocable : A licence may be revoked by the

grantor,unless
(a)

itiscoupledwithatransferofpropertyandsuchtransferisin

force;
(b)

thelicensee,actinguponthelicence,hasexecutedaworkofa

permanentcharacterandincurredexpensesintheexecution.
10]

A bare licence can always be revoked by grantor. A

licence, unlike acontract,createsnomutualobligation andrights


between parties and it may be revoked under this section except
whenitisonewhichfallswithintheexceptionmentionedtherein.
The power of revokinga bare licence given by the section tothe
licensorisnotaffectedbythefactthatthelicencehasbeengivenfor
avaluableconsideration.Thefactthatalicencehasbeenacquired
for an agreed term would not affect the right of the licensor to
revokeitatanytimewhereitisonlyabarelicence.Thelicensorhas
thepowertorevokealicenceatanytimeandhisrighttodosoisnot
dependentuponhisgivingareasonablenoticeorsufficienttimeto
thelicenseeasaconditionprecedent.Therightofalicenseetogeta
reasonablenoticebeforerevocationandtherightofthelicensorto
revokealicencearenotinterrelatedinthesensethatthelicensor
couldberestrainedfromexercisinghisrightwithoutissuingsucha
noticeasaconditionprecedent.
InthecaseofBhauraovs.Geetabai2013(4)Mh.L.J.196.

28

Easements act Section 60(b) Irresvocable licence Proof of


merelybecausethereisaworkofpermanentcharacterexecutedby
incurringexpenses,wouldnotbyitselfbeenoughtoestablishthat
thelicencewasirrevocable.

InthecaseofHimmatraoMarutoraoDhobalevs.Arun

GulraoJichkar,2015(2)Mh.L.J.560. EasementsActSection60(b)
andEvidenceActSection115Appellantprovedthatrespondentis
licenseeonsuitplotRespondentconstructedhouseonthesuitplot
and occupied and resided in it Respondent cannot be denied
benefitofprovisionsofsection60(b)merelybecauserespondenthad
deniedthatheisalicensee.
S.62dealswiththelicencewhichdeemedtoberevoked:
A)

Whenfromacauseprecedingthegrantofit,thegrantorceases

tohaveanyinterestinthepropertyaffectedbythelicence;
B)

When the licensee releases it, expressly or impliedly to the

grantororhisrepresentative;
C)

Whereithasbeengrantedforalimitedperiod,oracquiredon

condition that it shall become void on the performance or non


performance of a specified act, and the period expires, or the
conditionisfulfilled.
D)

Wherethepropertyaffectedbythelicenceisdestroyedorby

superiorforcesopermanentlyalteredthatthelicencecannolonger
exercisehisright;
E)

Wherethelicenseebecomesentitledtotheabsoluteownership

ofthepropertyaffectedbythelicence.
F)

Wherethelicenceisgrantedforaspecifiedpurposeandthe

29

purposeisattainedorabandonedorbecomesimpracticable;
G)

Where the licence is granted to the licensee as holding a

particular office, employment or character, and such office


employmentorcharacterceasestoexist;
H)

Where the license totally ceases to be used as such for an

unbroken period of twenty years and such cessation is not in


pursuanceofacontractbetweenthegrantorandthelicensee;
I)

Inthecaseofanaccessorylicence,whentheinterestorrightto

whichitisaccessoryceasestoexist.
Submittedwithrespect.
YoursFaithfully,

(K.P.Nandedkar)
DistrictJudge3andAddl.
SessionsJudge,Jalgaon.

(Sau.PritiKumarGhule)
AdhocDistrictJudge2andAddl.
SessionsJudge,Jalgaon.

(Sau.S.R.Shinde)
ChiefJudicialMagistrate,
Jalgaon.

(KedarS.Kulkarni)
Jt.CivilJudgeSr.Dn.,
Jalgaon.

30

Questions
Que.1]

Ifthepartiesarelegallyentitledtoexerciseeasementary

rightundersection13and15ofEasementAct,Whetherboththe
provisions,areopenforthem?
Que2]

Whetherthejurisdictionofthecivilcourttoentertaina

suitfordeclarationorinjunction,claimingacustomaryeasementof
rightofwayorrighttotakewater,throughthelandofaservient
owner,isbarredbysection257oftheCode,onthegroundthatitisa
matter which the Revenue Officer (Tahsildar) is empowered to
decideundersection131oftheCode?
Que. 3]

Whetheralicenseunlikeleasescanberevokedwithout

priornotice?
Que.4]

Caneasementaryrightbeextinguished,ifthedominant

andservientheritagearevestedinthesamepersontemporarily?
Que5]

Whetherthesuitforinjunctiontopreventan

obstructiontoaneasementbyprescriptionismaintainablewithout

31

theprayerfordeclarationoftheright?
Que6]

Whether tenant can claim easementary right on the

owner'sproperty?
Que7]

Whethereasementaryrightcanbetransferredapartfrom

thedominantheritage?
Que8] Whenitcanbesaidthatarightofwayhasbeenacquired
byprescription?
Que9]

Can a licensee claim possession after his eviction by

gurantor without his fault before he enjoyed his right for which
licenseecangiventohimforaconsideration?
Que.10]

Is it necessary that the words easement of necessity

mustappearinthepleadings?
Que11]

Whether a transferee of the property is bound by the

licence?
Que.12] Whetherlicencecanberevokedu/s.60oftheEasement
Act.Whenlicenseeerecterpermanentstructure?
Que:13]

Canrightofeasementbeprovedbymeremention

bytransferorinthesaledeed?
Que:14]

Whetherruleofextinction(Section41ofEasement

Act)isapplicabletoeasementacquiredbygrant?Whatis
thedistinctionbetweeneasementacquiredbygrant?
Que:15] Iseasementanaturalright?