Legal Aspects Pertaining to Co-Sharer ( Co-owners /Joint Sharers of Land in Pakistan)

In Pakistan, the concept of co-sharer of land is significant in cases where multiple individuals share ownership of a piece of immovable property. Co-sharers collectively possess a right over the land, and the possession of one co-sharer is considered beneficial for others. This article explores various legal aspects surrounding co-sharers of land, including the rights and remedies available to them in the event of disputes.

Preservation of Co-Sharers’ Rights:

The case of Shahro and others v. Mst. Fatima and others, as cited in PLD 1998 SC 1512 and PLD 2003 Lahore 186, highlights an essential principle that the possession of one co-sharer on the land does not extinguish the title of other co-sharers. If a mutation is attested in favor of some co-sharers, it does not diminish the rights of others. The law emphasizes the co-ownership and protection of the interests of all co-sharers.

Remedy against Co-Sharer in Possession:

A person acquiring possession of immovable property as a co-owner cannot be dispossessed without proper partition and a decree/order of a competent court, as noted in 2002 MLD 434. This underscores the importance of following the due legal process in any attempt to alter or challenge the possession of a co-sharer. It also ensures that the rights of each co-sharer are safeguarded and respected.

Legal Recognition of Co-Sharers as Owners:

The case discussed in PLJ 1997 SC 985 involved a declaration that respondents, being co-sharers, were owners of the land. The suit was initially dismissed, but on appeal, it was decreed in favor of the respondents. The court upheld this decision, emphasizing that co-sharers can be recognized as owners based on proper appraisal of revenue records and evidence. The case highlights the importance of verifying and recognizing co-sharers’ rightful shares in a property.

Challenging Orders Affecting Co-Sharers:

In PLJ 1994 SC 265, a challenge was made to orders affecting the shares of co-sharers. The court stressed the need for clarity and explanation regarding any changes in co-sharers’ shares and emphasized the importance of properly determining each share-holder’s extent of ownership. The case highlights the necessity of clear and comprehensive documentation in transactions involving co-sharers.

Co-sharers of land in Pakistan hold significant legal rights and protections. Their possession is for the benefit of all co-sharers, and any changes or disputes regarding ownership must be addressed through proper legal channels. The court plays a vital role in upholding the rights of co-sharers and ensuring equitable distribution and recognition of their shares. As the concept of co-sharers is central to land ownership in Pakistan, adherence to legal procedures and documentation is essential to safeguard the interests of all parties involved.

Pre-emption in Land Disputes:

Pre-emption, the right to acquire property in certain circumstances before it is sold to a third party, is a crucial aspect of land disputes in Pakistan. This article delves into two notable cases that shed light on the legal aspects of pre-emption, exploring the rights and remedies available to parties involved.

Case 1: Respondent No.1’s Co-Sharer Rights

In PLJ 1994 Lahore 293, the court dealt with a pre-emption suit in which the disputed property was sold by respondent No.2, who was part of a joint khata (shared landholding). The joint khata was subject to pre-emption, even after its partition through consolidation proceedings. The court clarified that consolidation operations do not disturb pre-existing rights. The respondent No.1, despite not being recorded as a co-owner in revenue records, was deemed a co-owner in the joint khata upon the death of respondent No.2’s husband, which occurred before the sale. The court affirmed the decree in favor of the pre-emptor, establishing the significance of pre-existing rights and the enforceability of pre-emption claims.

Case 2: Suit for Possession by Predecessor-in-Interest

The PLJ 1996 SC (AJK) 165 case involved a suit for possession filed by the predecessor-in-interest of the respondents. The trial court decreed the suit, but the first appellate court dismissed it on the grounds of not impleading other co-sharers as defendants. The High Court set aside the dismissal order, recognizing that the suit land was undivided property, and the predecessor-in-interest had alienated his undivided share based on gift deeds and sale-deeds. The court concluded that the proper course of action would have been to grant a decree for joint possession in favor of the predecessor-in-interest. This case highlights the importance of recognizing undivided property rights and the necessity of granting appropriate remedies to the parties involved.


Pre-emption remains a significant legal aspect in land disputes in Pakistan. These cases demonstrate the courts’ stance on protecting pre-existing co-sharer rights and recognizing undivided property interests. Proper documentation and adherence to legal procedures are crucial in land transactions involving co-sharers. The concept of pre-emption serves to uphold the rights of parties and ensures equitable distribution of property. As seen in the cases discussed, the courts play a vital role in interpreting and enforcing pre-emption laws, providing remedies, and maintaining justice in land-related disputes.

Costs and Jurisdiction in Land Disputes

In land disputes, the imposition of costs and the exercise of jurisdiction by the Rent Controller and High Court play significant roles in shaping the outcome of cases. This article explores three noteworthy cases that shed light on the issue of costs and the jurisdiction of relevant authorities in Pakistan.

Case 1: Ejectment Application and Costs

In PLJ 1994 Lahore 96, the court addressed an ejectment application where the petitioner’s evidence was closed for non-payment of costs. The Rent Controller, though free to devise his own procedure, had no jurisdiction to impose costs while allowing the application for additional evidence. The court held that the part of the order imposing costs was without jurisdiction, rendering it null and void. This case underscores the importance of adhering to the correct legal procedures and the limitations of Rent Controllers’ authority in imposing costs.

Case 2: Suit for Recovery of Money and Exemplary Costs

The PLJ 1996 SC (AJK) 25 case dealt with a suit for recovery of money, where the High Court allowed one opportunity to produce evidence, subject to the payment of exemplary costs. The court purported to exercise this power under Sections 35 and 35-A of the C.P.C., but it was deemed unavailable to the High Court. Under Section 35 C.P.C., only actual costs incurred by a litigant can be awarded, and counsel fee could be allowed upon proper certification by counsel. The court reduced the costs from Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 3,000, emphasizing the need for reasonable and justifiable costs in such cases.

Case 3: Co-Sharer’s Right to Eject Trespasser

In PLJ 1998 Peshawar 166, the court addressed the issue of a co-sharer’s right to evict a trespasser from joint property without involving all co-sharers. The court established that a co-sharer’s interest and possession extend to the entire joint property, giving them the right to evict a trespasser from the entire property without the necessity of involving all co-sharers in the case. This case clarifies the extent of a co-sharer’s rights in joint property disputes.

The issue of costs and jurisdiction plays a crucial role in land disputes in Pakistan. These cases highlight the importance of adhering to the correct legal procedures and exercising jurisdiction within the confines of the law. It is essential for authorities such as Rent Controllers and High Courts to be mindful of their limitations when imposing costs. Additionally, co-sharers’ rights and their ability to evict trespassers from joint property have been clarified, ensuring an equitable resolution of disputes. Proper understanding and application of these legal aspects contribute to fair and just outcomes in land-related matters.

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The Significance of Co-Sharers’ Rights in Land Disputes: Legal Insights from Pakistan

Land disputes involving co-sharers can be complex, especially when it comes to partition proceedings and possession rights. This article delves into several key cases that shed light on the significance of co-sharers’ rights in such disputes in Pakistan.

Case 1: Absence in Partition Proceedings and Validity of Orders

In PLJ 2001 Revenue 62, the court addressed the contention that the petitioners’ absence from partition proceedings forfeited their right to question the validity of the order passed by the Assistant Commissioner (A.C). The court held that the absence of co-sharers from partition proceedings does not absolve the Revenue Officer Halqa from their duty. The A.C’s order allowing partition based on wandas prepared by respondents was found to be legally infirm. The District Collector and Additional Commissioner were in error by upholding such an order, leading to the setting aside of their decisions and remanding the case for fresh consideration.

Case 2: Co-Sharer’s Right to Exchange Land from Joint Khata

In PLJ 2002 Lahore 1335, the court addressed the issue of a co-sharer exchanging land from a joint khata with a stranger. The court clarified that a co-sharer in possession of a portion can transfer that portion, subject to adjusting the rights of other co-sharers during partition. Safeguarding the rights of other co-sharers can be achieved through a decree granting them a declaration that the provisions of the transferee in the lands will be subject to adjustment.

Case 3: Co-Sharers’ Possession and Mutations

In PLJ 2003 Lahore 40 and PLJ 2002 Lahore 1770, the court emphasized that the possession of one co-sharer benefits all co-sharers, and a mutation attested in favor of some co-sharers does not extinguish the title of other co-sharers. Possession of some co-sharers is considered joint and inures for the benefit of all co-sharers, signifying their joint interest in the undivided property.

Case 4: Understanding the Term “Co-Sharer”

In PLJ 2001 Lahore 564, the court clarified the term “co-sharer,” defining it as a person holding an existing joint interest, whether absolute or limited, in an undivided property. A co-sharer, regardless of the extent of their interest in joint property, is a co-owner in every inch of that property to the extent of their share until a partition occurs, which they can rightfully claim.

These cases underscore the significance of co-sharers’ rights in land disputes in Pakistan. The rights and possession of co-sharers are intertwined, and their interests are safeguarded until a partition is duly conducted. Absence in partition proceedings does not absolve the authorities from their responsibilities, and any orders passed must be legally sound. Understanding the term “co-sharer” is essential, as it clarifies the extent of ownership and rights held by individuals in joint property. These legal insights provide valuable guidance in handling land disputes involving co-sharers in Pakistan.

Preserving Co-Sharers’ Rights in Joint Property in Pakistan

Co-sharers’ rights in joint immovable property play a vital role in land-related disputes. This article explores significant legal perspectives from Lahore that highlight the entitlements and limitations of co-sharers concerning possession, alienation, and dispossession in joint property.

Case 1: Co-Sharer’s Exclusive Possession and Alienation

In PLJ 2004 Lahore 971, the court emphasized that a co-sharer in exclusive possession of a specific portion of joint property cannot alienate, transfer, or change it without a regular partition between all co-sharers. This ensures that no co-sharer’s rights are violated, and any change in the nature of property must be subject to a lawful partition.

Case 2: Co-Sharer’s Interest in Joint Property

In PLJ 2003 Lahore 791, the court clarified that a co-sharer is always deemed to be in possession of land jointly owned by all co-sharers. As such, a suit filed by a co-sharer to protect their interest in joint property is not restricted by the provisions of the Specific Relief Act or the Limitation Act. The court rectified the non-suiting of the plaintiff by the trial court and upheld the decree in favor of the plaintiff.

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Case 3: Co-Sharers’ Rights and Dispossession

In PLJ 2004 Lahore 369, the court addressed the remedies available to a co-sharer when dispossessed. A co-sharer has two options: (1) filing a suit for separate possession through partition, and (2) invoking the provisions of Section 9 of the Specific Relief Act, 1877. Both remedies are available to protect their rights in joint property.

Case 4: Co-Sharers’ Entitlement and Character of Land

In PLJ 2004 Lahore 943, the court reaffirmed that each co-sharer is an owner in every part of the joint holdings according to their entitlement. No co-sharer can unilaterally change the character of the land to the exclusion of others without resorting to lawful partition proceedings.

These legal perspectives underscore the significance of preserving co-sharers’ rights in joint property disputes. Co-sharers’ possession and interests are intertwined, and any change or alienation in joint property must be done through lawful partition proceedings. Dispossession of a co-sharer warrants appropriate remedies, and the entitlement of each co-sharer must be respected to avoid any infringement on their rights. These insights provide valuable guidance for resolving co-sharer disputes and protecting their rights in joint immovable property in Lahore.

Preserving Co-Sharers’ Rights in Joint Property

The preservation of co-sharers’ rights in joint property is crucial to maintaining equitable ownership and preventing disputes. This article examines significant landmark cases from Lahore that shed light on the entitlements and remedies available to co-sharers concerning possession, alienation, and partition of joint property.

Case 1: Valid Transfer by Co-Sharer in Exclusive Possession

In PLJ 2003 Lahore 798, the court ruled that a co-sharer in exclusive possession of specific land can validly transfer his share in joint Khata and deliver possession of the land to the vendee. The vendee, being in actual physical possession, had a lawful right to alienate the land to the respondent.

Case 2: Family Arrangement and Debarring Other Co-Sharers

PLJ 2004 Lahore 1732 addressed a situation where specific field numbers were in the possession of a vendor due to a family arrangement. The transfer of such property to the vendee and delivery of possession debars other co-sharers from challenging the sale or reclaiming the possession. However, this right is subject to adjustment at the time of partition.

Case 3: Protection of Possession of Co-Sharers

In PLJ 2003 SC (AJ&K) 17, the court emphasized that co-sharers, to the extent of specific land in their possession, cannot be dispossessed except through proper partition proceedings. The defendants have the option to seek redress through partition, and if they fail to secure any share, the entire gifted land would be handed over to them.

Case 4: Private Partition of Joint Property

PLJ 2003 Lahore 753 dealt with a situation where parties claimed a private partition of joint property. The court held that mere statements of one co-sharer about private partition do not constitute conclusive proof of such partition. Co-sharers remain entitled to get the property partitioned officially.

The landmark cases underscore the significance of co-sharers’ rights in joint property and the need to protect their possession, entitlements, and remedies. Co-sharers’ possession benefits all co-sharers, and mutations in favor of some co-sharers do not extinguish the rights of others. The preservation of co-sharers’ rights requires adherence to proper partition procedures and lawful transfers. These landmark cases serve as essential precedents for resolving co-sharers’ disputes and ensuring fairness in joint property ownership in Lahore.

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