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vustudents
05-02-2012, 02:06 AM
Easement in favour of reversioner of servient heritage

Provided that, when any land upon, over or from which any easement has been enjoyed or derived has been held under or by virtue of any interest for life or any term of years exceeding three years from the granting thereof, the time of enjoyment of such easement during the continuance of such interest or term shall be excluded in the computation of the said last-mentioned period of twenty years next after the determination of such interest or term, resisted by the person entitled, on such determination, to be said land.
Illustration
A sues for a declaration that he is entitled to a right-of-way over Bís land. A proves that he has enjoyed the right for twenty-five years; but B shows that during ten of these years C had a life-interest in the land; that on Cís death B become entitled to the land; and that within two years after Cís death he contested Aís claim to the right. The suit must be dismissed, as A, with reference to the provisions of this section, has only proved enjoyment for fifteen years.
Comments
Scope: Section 16 as its opening words indicate, is a proviso to section 15. The section is intended to give relief to the owner of the servient tenement in respect of the period when the servient tenement is in the possession of a person who holds a limited estate in the servient tenement. It provides for the exclusion, in computing the prescriptive period of 20 years, of the period during which the servient tenement was held- -
(a) either by a person having a life-interest therein, or
(b) by a person holding under a lease or mortgage with possession for a term exceeding three years;
The reversinor, that is the person who gets the full estate immediately after the termination of the estate or estates, will be entitled to the exclusion only if he resists the claim of the exclusion only if resists the claim of the dominant owner within three years of the termination of the life-interest or lease as the case may be. Section 16 applies only if the following conditions are satisfied - -
(i) the dominant owner has enjoyed the right for more than 20 years;
(ii) for part of this period, whether at the beginning or in the middle or at the end, the servient tenement is held by a person having a limited interest therein;
(iii) the limited interest is,
(a) either a life-interest,
(b) or a lease or a mortgage with possession for a term exceeding three years,
(iv) the enjoyment of the right is resisted within three years of the expiration of the life-interest or of the lease or mortgage.
Object: The object of section 16 and the principal on which it is based was to protect one who could not stop the acquisition of the right and not the one who was not only aware of the fact that a right of easement was being acquired on his land but had also the means to stop it. ILR (1963) 1 All. 695.