The Punjab and Haryana court has issued a notice after the priest of the Chandi Mata Mandir; Rajesh Giri moved the HC and challenged the possession of the temple taken over Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board during the lockdown period. An application was moved in the case, which has been doing the rounds since 2019, seeking to quash amendments in the Haryana Shri Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Act (HSMMDSA). Amended Act has given powers to administration to take temple. 


It was pleaded to take action against the respondents who have taken over the possession of the temple during the lockdown period. The matter will come up for hearing on June 3. It was argued that the authorities acted against the directions of the ministry of home affairs which had closed down all the temples amid the corona virus pandemic. But, despite that the officials violated the instructions and took over the possession of the temple, which itself amounts to violation of instructions issued by the Union government.

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Possession requires both control and intention. It is obtained from the first moment that both those conditions exist simultaneously. Usually, intention precedes control, as when you see a coin on the ground and reach down to pick it up. Nevertheless, it is conceivable that a person might obtain control of a thing before forming the intention to possess it. If unknowingly sat on and therefore had control of a $10 note on the seat of a train, he or she could obtain possession by becoming aware of the note and forming the intention to possess it. People can also intend to possess things left, without their knowledge, in spaces they control.

Possession acquired by consent:

Most property possessed is obtained with the consent of someone else that possessed it. They may have been purchased, received as gifts, leased, or borrowed. The transfer of possession of goods is called delivery. For land, it is common to speak of granting or giving possession.

A temporary transfer of possession is called a bailment. Bailment is often regarded as the separation of ownership and possession.

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Possession acquired without consent

It is possible to obtain possession of a thing without anyone else’s consent. First, you might take possession of something which has never been possessed before. This can occur when you catch a wild animal; or create a new thing, such as a loaf of bread. Secondly, you might find something which someone else has lost. Thirdly, you might take something from another person without their consent. Possession acquired without consent is a property right which the law protects. It gives rise to a right of possession which is enforceable against everyone except those with a better right to possession.

Forms of transferring possession 

There are various forms of transferring possession. One can physically hand over the object (e.g. handing over a newspaper bought at the newsstand) but it is not always necessary for the party to literally grab the object for possession to be considered transferred. It is enough that the object is within the realm of factual control (e.g. leaving a letter in the letterbox). Sometimes it is enough for a symbol of the object which enables factual control to be handed over (e.g. handing over the keys to a car or a house). One may also choose to terminate possession, as one throws a letter in the trash. Possession includes having the opportunity to terminate possession.

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An intention to possess (sometimes called animus possidendi) is the other component of possession. All that is required is an intention to possess something for the time being. In common law countries, the intention to possess a thing is a fact. Normally, it is proved by the acts of control and surrounding circumstances.

It is possible to intend to possess something without knowing that it exists. For example, if you intend to possess a suitcase, then you intend to possess its contents, even though you do not know what it contains. It is important to distinguish between the intention sufficient to obtain possession of a thing and the intention required to commit the crime of possessing something illegally, such as banned drugs, firearms or stolen goods. The intention to exclude others from the suitcase and its contents does not necessarily amount to the guilty mind of intending to possess illegally.

For case specific advice, please contact Punjab Haryana High Court Best/Expert Lawyers Advocates in Chandigarh Panchkula Mohali Zirakpur Derabassi Kharar

This post is written Vishishta Mishra

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