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Ostensible Owner

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An Ostensible Owner has all the features necessary features of ownership except that he is not the real owner. On close observation, one can find out that even thought the person owns the property on record and has its possession, he never intended to own the property.

  • A Benamidar is an ostensible owner. If a person purchases a property from the benamidar, the real owner cannot recover, provided other conditions are are fulfilled.
  • Guardian of a minor cannot be considered as Ostensible Owner of the minor's property because the minor cannot give consent.
  • Manager of a Hindu family cannot be considered an Ostensible Owner.
  • A Mahant is not an ostensible owner of the Math property.
  • A person cannot become an ostensible owner when the real owner has entrusted or has gikven temporarily given dominion over his property.

Features of Ostensible Ownership

  • Consent of true owner
  • Reasonable care
  • Good faith


  • A Benami transfer is not a sham transaction
  • Protection of bona fide purchase of the disputed land

Related Cases / Recent Cases / Case Law

  • Union of India v Mokesh Builders & Finance, AIR (1997) SC 409: Javadayal Poddar v Bibi Hazra, AIR (1974) SC 171: Dealt with the topic of Test of Ownership and that of Ostensible Owner
    • What is the source of purchase money
    • Motive behind giving benami color
    • Possession of the property as to who is enjoying the benifits

Related Acts

Related Topics