Key principles of accretion under Indian law
Accretion refers to the gradual and imperceptible increase in landmass along a water body's edge due to the natural deposit of soil and sediment. It's important to distinguish it from avulsion, which is a sudden and violent shift in the watercourse, leaving new land exposed.
Key principles of accretion under Indian law:
- Gradual and Imperceptible: The process must be gradual and imperceptible, meaning it cannot be sudden or easily noticeable.
- Natural Causes: The landmass increase must be caused by natural processes like sediment deposition, not artificial means like land reclamation.
- Accretion to Riparian Land: The new land must accrete to land already bordering the water body, creating an extension of the existing property.
- Ownership: Ownership of the accreted land generally vests with the owner of the land to which it accretes.
Relevant legal provisions:
While there's no specific law exclusively on accretion, several legal sources recognize and address it:
- English common law principles: These, adopted by Indian courts, establish the basic principles of accretion mentioned above.
- The Easements Act, 1882: Section 5 specifically mentions that accretions belong to the owner of the land alongside which they form.
- State-specific land revenue laws: These may further elaborate on accretion and related rights in the context of specific regions.