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Colonial Cases

Muslim v. De Souza, 1898

[land law]

Muslim v. De Souza

East Africa Protectorate
Cator J., 1898
Source: [1898] East Africa Protectorate Law Reports 2



O.C. 285/1898

Before Judge CATOR.


Land in Mombasa - Local custom regarding land below the eaves of a thatched house.

   Held. - Land under eaves of thatched house is presumed to be part of the land on which the house stands.

   Parties in Person.

   In this case the defendant, a Goanese, having purchased a thatched house, with the ground on which it stood, from a Swahili, commenced to erect a stone building on the site, placing the foundations on the line formerly covered by the extremity of the thatched eaves of the old house.  The Plaintiff, his neighbour, contended that by so doing he was encroaching on his land.  The matter was referred to the Acting Liwali and the Kathi of the town, an in accordance with their report judgment was given.

   JUDGE CATOR. - Ali bin Salim and the Kathi both agree that in the absence of evidence to the contrary the ground under the eaves of defendant's house must be taken to belong to him.  The Plaintiff produces no evidence to the contrary, so I must dismiss the action.

   (Action dismissed.)

NOTE. - Cf. Adamji Alibhoy v. Adam Ali, O.C. 1053/1898, p. 6; Sudi bin Mohanmed v. Pires Pereira, O.C. 358/1898, p. 3.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School