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Justice Tibatemwa-Ekirikubinza Discusses Powers Of A Commissioner Regarding Land Title Cancellation

Case Of Hilda Wilson Musoke & Others V Owalla’s Home Investment Trust EA Ltd And Commissioner Land Registration. Supreme Court Civil Appeal No. 15 Of 2017.

In her judgment delivered on the 25th April 2019, Hon Justice Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza discussed the powers of a Commissioner Land Registration to cancel title.

In this appeal, the Commissioner Land Registration issued a notice of cancellation of appellants’ certificate of title on grounds that it was fraudulently obtained.

She stated that, Section 37 of the Land (Amendment) Act 2004 introduced the current section 91(2) of the Land Act which provides grounds under which the Commissioner can cancel a certificate of title to include, certificates issued in error, endorsements made in error, endorsements obtained or retained wrongfully and certificates bearing misdescription of land or boundaries.

That the exclusion of fraud was deliberate and it took away the authority of the Commissioner to cancel a certificate of title on the basis of fraud.

The intention of the legislature to omit fraud is in line with the well-known judicial principle that allegations of fraud are so serious in nature that they require to be specifically pleaded and strictly proved before a court of law.

Consequently, the power to cancel certificates of title where fraud is alleged is vested in the High court.