G.T. GIRISH V. Y. SUBBA RAJU

COURT: The Supreme Court of India

CORAM: Justice K.M. Joseph and Justice P.S. Narasimha

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 18 January 2022

FACTS

The Bangalore Development Authority allocated the scheduled property to the first defendant and later engaged in a lease cum sale agreement on 4.4.1979. On 17.11.1982, the first defendant signed a deal with the appellant to perform the sale of the given property. On 08.05.1984, the defendant intimated that the agreement was in breach and forfeited the deposit. The appellant sued, requesting specific performance. In the meantime, the first defendant, who has since passed away, and his son executed a sale deed in the second defendant’s favor. The High Court determined that the provisions of Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 applied to the alienation effected on behalf of the second defendant.

ISSUE RAISED

Whether the transfer of property is considered void only because it is made when the suit is pending?

JUDGEMENT

The Supreme Court observed that Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act stipulates is that any transfers of the property undertaken while a lawsuit is still pending is not void or invalid and would be subject to the final verdict of the Court. A transfer which is made lis pendens create rights as between the parties to the sale.

The Lis Pendens doctrine is based on the principle ‘pendente lite nihil innovetur,’ which denotes ‘pending litigation, nothing new should be introduced’.

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