This case brief is written by Sanskriti Goel, a 1st-year law student from Chanderprabhu Jain College of Higher Studies and School of law, GGSIPU.
Civil Appeal No. 2151 of 1968
AIR 1973 SC 569, (1972) 2 SCC 200, 1973 1 SCR 139
12th April 1972
Hon’ble Judges S.M. Sikri, C.J., A.N. Ray, and M. Hameedullah Beg
RELEVANT ACT/ SECTION
- Transfer of Property Act, 1882 – Section 52
- Land Improvement Loans Act, 1883 – Section 7(1)(a) and Section 7(1)(c).
BRIEF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
- Plaintiff, as well as the defendant, were all related to each other as family. Plaintiff/Respondent (Ayyaswami), filed for partition in June 1958 impleading defendant/appellant (Jayaram) and Munniswami as co-defendants. Jayaram was the son-in-law of Munniswami.
- While this partition suit was still going on, Jayaram purchased some land from Munniswami under a sale deed and some other land at a public auction to enable Munniswami to pay off his debts.
- Ayyaswami brought a suit against the defendant challenging the validity of the sale of joint property stating that it was struck by the doctrine of lis pendens in Section 52 of Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (hereinafter ‘TPA’).
- The High Court termed the sale of July 1958 as a ‘voluntary alienation’ and held that exemption from the scope of lis pendens cannot be extended to voluntary sales in any case. The High Court observed that: “The obligations incurred before the sale of July 1958, by reason of the decrees in the mortgage suits, were not on this view, liabilities which could be equated with either transfer prior to the institution of the partition suit or with sales in execution of mortgage decrees which are involuntary.
- Can the doctrine of lis pendens be applied to the sale in question?
- Are public auctions exceptions to Section 52, TPA?
RATIO OF THE CASE
- ‘Lis Pendens’ means a pending suit, and the doctrine of lis pendens has been defined as the jurisdiction, power, over control which are court acquires over property involved in a suit pending the continents of the action and until final judgment therein.
- Justice Beg observed that Section 52 applies not merely to actual transfers or rights which are the subject matter of litigation but to other dealings with it by any party to the suit or proceeding, so as to affect the right of any other party thereto.
- Hence, where it is not a party to the litigation but an outside agency, which proceeds against the subject matter of the litigation without anything done by the litigating party, the resulting transaction will not be hit by Section 52.
DECISION OF THE HON’BLE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
- The appeal was dismissed on the grounds of the doctrine of lis pendens. The whole purpose of the doctrine is to stop parties to the pending litigation or any other person, to acquire any rights in respect of the immovable property subject to such litigation.
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