DOCTRINE OF LIS PENDENS

INTRODUCTION

Lis Pendens literally translates to “pending litigation” or “pending suit,” and is derived from the adage “Pendente lite nihil innovature,” which states that nothing new must be introduced while a lawsuit or suit is ongoing. This doctrine holds that when there is an ongoing dispute on the title or any rights arising directly from it concerning immovable property, the transfer of property is limited. The litigation begins when a complaint is filed or when procedures in the proper court begin, and it will end when the Court issues an order.The Court may, however, allow any party to the lawsuit to transfer the property on the terms that it deems appropriate. Private talks may be used to sell immovable property, but the transfer will be subject to the decision of the relevant Court.

PURPOSE OF THE DOCTRINE 

This Doctrine is essential as it prevents Transfer of the title of any disputed property without the Court’s consent, there can be endless litigation, and it will become impossible to bring a lawsuit to a successful termination if alienations are permitted to prevail, and covenants are not imposed.

The ‘Transferee pendente lite’ is bound by the verdict just as if he were a party to the suit and the transfer shall be subservient to the result of the pending lawsuit.

CONDITIONS FOR THE APPLICABILITY OF THE DOCTRINE 

  • A lawsuit or other legal action is pending.
  • The aforementioned lawsuit has been filed at a competent court within the jurisdiction.
  • The right to an immovable property’s title is under immediate jeopardy.
  • There is no way there could be any cooperation.
  • The litigation should have a direct impact on the other party’s rights.
  • Either side is transferring the property in question.

CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH THE DOCTRINE IS NOT APPLICABLE

  • Even though the borrower is facing a redemption suit, this does not apply to a private sale by a creditor who has the right to sell the property that is mortgaged to it.
  • When a property is not specified accurately, it becomes unidentified, and the Doctrine does not apply.
  • The Doctrine does not apply where a claim to the abovementioned immovable property is not directly in dispute, and alienations are therefore permissible in a maintenance suit when the property is referenced solely so that maintenance payments can be computed openly.
  • When a Court orders the restoration of immovable property under Order 21, Rule 63 of the Civil Procedure Code, the Doctrine does not apply.

CASE LAW 

In Vinod Seth v. Devinder Bajaj, 2010, the court permitted the Respondent to file a pendente lite action despite repeating its ability to exclude the suit property from the limits imposed by Section 52 of the Act. The Court has put several limitations on these Section 52 exemptions. The Plaintiff in this case was a contractor who sought to benefit by erecting a structure on the suit-land, while the Defendant intended to sell it to a third party. The Defendant was required to deposit a total of three lakh rupees as security in order to transfer the property in issue, an amount from which the claimant would have benefited.

 

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