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Monday, May 9, 2011


Whether a party can transfer property during pendency of the suit? What are the rights and obligations of the transferee? It is important to understand the legal principles underlying the transfer of property pending suit, which this short article provides with the help of the Supreme Court decision, in a simple way.

Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 provides provisions with regard to the transfer of the property pending suit and relating thereto.

Hon’ble Supreme Court in T.G Ashok Kumar V Govindammal & Anr8, had provided following clear principles underlying section 52:

(1) During pendency of the suit in a court of competent jurisdiction which is not collusive, in which any right of an immovable property is directly and specifically in question, such property cannot be transferred by any party to the suit so as to affect the rights of any other party to the suit under any decree that may be made in such suit.

(2) If ultimately the title of the pendent lite transferor is upheld in regard to the transferred property, the transferee’s title will not be affected.

(3) On the hand, if the title of the pendente lite transferor is recognized or accepted only in regard to a part of the transferred property, then the transferee’s title will be saved only in regard to that extend and the transfer in regard to the remaining portion of the transferred property to which the transferor is found not entitled, will be invalid and the transferee will not get any right, title or interest in that portion.

(4) If the property transferred pendente lite, is allotted in entirely to some other party or parties or if the transferor is held to have no right or title in that property, the transferee will not have any title to the property.

(5) Where a co-owner alienates a property or a portion of a property representing to be the absolute owner, equities can no doubt be adjusted while making the division during the final decree proceedings, if feasible and practical (that is without causing loss or hardship or inconvenience to other parties) by allotting the property or portion of the property transferred pendente lite, to the share of the transferor, so that the bona fide transferee’s right and title are saved fully or partially.

Prepared by: S. Hemanth