The case titled V. T Vijayan Vs U.Kuttuppan Nair
In the landmark judgment (Case titled as V. T Vijayan Vs U.Kuttuppan Nair), the Kerala High Court gave its specific observation stating that Sale Agreement Executed during the Pendency of the Suit is hit by ‘Lis Pendens’.
The doctrine of Lis Pendens
The doctrine of Lis Pendens: In simple words, ‘lis’ means ‘suit or litigation’ and ‘Pendens’ means ‘pendency’. So, this doctrine means whenever the title of the property is under dispute, no new interest can be created over the suit property during the pendency of the case.
Question in Dispute
The question in dispute that arose before the Full Bench of Kerala High Court was if a party to the suit agrees to sell the suit property during the pendency of the suit, whether it attracts the rule of ‘lis Pendens?
Judgment of the Court
The Bench believed that Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act specifically deals with the situation at hand. It states that when litigation is pending in the Court and the property is under dispute, no party to the suit can deal with the suit property in any manner, except after taking due permission of the Court.
Further, it was taken into consideration that even though the mere agreement to sale executed by a party to the suit regarding the suit property does not create any right or title in favour of a third party, still it will be termed as a mode of dealing with the subject matter of the suit which may adversely affect the rights and interests of other parties to the suit; thus it attracts the rule of ‘lis pendens’. As per Section 5A of the Transfer of Property Act, a contract of sale of immovable property is that the sale of such property shall take place on terms settled between the parties. Therefore, the contract of sale of an immovable property becomes enforceable in the buyer’s hands, creating an obligation on the parties to execute the contract as per the terms of the same.
Therefore, in a nutshell, the Court held that “execution of an agreement for the sale of the subject matter of the suit, during the pendency of the suit attracts the doctrine of lis pendence”.
The observation and the Court’s decision stating that Sale Agreement Executed during the Pendency of the Suit is hit by ‘Lis Pendens’ is considered a landmark Judgment that would assist in the judicial decisions.
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