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The meaning of lis pendens is - ‘a pending
legal action’, wherein Lis means the ‘suit’ and
Pendens means ‘continuing or pending’. The
doctrine has been derived from a latin maxim
“Ut Lite pendent nihil innovetur” which means
that during litigation nothing should be changed
The principle embodying the said doctrine is that the
subject matter of a suit should not be transferred to a
third party during the pendency of the suit. In case of
transfer of such immovable property, the transferee
becomes bound by the result of the suit

The doctrine of UT LITE PENDENTE

NIHIL INNOVETUR essentially aims at:
(i) avoiding endless litigation,
(ii) protecting either party to the litigation
against the act of the other,
(iii) avoiding abuse of legal process.
 Ut Lite Pendente Nihil Innovetur is captured under
Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (the

The Section essentially prohibits alienation of

immovable property when a dispute relating to the
same is pending in a competent court of law.

It is based on the principle that the person

purchasing an immovable property from the
judgment debtor during the pendency of the suit has
no independent right to property to resist, obstruct or
object execution of a decree.

The Supreme Court in a three Judge Bench in Dev Raj Dogra and others v.
Gyan Chand Jain and others construed the meaning of Section 52 of the
Transfer of Property Act and laid down following conditions:
• A suit or a proceeding in which any right to immovable property is directly
and specifically in question must be pending;
• The suit or proceeding should be pending in a Court of competent
• The suit or the proceeding should not be a collusive one;
• Litigation must be one in which right to immovable property is directly and
specifically in question;
• Any transfer of such immovable property or any dealing with such property
during the pendency of the suit is prohibited except under the authority of
Court, if such transfer or otherwise dealing with the property by any party
to the suit or proceeding affects the right of any other party to the suit or
proceeding under any order or decree which may be passed in the said suit
or proceeding.
Non – Applicability of Doctrine

This Maxim is not applicable in every case. There are certain instances
wherein this doctrine does not apply :

• A sale made by the mortgagee in the exercise of the power as conferred

by the mortgage deed.
• In matters of review;
• In cases where the transferor is the only party affected;
• In cases of friendly suits;
• In cases where the proceedings are collusive;
• In case of suits involving pending transfers by a person who is not a party
to the suit;
• In cases where the property has not been properly described in the plaint;
• In cases where the subject matter of rights concerned in the suit and that
which are alienated by transfer are different.
In T.G. Ashok Kumar v.
Govindammal & Anr,
The Supreme Court observed that if the title of the pendente
lite transferor is upheld in regard to the transferred property, the
transferee’s title will not be affected. On the other 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 extent and
the transfer in regard to the remaining portion of the transferred
property will be invalid and the transferee will not get any
right, title or interest in that portion. If the property transferred
pendente lite, is entirely allotted 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.
In Ramjidas v. Laxmi Kumar
and Ors.,
The Madhya Pradesh Court observed that the
purpose of Section 52 is not to defeat any just
and equitable claim but only to subject them to
the authority of Court which is dealing with the
property to which the claims are put forward.
Presented by : -
Vansh Kathuria
Arjun Sharma
Niranjan S Nair
Sunaina Sharma