Is transfer of property during pending litigation Valid (Lis Pendens)


Transfer of property during pending litigation

What is the meaning of ”Lis Pendens”? Is the transfer of property valid, which is made during the pendency of the suit relating thereto?

Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act enacts the doctrine of ”lis pendens”. Put simply, it means any right to immovable property, which is the subject matter of a legal proceeding, cannot be transferred or dealt with so as to defeat the rights of any party to the suit, except under the order of the court hearing the proceeding.

This is necessary because otherwise, the plaintiff”s right in every such suit would be defeated by reason of the defendant transferring before the judgment or decree. The plaintiff would then have to file another suit against the new purchaser, and repeat the process indefinitely, because every defendant would sell to a new purchaser before the judgment or decree. Thus, the plaintiff would never be able to succeed in his suit.

State amendment: In Gujarat and Maharashtra, an amendment has been made as follows:

  • that the plaintiff must register a notice of pendency of such suit or proceeding, under Section 18 of the Indian Registration Act containing the following:
    • the name and address of the owner of immovable property or other person whose right to the immovable property is in question;
    • the description of the immovable property the right to which is in question;
    • the court in which the suit or proceeding is pending;
    • the nature and title of the suit or proceeding; and
    • the date on which the suit or proceeding was instituted.
  • the bar against the transfer or alienation of the property which operates after the notice is registered.

Commencement of the suit –

A suit is commenced by the filing of a plaint and, appeals and execution proceedings are the continuation of the suit.


  • ”A” mortgages property first to B, and then to C. ”C”sues A on his mortgage and, pending the sui,t to B. The sale, having being made pendente lite, is subject to the decree in C”s suit. But A”s right, under the prior mortgage, is not affected.
  • ”A” makes a gift of land to B. ”C” sues A for the possession of the land. While this suit is pending, B transfers the land to D; A dies and C obtains the decree for the possession against B as the legal representatives of A. In the above circumstances, the title of D is not affected by the rule of lis pendens, subject to B”s decree, because of two reasons. Firstly, A’s gift was before the suit. Secondly, B was not a party to the suit at the time of the transfer by B to D.

The rule of lis pendens does not apply to any transfer made before the filing of the suit. The doctrine does not apply to immovable property.


About the author


  • Shubhashish Sen Gupta. says:

    Respected Sir,

    One of our neighbours forcibly encroached a portion of our leased out govt. land on the western side at Sri Krishna Nagar, Patna on 23.12.79 at the dead of the night at around 3.00 am with the help of many anti-social elements. We loged a case u/s 144 Cr.Pc. and finally being converted into 145 Cr.Pc we won the case on 04.04.92. After this, the owner of the adjoining private plot Mrs. Kalindi Devi filed a Criminal Revision in the Civil Court of Patna, but it was dismissed on this recent 01.06.13 after a lapse of 20 long years clearing our way to justice.

    A separate Eviction Suit was also lodged by the Govt, against Mrs. Kalindi Devi probably in 1981 in the court of the Competant Authority, BSHB, which she also finally lost in the High Court of Patna on 21.04.09 and never appealed as she fled away on 22.10.99 after illegally selling the disputed property on 11.10.99 to two related people, the disputed property on which there are four Injunction Orders pending still.

    Now there are two cases pending in the Civil Court one instituted by us in 1982 under the Municipal Corporation Act for making unauthorised construction without a Building Plan and the other which is a Title Suit by Mrs. Kalindi Devi to thwart the legal proceedings of the govt of Bihar. For the last 35 years we have won every move except the remaing two cases as stated above. But still the possession has not yet been given to us for which I have written to the govt. many times.

    The new fake owners of Mrs. Kalindi Devi’s plot have been giving false attendances in the cases since 11.10.99 since they have taken possession of the disputed plot including our encroached land.

    It now seems that there is no justice in this country at all. Even after winning all the major cases
    sacrifycing 35 years of our precious lives spending most of our hard earned money we still remain deprived till date awaiting justice.

    Please help us now as they are putting pressure on us to compromise which we would never do. In the remaining two cases also their position is becoming very silly day by day as they cannot submit any petition or rejoinders or replies as it all would require affidavits of Mrs. Kalindi Devi when she has already fled with her whole family members on 22.10.99 just after selling the disputed property. That is why they are thinking to forcibly compromise on their terms.

    I await your reply.

    Prof. Sen Gupta.

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  • Shubhashish Sen Gupta. says:

    It is now not possible for me to spend anymore money on the cases due to extreme hardships. I am already a diabetic with high blood pressure and my only son is mere 13 years of age due to married late due to unavoidable circumstances. Kindly help me if you can. Had I got money I would not have left to depute the best lawyers in town when only a very little push is required to teach a good lesson to the offenders of law who take this for granted that they can play it on their fingers. I await your kind response. Prof. Sen Gupta.

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  • Dr. Samir M. says:

    I am in litigation with my father over a house. the case is still pending. as of record our application to record my side of the facts and continual of stay till decision of the court is also under review. Can my father sell off the property , and if he cannot and has done so , how do i get relief? P.S. No order has been given by the court to vacate the stay.

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  • Krishna says:

    Hello Sir, I need some Clarification regarding lis pendens. I brought a land together with 5 other people and subdivided the land equally among us in the year 1990.
    Subsequently in the year 2002 our patta’s were cancelled and it was granted to one Mr.X. At this juncture the tilte is in question, as Mr.X did some fixation in settlement office and have obtained a gazette notice saying the land is settled in the name of Mr.X. out of the 5 Members, 3 alone filled case against x in Honourable court and have won the case in 2015. Now the final full decree has been made and we won the case. Now before Mr.X appeals in higher court can 1 part out of the 3 who filled case in court wants to buy the rest of the lands, lands that is part of the case and not part of the case. Can it be done? or is it illeagal in the eyes of law. what is the legal complications.
    the agreement value is being fixed to 1/3rd of the guideline value, considering the issues and litigation property. Is it a case of speculative purchase and Nexus?

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  • pooja says:

    hello i want to know that after the filing of suit if defendents sold the property and then can the plea of their counsel that intention of the plaintiff regading readiness to execute sale deed isnt there will overrule the rule of lis pendis

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  • shokat says:

    can you please reproduce the exact State amendment – Gujarat and Maharashtra in Section 18 of the Indian Registration Act and the date on which this amendment came into effect.

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  • KS Mohan says:

    Our reputed builder in Bengaluru has not provided clubhouse facility even after 3-4 yrs, after taking a hefty amount towards the same. He has not provided OC , the wood work of windows and doors has started cracking. Not yet handed over the corpus amount, the flats suffer from deficiency in amenities provided like AC units and STP.
    Can a few like minded flat owners ( assn not formed) go the legal way and will this effect his chances of getting OC and others chance of selling the flat>

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  • Aryan shah says:

    Purchased a house 20 yrs back.Now the owner of house is late and the ownership lies with his wife..we completed most of the formalities regarding ownership transfer.but last thing is pending.The lady suppose to come for last physical verification nd for signature infront of magistrate. But she is demanding money for that. Moreover we have general power of attorney with us. Please advice if it will create any chaos if we go to court for a case against her…

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  • Deepak Vitthal Mule says:

    I registered lies pendancy on 30-12-2016.But still today on that property transactions going on.Please give me advice how can I prove these tansactions are illeagal and how I can stop further transactions on that property.

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  • Deepak Vitthal Mule says:

    thanks a lot

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  • Mohd Ibrahim says:

    I have entered into sale agreement with my paterenal cousin brother in the year 2012,for the sale consideration of rs4500000/-. in which I have paid Rs 2500000/- as advance payment he has hand over me some of his orignal documents like link document and some orignal documents with phyiscal the sale agreement one of a clause was that balance payment has to made within 3 months. but as we entered into agreement neighbours of the plot has closed the way which is only the way to enter our plot we asked my brother to give the passage which he has shown and written into agreement, he said he will talk to them like wise years passes as he was relative we have only requested him to clear the passage litigation with neighbours as that was the only one passage. but we have not given any notice or written letter in this concerend. now after 6 years he was planning to sell the property to burial ground which is just adjecent to that plot. when we enquired about this he replied that as per our conditions i have to make payment within three month the period expire so my amount wont be refundable and he is free to sell the property,but in the ageement it was not written that payment will not be refundable,the fact is delay in payment is because of the passage and he is responsable for that. now he is only pointing the agreement clause. does any pirchaser right is applicable in this scenireo, can i able to get back my advance payment which is almost 55% of the sale consideration, now i am demanding him to either give me passage or i will purchase passage from neighbour by the market rate which is arount 9 to 10lakhs and balance amount would can be paid at the time of registration he was deniying pla advice what to do

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  • Vel says:

    I purchased a property last month.1200sq.ft.but after 1 month a lady came with the court order she is the half owner of that property.

    I purchased from Mrs.veni. Mrs.veni purchased from mr.abdul. mr. Abdul became the sole owner after his wife’s death without any biological children. But Mr.abduls wife’s sister had filed a suit that she is having the right of half the share of property as per mohammadens law and having the court order of the same.

    Now what is my claim over the property.

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