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Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act 1882. Doctrine of lis pendens is based on legal maxim ‘ut lite pendente nihil innovetur’ (During a litigation nothing new should be introduced). A transferee pendente lite is bound by the decree just as much as he was a party to the suit. A litigating party is exempted from taking notice of a title acquired during the pendency of the litigation. = KN Aswathnarayana Setty (D) Tr. LRs. & Ors. …Petitioners Versus State of Karnataka & Ors. …Respondents = published in http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=41041

Section  52  of  the Transfer of Property Act 1882.     Doctrine of lis  pendens  is  based

 

English: Vidhana Soudha (Government of Karnata...

English: Vidhana Soudha (Government of Karnataka in Bangalore) Deutsch: Vidhana Soudha (Regierung von Karnataka in Bangalore) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 on  legal  maxim  ‘ut  lite  pendente nihil innovetur’ (During a litigation nothing new  should  be

 

      introduced). A transferee pendente lite is bound  by  the

 

      decree just as much as he was a party to the suit. A litigating  party

 

      is exempted from taking notice of a title acquired during the pendency

 

      of the litigation.  =

 

High Court of Karnataka  at  Bangalore

 

      in Writ Appeal No.1421 of 2008 etc.  affirming  the  judgment  of  the

 

      learned Single Judge dated  17.4.2008  passed  in  Writ  Petition  No.

 

      11502/2006, by which and whereunder the court had quashed  the   order

 

      dated  27.2.2004,  passed  by  the  Revenue  Minister,  Government  of

 

      Karnataka de-notifying the suit land from acquisition. pending appeal, the petitioner purchased the land – Doctrine of lis pendens applies – he is bound by the order – he can not claim any independent right but he is entitled for compensation = 

 

 

 

Doctrine of lis  pendens  is  based  on  legal  maxim  ‘ut  lite

 

      pendente nihil innovetur’ (During a litigation nothing new  should  be

 

      introduced). 

 

This  doctrine  stood  embodied  in  Section  52  of  the

 

      Transfer of Property Act 1882.   

 

 The principle of ‘lis pendens’ is in

 

      accordance with the equity, good conscience or  justice  because  they

 

      rest upon an equitable and just foundation that it will be  impossible

 

      to bring an action or suit to a successful termination if  alienations

 

      are permitted to prevail. 

 

A transferee pendente lite is bound  by  the

 

      decree just as much as he was a party to the suit. A litigating  party

 

      is exempted from taking notice of a title acquired during the pendency

 

      of the litigation. 

 

However, it must be clear that mere pendency  of  a

 

      suit does not prevent  one  of  the  parties  from  dealing  with  the

 

      property constituting the subject matter of the suit. 

 

The  law  simply

 

      postulates a condition that the alienation will, in no manner,  affect

 

      the rights of the other party under any decree which may be passed  in

 

      the suit unless the property was alienated with the permission of  the

 

      Court. 

 

The transferee cannot deprive the successful plaintiff  of  the

 

      fruits of the decree if  he  purchased  the  property  pendente  lite.

 

 

 

 There is ample evidence on record to show that possession of the

 

      suit land had been  taken  on  6.9.2002.  In  such  a  fact-situation,

 

      question of de-notifying the acquisition  of  land  could  not  arise.

 

      

 

Thus, the order dated 27.2.2004 could not be passed. 

 

There cannot be a

 

      dispute in law that upon possession being taken under Section 16 or 17

 

      of  the  Act  1894,  the  land  vests  in  the  State  free  from  all

 

      encumbrances. Thus, in case possession of the  land  has  been  taken,

 

      application for release of land from acquisition is not  maintainable.

 

      

 

Once the land is vested in the State free from encumbrances, it cannot

 

      be divested.                     

 

 

 

   The petitions are  devoid  of  any  merit  and  are  accordingly

 

      dismissed.  However, it is made clear that the  petitioners  shall  be

 

      entitled to compensation as determined under the provisions of the Act

 

      1894.

 

 

 

REPORTABLE

 

 

 
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

 
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (C) No.22311 of 2012

 
KN Aswathnarayana Setty (D) Tr. LRs. & Ors. …Petitioners

 
Versus

 
State of Karnataka & Ors. …Respondents

 
With

 
SLP (C) Nos.22307-22309 of 2012

 

 

 
J U D G M E N T

 
Dr. B.S. CHAUHAN, J.
1. These petitions have been filed against the judgment and order
dated 24.10.2011, passed by the High Court of Karnataka at Bangalore
in Writ Appeal No.1421 of 2008 etc. affirming the judgment of the
learned Single Judge dated 17.4.2008 passed in Writ Petition No.
11502/2006, by which and whereunder the court had quashed the order
dated 27.2.2004, passed by the Revenue Minister, Government of
Karnataka de-notifying the suit land from acquisition.

 
2. Facts and circumstances giving rise to these petitions are:
A. That a preliminary notification under Section 4(1) of the Land
Acquisition Act 1894 (hereinafter referred to as ‘Act 1894’) was
issued in respect of huge chunk of land including Survey No.49/1
admeasuring 15 Acres on 6.8.1991 for the benefit of the State
Government Houseless Harijan Employees Association (Regd.)
(hereinafter referred to as ‘Society’). In respect of the same land
declaration under Section 6 of the Act 1894 was issued on 15.5.1992.
B. At the behest of the then owners of the suit land the Government
de-notified the land from acquisition vide order dated 5.8.1993
issuing notification under Section 48(1) of the Act 1894.
C. Aggrieved the respondent no.3-Society challenged the said order
of de-notifying the land from acquisition by filing Writ Petition
which was dismissed by the learned Single Judge. The said order was
also affirmed by the Division Bench dismissing the Writ Appeal
preferred by the Society. The Society approached this court by filing
special leave petitions which were entertained and finally heard Civil
Appeal No. 5015/1999 etc. and this court vide judgment and order dated
11.12.2000 quashed the order dated 5.8.1993 de-notifying the suit land
from acquisition.
D. During the pendency of Civil Appeal No.5015 of 1999 etc. filed
by the respondent-society, the present petitioners purchased the suit
land in the years 1997-1998 and approached the Government of Karnataka
to de-notify the said land from acquisition. As their application for
release was not dealt with by the Government, they preferred Writ
Petition Nos.19968-97 of 2002 etc. before the High Court for
directions to the Government to release the land.
E. The High Court vide judgment and order dated 19.2.2003 disposed
of the said writ petition, directing the Government to decide their
application in accordance with law expeditiously. In pursuance of the
High Court order, the Government of Karnataka issued notice to all
concerned parties and against all the parties the Hon’ble Revenue
Minister passed an order dated 27.2.2004, directing to de-notify the
land from acquisition.
F. The order dated 27.2.2004 was not complied with as the Deputy
Secretary to the Government of Karnataka raised certain objections and
made an endorsement dated 21.9.2005 that the matter had attained
finality after being decided by this Court and possession of the land
had already been taken and handed over to the respondent-society on
6.9.2002, much prior to the order passed by the Hon’ble Minister.
G. The present petitioners filed Writ Petition No.11502 of 2006
etc. before the High Court to quash the endorsement dated 21.9.2005
made by the learned Deputy Secretary, Government of Karnataka. The
writ petition stood dismissed on 17.4.2008 in terms of the judgment of
the same date in a similar case, i.e. Writ Petition No.9857 of 2006
(M.V. Kasturi & Ors. v. State of Karnataka & Ors.).
H. Aggrieved, petitioners preferred a Writ Appeal No. 1421/2008
which has been dismissed by the impugned judgment and order.
Hence, these petitions.

 
3. Shri Kailash Vasdev, learned senior counsel appearing for the
petitioners submitted that the courts below have committed an error in
dismissing the case of the petitioners as the courts failed to
appreciate the legal issues. This Court set aside the order of de-
notification dated 5.8.1993 on a technical ground as the order of de-
notification was passed without hearing the respondent-society for
whose benefit the land had been acquired. Thus, there could be no
prohibition for the State to de-notifying the land from acquisition
after hearing the concerned parties. More so, the Hon’ble Minister
had competence to deal with the acquisition proceedings and thus the
finding recorded by the High Court about his competence is perverse.
More so, as there was no interim order of this court in Society’s
appeal, petitioners could purchase the land. Hence, these petitions
should be accepted.

 
4. Per contra, Shri Rama Jois and Shri K.N. Bhat, learned senior
counsel for the respondents have opposed the petitions contending that
this Court has set aside the order dated 5.8.1993 de-notifying the
land from acquisition not only on the ground of violation of
principles of natural justice but also on merits as it had been held
by this Court that there was no justification for de-notifying the
land. The present petitioners are purchasers of land subsequent to
notification under Section 4(1) of the Act 1894, and they could not
purchase the land at all. In view of the fact that the appeal filed
by the respondent no.3 against the order dated 5.8.1993 was pending
before this Court, doctrine of lis pendens would apply. Thus, the
petitions are liable to be dismissed.
5. We have considered the rival submissions made by the learned
counsel for the parties and perused the record.
The facts are not in dispute. At the time of purchase of the
suit land by the present petitioners the matter was sub-judice before
this Court and if the order of de-notification dated 5.8.1993 stood
quashed, it would automatically revive the land acquisition
proceedings meaning thereby the notification under Section 4 and
declaration under Section 6 resurfaced by operation of law. In such a
fact-situation, it is not permissible for the present petitioners to
argue that merely because there was no interim order in the appeal
filed by the respondent no.3, petitioners had a right to purchase the
land during the pendency of the litigation and would not be bound by
the order of this Court quashing the de-notification of acquisition
proceedings.

 
6. Doctrine of lis pendens is based on legal maxim ‘ut lite
pendente nihil innovetur’ (During a litigation nothing new should be
introduced). This doctrine stood embodied in Section 52 of the
Transfer of Property Act 1882. The principle of ‘lis pendens’ is in
accordance with the equity, good conscience or justice because they
rest upon an equitable and just foundation that it will be impossible
to bring an action or suit to a successful termination if alienations
are permitted to prevail. A transferee pendente lite is bound by the
decree just as much as he was a party to the suit. A litigating party
is exempted from taking notice of a title acquired during the pendency
of the litigation. However, it must be clear that mere pendency of a
suit does not prevent one of the parties from dealing with the
property constituting the subject matter of the suit. The law simply
postulates a condition that the alienation will, in no manner, affect
the rights of the other party under any decree which may be passed in
the suit unless the property was alienated with the permission of the
Court. The transferee cannot deprive the successful plaintiff of the
fruits of the decree if he purchased the property pendente lite.
[Vide : K. Adivi Naidu & Ors. vs. E. Duruvasulu Naidu & Ors., (1995) 6
SCC 150; Venkatrao Anantdeo Joshi & Ors. vs. Malatibai & Ors., (2003)
1 SCC 722; Raj Kumar vs. Sardari Lal & Ors., (2004) 2 SCC 601; and
Sanjay Verma v. Manik Roy & Ors., AIR 2007 SC 1332).
7. In Rajender Singh & Ors. v. Santa Singh & Ors., AIR 1973 SC
2537, while dealing with the application of doctrine of lis pendens,
this court held as under:
“The doctrine of lis pendens was intended to strike at
attempts by parties to a litigation to circumvent the
jurisdiction of a court, in which a dispute on rights or
interests in immovable property is pending by private dealings
which may remove the subject matter of litigation from the ambit
of the court’s power to decide a pending dispute or frustrate
its decree.”

 
(See also: T.G. Ashok Kumar v. Govindammal & Anr., (2010) 14 SCC 370).

 
8. In view of the above, we are of the considered opinion that it
is not permissible to say that in case the petitioners had purchased
the suit property during the pendency of the appeal filed by
respondent no.3 before this Court, the petitioners are not bound by
the final orders of this Court.
9. By operation of law, as this Court quashed the de-notification
of acquisition proceedings, the proceedings stood revived. In V.
Chandrasekaran & Anr. vs. The Administrative Officer & Ors., JT 2012
(9) SC 260, this Court considered the right of purchaser of land
subsequent to the issuance of Section 4 notification and held that
any one who deals with the land subsequent to a Section 4 notification
being issued, does so, at his own peril. Section 4 notification gives
a notice to the public at large that the land in respect to which it
has been issued, is needed for a public purpose, and it further points
out that there will be “an impediment to any one to encumber the land
acquired thereunder.” The alienation thereafter does not bind the
State or the beneficiary under the acquisition. In fact, purchase of
land after publication of a Section 4 notification in relation to such
land, is void against the State and at the most, the purchaser may be
a person-interested in compensation, since he steps into the shoes of
the erstwhile owner and may therefore, merely claim compensation.
Thus, the purchaser cannot challenge the acquisition proceedings.
While deciding the said case this court placed reliance on a very
large number of its earlier judgments including Leela Ram v. Union of
India & Ors., AIR 1975 SC 2112; Smt. Sneh Prabha etc. v. State of
Uttar Pradesh & Anr., AIR 1996 SC 540; Meera Sahni v. Lieutenant
Governor of Delhi & Ors., (2008) 9 SCC 177; and Tika Ram & Ors. v.
State of U.P. & Ors., (2009) 10 SCC 689.
10. The law on the issue can be summarised to the effect that a
person who purchases land subsequent to the issuance of a Section 4
notification with respect to it, is not competent to challenge the
validity of the acquisition proceedings on any ground whatsoever, for
the reason that the sale deed executed in his favour does not confer
upon him, any title and at the most he can claim compensation on the
basis of his vendor’s title.
11. In order to meet the menace of sale of land after initiation of
acquisition proceedings, various States enacted the Acts and making
such transfers as punishable, e.g., The Delhi Lands (Restrictions on
Transfers) Act, 1972 made the sales permissible only after grant of
permission for transfer by the authority prescribed therein. In
absence of such permission if the sale is made in contravention of the
statutory provisions it is a punishable offence with imprisonment for
a term which may extend to 3 years or with fine or with both.
Therefore, we do not see any cogent reason to accept any plea
taken by the petitioners that they could purchase the suit land even
subsequent to Section 4 notification.

 
12. We do not find force in the submission made by Shri Kailash
Vasdev, learned senior counsel that this Court had quashed the de-
notification of acquisition proceedings only on technical ground as
the respondent-society was not heard.
This Court in State Govt. Houseless Harijan Employees
Association v. State of Karnataka & Ors., AIR 2001 SC 437 held as
under:
“71. From all this, the ultimate position which emerges is that
the acquisition in favour of the appellant was properly
initiated by publication of the Notification under Section 4(1)
and by the declaration issued under Section 6. The withdrawal of
the acquisition under Section 48(1) was vitiated not only
because the appellant was not heard but also because the reason
for withdrawal was wrong. The High Court erred in dismissing the
appellant’s writ petition. The decision of the High Court is
accordingly set aside. The impugned Notification under Section
48(1) is quashed and the appeal is allowed with costs.”
(Emphasis added)

 

 

 

13. There is ample evidence on record to show that possession of the
suit land had been taken on 6.9.2002. In such a fact-situation,
question of de-notifying the acquisition of land could not arise.
Thus, the order dated 27.2.2004 could not be passed. There cannot be a
dispute in law that upon possession being taken under Section 16 or 17
of the Act 1894, the land vests in the State free from all
encumbrances. Thus, in case possession of the land has been taken,
application for release of land from acquisition is not maintainable.
Once the land is vested in the State free from encumbrances, it cannot
be divested. (See: LT. Governor of H.P. & Anr. v. Sri Avinash Sharma,
AIR 1970 SC 1576; Satendra Prasad Jain & Ors. v. State of U.P. & Ors.,
AIR 1993 SC 2517; Mandir Shree Sitaramji alias Shree Sitaram Bhandar
v. Land Acquisition Collector & Ors., AIR 2005 SC 3581; and Smt.
Sulochana Chandrakant Galande v. Pune Municipal Transport & Ors., AIR
2010 SC 2962).

 
14. In view of the above, we do not think it necessary to examine
the other issues raised in the petitions particularly, the competence
of the Hon’ble Minister to deal with the matter.

 
15. The petitions are devoid of any merit and are accordingly
dismissed. However, it is made clear that the petitioners shall be
entitled to compensation as determined under the provisions of the Act
1894.
…………………….………………..J.
(DR. B.S.
CHAUHAN)

 

 

 

………….………………………J.
(S.A. BOBDE)
New Delhi,
December 2, 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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