Lis Alibi Pendens

Lis Alibi Pendens

Literal Meaning

A suit pending elsewhere/the same cause of action is pending elsewhere.

Origin

Latin

The legal term denotes that there is a pending suit concerning the title to or ownership of an interest in the specific property, which is the subject-matter of the suit.

Explanation of Lis Alibi Pendens

Lis means an action or a suit. Pendens means continuing or pending. It is thus known that lis pendens means a pending action.

It is generally referred to as a ‘pending suit’, which can be treated as a constructive notice that a suit is filed in the Civil Court concerning the title to or interest in that property, which is the subject-matter of the suit. It is an intimation to the interested buyers that the ownership of such property would be subject to the litigants’ rights after such a suit is decided by the court. It does not prevent the sale, transfer, etc. of the property; but ensures interested persons could not be adversely affected by the pending suit. It remains in effect till the Court renders the decision or the case is settled.

Illustration

When there is a pending suit between a landlord and a tenant regarding payment of rent, and the landlord transfers his property during that time, the transfer shall not be affected in any manner by the doctrine of Lis Alibi Pendens

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because the suit was not regarding the title/interest of an Immovable Property, it was regarding the payment of the rents.

Case Laws

Samarendra Nath Simla & Anr vs. Krishna Kumar Nag AIR 1967 SC 1440

It was held that the principle of lis pendens applies even to involuntary alienations like Court Sales. J. Shelat observed that the purchaser is bound by the decision of the Court on the principle of lis pendens that since the party is bound by the decision, the person deriving his right, title, and/or interest is also bound by the same.

Sukhubai vs. Eknath Bellappa AIR 1948 Nag 97

In this case, the court held that despite the established possession of the defendants and the respondents for over 12 years, the doctrine of lis pendens prevents their rights by adverse possession.

Jayaram Mudaliar vs. Ayyaswami 1972 2 SCC 200, 217

The Supreme Court, in this case, held that the need for the doctrine of lis pendens arises from the jurisdiction of the Courts and their control over the subject-matter of the suit so that the parties to the suit cannot remove, sell or otherwise alter any part of the subject-matter while dealing with it and thus making the proceedings ineffective.

Also Read: Lex Prospicit Non Respicit

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