The owner can sell his property during litigation

If the case of your immovable property is pending in Court, you cannot sell the property as Section  52 of Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (TPA) provides that during the pendency of a suit before a court involving immovable property, the property cannot be transferred, except under the authority of the court and on such terms as it may impose.

Many times it has been felt that innocent persons whose case is pending in Courts cannot freely transfer the property in dispute during the pending litigation and they are likely to sell their property much less than the market value despite buyers availability.

The judgement of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Vinod Seth Vs. Devinder Bajaj has laid down the exception to this bar of Section 52. In this case, Supreme Court exempted the property of the owner from operation of the bar under Section 52 during the pendency of the civil suit. The court found that prima facie the builders chances to succeed in the case appeared to be remote.

The Delhi High Court directed the builder to give an undertaking to pay compensation if his suit does not succeed. The courts cannot be a mute spectator to the parties being put on such unequal footing because the pendency of the suit interfered with the owners right to enjoy of deal with the property. The builder challenged the order before the division bench, and the same was also dismissed. Then the builder went to Supreme Court, the Apex Court appreciated the novel and innovative direction of High Court in exempting the owner from section 52. The High Court directed the owner of the property to furnish security and  liberty was given to him to deal with his property in any manner.

The said judgement is a precedent for cases where the owners right to sell his property has been curtailed by Section 52 of TPA.

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