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Report No. 157

1.14. Jurisdiction of machinery for resolution of dispute is not ousted during pendency of proceedings.-

Jurisdiction of machinery for resolution of dispute is not ousted during pendency of proceedings.-Once a suit or petition is instituted before a court or forum having jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the case, it is empowered to pass all suitable directions for administration of justice till it becomes functus officio. Thus it is well established that if a suit was validly filed and the Court had jurisdiction to entertain it on the date of institution, subsequent events would not lead to the defeat of the suit unless expressly provided to that effect by a legislative enactment1. A Court must have jurisdiction through the proceedings until termination of those proceedings by the judgment of the Court.2

Once the jurisdiction of court is attached, private dealings that may remove the subject-matter of litigation from the ambit of the power of the court to decide a pending dispute or which may frustrate its decree should not be allowed as a matter of public policy. If sale of property in dispute is permitted during the pendency of suit or proceeding, it would not only defeat the proper administration of justice, but it would also lead to multiplicity of proceedings which itself may create an unacceptable situation in the administration of justice.

In order to ensure that such a situation does not occur, a provision was rightly enacted in section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 to the effect that during the pendency of any suit or proceeding, the property cannot be transferred or otherwise dealt with by any party to the suit or proceeding so as to affect the rights of any other party thereto under any decree or order which may be made therein, except under the authority of the court.

Although the doctrine of lis pendens enacted in the above section is a noble concept which not only aims at preventing multiplicity of proceedings, but it also ensures uninterrupted process of dispensation of justice, yet there are certain vital issues having a bearing on the just application of this principle in all situations which require consideration in order to meet the demands of justice in an even manner so as to protect various interests involved therein. We propose to discuss these issues in the succeeding chapters of this report.

1. Venugopala Reddiar v. Krishna Swami Reddiar, AIR 1943 FC 24 referred in Official Receiver v. fugal Kishore, AIR 1963 All 459.

2. AIR Commentaries on The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, 9th Edn., Vol. 1, p. 86.

Section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 and its Amendment Back

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