Pendente lite nihil innovetur

Pendente lite nihil innovetur

Literal Meaning

During litigation nothing should be changed.


This maxim means that during a litigation nothing new should be introduced. The doctrine of lis pendens expressed in the maxim ‘ut lite pendente nihil innovetur’ has been statutorily incorporated in section 52 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882. A defendant cannot, by alienating property during pendency of litigation, venture into depriving the successful plaintiff of the fruits of decree. 




In a matrimonial case, the wife sued her husband for maintenance. In this case, the husband alienated the property and the wife claimed that this transfer was barred owing to the application of the doctrine of this maxim.

Case References

Hiranya Bhusan Mukherjee v. Gouri dutt Maharaj and others, AIR (30) 1943 CALCUTTA 227

In this case court laid down as follows:”The doctrine with which S.52 of the Transfer of Property Act is concerned rests upon the foundation that it would plainly be impossible that any action or suit could be brought to a successful termination, if alienations pendente lite were permitted to prevail. The correct mode of stating the doctrine is that “pendente lite neither party to the litigation can alienate the property in dispute so as to affect his opponent.” During litigation nothing new should be introduced-Pendente lite nihil innovetur.

Raj Kumar v. Sardari Lal [2004] 15 ILD 137 (SC)

The transferee pendente lite is treated in the eye of law as representative-in-interest of the judgment debtor and held bound by the decree passed against the judgment-debtor though neither the defendant has chosen to bring the transferee on record by apprising his opponent and the Court of the transfer made by him nor the transferee has chosen to come on record by taking recourse to order 22 Rule 10 of the CPC.

KN Aswathnarayana Setty (D) Tr. LRs. & Ors. …Petitioners Versus State of Karnataka,2 December, 2013

In the judgement of this case court mentioned that 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.

Edited by Sree Ramya

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

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Shivani Rani
I am Shivani Rani from Faculty of Law, Aligarh Muslim University,Aligarh pursuing BALLB(Hons.). Criminal law and personal laws of country attracts me the most. I like to read books mostly based on fictin and also like to watch suspense & thriller movies as well as crime thriller web series, in free time. I love to take part in moot court competitions as well as research study work. I am enthusiastic about exploring new places and listening music. I am kind of ambivert person i.e., not so introvert and not so extrovert.