Transfer of Property Act_Doctrine of Election

Doctrine of Election 

  1. Section 35 of the Transfer of Property Act, 1882 lays down the Doctrine of Election.
  2. The meaning of term Election is to select  between two alternative rights or inconsistent rights. 
  3. The Section 35 provides that, when a person who is a stranger to the property or having no authority over the property transfers the property to third person and by virtue of the same transaction confers some benefit to the owner in lieu of his property then it is the duty on the owner of the property to elect i.e. whether to retain the property or to accept the benefit. If he retains the property then he has to forfeit the benefit or in case, if he accepts the benefit then he has to forfeit the claim over the said property. 
  4. The principle behind  the doctrine of election is that a person cannot approbate and reprobate at the same time. It means that, under this doctrine if a person accepts one thing then he/she has to accept it wholly and relinquish the other.  It means either the property or the benefit. If a person retains the property in that case he/she has to relinquish the benefit. In case, if he/she has accepts the benefit then he/she has to relinquish the claim over the property. 
  5. The Privy Council in the case of Rungama V/s. Atchama, held that a party shall not at the same time affirm and disaffirm in the same transaction.
  6. Example - P’ is a stranger/transferor who transfers the house worth Rs. 1 Lakh of ‘R’ the owner of the house to ‘S’, the transferee and in the same transaction confers benefit of Rs. 2 lakh on the owner ‘R’. Here ‘R’ as per the Section - 35 has the duty of election wherein he is having two options i.e. (i) to retain the property or, (ii) to accept the benefit.

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