Rule of feeding the grant by estoppel

February 1, 2024
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The Transfer of Property Act, 1882, stands as a comprehensive legal framework governing the transfer of property rights in India. Among the various doctrines and principles enshrined in the Act, the “Rule of Feeding the Grant by Estoppel” emerges as a significant concept, shedding light on the complexities surrounding property transfers and estoppel.

Understanding Feeding the Grant by Estoppel:

The doctrine of feeding the grant by estoppel holds substantial relevance in situations where a grantor purports to convey an interest in property but lacks the authority to do so. In essence, this doctrine operates to protect the rights of bona fide purchasers who, relying on the apparent authority of the grantor, acquire an interest in the property.

Feeding the grant by estoppel meaning:

To comprehend the intricacies of this rule, one must delve into its meaning. Feeding the grant by estoppel essentially refers to the legal principle wherein the grantor, by his conduct, representation, or acquiescence, is estopped from denying the authority to make a transfer. This estoppel operates as a shield for innocent third parties who, in good faith, rely on the apparent authority of the grantor in acquiring property rights.

The Doctrine in Action:

In real-world scenarios, the doctrine of feeding the grant by estoppel often comes into play in cases where a person, not owning a property, purports to convey an interest in that property. If a third party, acting in good faith, relies on the representation or conduct of the purported grantor and acquires rights in the property, the doctrine ensures that the grantor cannot subsequently deny the validity of the transfer.

Legal Recognition:

The jurisprudential foundation of this doctrine can be traced back to various judicial pronouncements. The courts, in upholding the sanctity of property transactions, have consistently recognized the principle that a person should not be allowed to take advantage of his own misrepresentation or conduct to the detriment of innocent third parties.

Application of the Doctrine: Inserting the sentence: “The doctrine of feeding the grant by estoppel, as elucidated in the case of Shyam Sunder v. Sant Lal (AIR 1974 SC 1321), highlights the importance of protecting the rights of those who innocently rely on the representations made by a purported grantor.”

In the case of Shyam Sunder v. Sant Lal, the Supreme Court underscored the significance of the doctrine in preventing the unjust enrichment of grantors who, through their actions or silence, induce others to believe in their authority to transfer property.


The rule of feeding the grant by estoppel, rooted in the principle of estoppel, serves as a safeguard against the unjust denial of property rights by grantors who, by their conduct, lead others to believe in their authority. As property transactions become increasingly intricate, this doctrine continues to play a pivotal role in maintaining the integrity and fairness of transfers under the Transfer of Property Act. Legal practitioners and stakeholders must navigate these principles with precision to ensure a just and equitable application of the law in property transactions.

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