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Temporary Injunction: A legal Snapshot
Updated: Sep 3, 2022
The Term “INJUNCTION” ordinarily means a judicial process where a party is required to do or to restrain himself from doing any particular act or thing. India inherited the Law of Injunction from England who initially borrowed it from Roman Law. The injunction is an equitable relief and not a right that prohibits an individual or a group of individuals to commit any specific act or doing or undoing something wrong. Under SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT,1963, section 36 talks about the two kinds of injunction that are Temporary Injunction and Permanent/Perpetual Injunction. A Perpetual injunction is only granted by a final decree made at the hearing and upon the merits of the suit and hence the party is restrained from doing an act indefinitely whereas a temporary or interim injunction is granted on an interlocutory application at any stage of a suit, the injunction is called temporary as it is until the suit is disposed of or until the further order of the Court.
Temporary Injunction is a provisional remedy that aims to preserve the subject matter in its standing state and is used mainly to deliver immediate relief. Section 94(c) and section 94 (e) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 mentions supplemental proceedings, which allows courts to inhibit the end of justice from being defeated. The section provides that the court may grant a temporary injunction or make interlocutory order as may appear to be just and convenient and in case of any disobedience, may compel the guilty person to the civil prison and order to attach and sell his property. Section 95 of the same Act provides for reasonable compensation that can be awarded to the defendant if no sufficient grounds are found for the injunction granted or if the plaintiff is defeated in the suit. In the Case of, Agricultural Produce Market Committee Vs. Girdharbhai R. Chhaniyara AIR 1997 SC 2674 the Apex Court concluded that such temporary injunctions can only be granted if the person seeking has a concluded right competent of being enforced by way of injunction.
Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 mentions rules concerning Temporary Injunction. Rule 1 enlist the circumstances in which a court can grant Temporary injunction that is Any property in dispute in a suit is in danger of being wasted, damaged, or alienated by any party to the suit, or wrongfully sold in execution of a decree, or the defendant threatens or intends, to remove or dispose of his property with a view to defrauding his creditors, the defendant threatens to dispossess the plaintiff or otherwise cause injury to the plaintiff in relation to any property in dispute in the suit. Rule 2 of the code provides that a temporary injunction may be awarded for restraining the defendant from committing a breach of contract or any other injury of any kind to the plaintiff. Rule 3 states that the court shall direct notice of the application to the opposite party, before granting the injunction to the plaintiff. However, if it seems to the court that the purpose of the injunction would be defeated by the delay, it may not provide the notice. Rule 4 provides for the vacation of already granted temporary injunction. Rule 5 states that an injunction directed to a corporation is binding not only on the corporation itself but also on all members and officers of the corporation whose personal action the injunction seeks to restrain. In the case of, Shiv Kumar Chadha Vs. Municipal Corporation of Delhi 1993 (3) SCC 161 Apex Court observed that the purpose of granting an interim injunction is to maintain the status quo.
Supreme Court in the case of Gujarat Bottling Co. Ltd. Vs. Coca-Cola Co. AIR 1995 SC 2372 gave a landmark judgment as to the guidelines to be followed by the court while considering applications for granting a temporary injunction. Some of them are:
I. An applicant seeking the injunction must establish a prima facie case in his favor.
II. The court must examine the conduct of the applicant. Such conduct needs to be examined even at the stage where an application to set aside an order under order 39 Rule 4 of the code has been filed.
III. Court has to examine the comparative balance of loss to be caused to the applicant and respondent if such order is not passed. In such a case, the court must first examine the extent of loss that will be caused to the applicant and also if such loss is reparable by monetary compensation. Then the court must examine the extent of loss the respondent will incur if such an order is passed. The court after examining the aforementioned, Court will see which party incurs a greater loss, and the party that would have greater and irreparable loss will be having a balance of convenience in their favor and then the court must pass or refute the order accordingly.
IV. Court has the power to direct the party to deposit security or an undertaking for the payment of compensation if ordered.
In the Case of, Seema Arshad Zaheer Vs. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, (2006) 5 SCC 282 the Hon’ble Supreme Court has indicated the salient features of prima facie case as The discretion of the court is exercised to grant a temporary injunction only when the following requirements are made out by the plaintiff:
1. Existence of a prima facie case as pleaded, necessitating protection of the plaintiff's rights by the issue of a temporary injunction;
2. When the need for protection of the plaintiff's rights is compared with or weighed against the need for protection of the defendant's rights or likely infringement of the defendant's rights, the balance of convenience tilting in favor of the plaintiff; and
3. Clear possibility of irreparable injury being caused to the plaintiff if the temporary injunction is not granted. In addition, temporary injunction being an equitable relief, the discretion to grant such relief will be exercised only when the plaintiff's conduct is free from blame and he approaches the court with clean hands.
Supreme Court in the case of, Best Sellers Retail India (P) Ltd. vs. Aditya Nirla Nuvo Ltd. AIR 2012 6 SCC 79 observed that Prima Facie alone is not sufficient to grant a temporary injunction and can’t be awarded if the damage is not irreparable if the injunction is not given.
In the case of Dalpat Kumar vs. Prahlad Singh, (1992) 1 SCC 719 Cardinal principle for temporary injunction was considered where the court observed that the party seeking injunction will incur “irreparable injury” to the party seeking relief as a result of non-interference of court and that there is no other remedy except the injunction and the same is needed by the party to protect themselves from the apprehended injury or dispossession. Irreparable injury means the one that cannot be compensated by the way of compensation. The Court must exercise sound judicial discretion while granting or refusing the temporary injunction.
In the case of, Manohar Lal Chopra Vs. Rai Bahadur Rao Raja Seth Hira Lal, AIR 1962 SC 527 it was held that in the exercise of its inherent jurisdiction the civil court has the power to grant interim injunction even if the case does not fall within the ambit of provisions of Order 39 Code of Civil Procedure.
WHEN PLAINTIFF IS DISENTITLED FROM GETTING AN INJUNCTION
1. When Plaintiff takes false plea in the court. MS Sancorp Confectionery Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. vs. M/s Gumlink A/S, 197 (2013) DLT 781 it was observed that Interim injunction shall not be granted if granting of such injunction would tantamount to granting the final relief itself.
2. Perpetual injunction with respect to property- Non-implead of subsequent purchasers, Allowability of- Claim for perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from dealing in suit properties on the basis of agreements-cum-bayana raised.
3. Lack of prima Facie case i.e., The Plaintiff approaching the court with a false case.
4. Interim relief cannot be sustained on mere equity, without the other ingredients of prima facie case, irreparable injury, and balance of convenience being satisfied, this was observed in the case of Company Law Board v. Ganesh Flour Mills Co. Ltd., Co. Pet. 2013(5) AD(Delhi) 113.
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