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M. Amritlal Vs. P. Srinivas Rao - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberA.A.O. No. 128 of 1961
Judge
Reported inAIR1967AP48
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order 39, Rules 1 and 2
AppellantM. Amritlal
RespondentP. Srinivas Rao
Appellant AdvocateTriambak Rao, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateG.V.R. Mohanrao, Adv.
Excerpt:
.....order of injunction restraining judgment debtor from alienating his properties made absolute after suit was decreed - petition filed for detention of judgment debtor for disobedience of injunction order - matter decided ex parte and order passed detaining judgment debtor for one month - judgment debtor challenged order - order of injunction valid - judgment debtor violated injunction by alienating properties - judgment debtor not made any attempt in lower court to establish any mitigating circumstances - held, judgment debtor guilty of disobedience of injunction and order passed detaining him for one month valid. - - 1 as well, and that though sub-rule 3 was drafted somewhat inartistically, the intendment of the legislature appears to be clear viz. it is well stated that the..........note for o.s. rs.18000/- and that was subsequently decreed as prayed for. even before the suit was decreed, the decree-holder obtained an interim injunction on 14-7-1958 restraining the judgment debtor from alienating his immoveable properties i.e. three houses in khammam municipality and some others. the suit was decreed on 31-12-1958 and on the same day the order of injunction previously passed was made absolute. the judgment debtor notwithstanding the injunction order, alienated the three houses in khammam under two registered sale deeds, ex. a-3 dated 31-3-1959 for rs.3,800/- and ex. a-4 dated 31-3-1959 for rs.2,500/-. the decree holder thereupon filed c.m.p. 65/59 under order 39 r. 2 c.p.c. for detention of the respondent in civil prison for disobedience of the said order......
Judgment:

Venkatesam, J.

(1) This appeal is by the judgment debtor Morya Amritlal against the order of the learned Subordinate Judge, Khammam in C.M.P. No. 65 of 1959 in O.S. No. 12 of 1958 on his file. (2) The short facts are as follows: One P. Srinivas Rao (hereinafter referred to as the decree holder) sued Amritlal in O.S. No. 12 of 1958 for recovery of Rs. 26,885-9-2 on the foot of a promissory note for O.S. Rs.18000/- and that was subsequently decreed as prayed for. Even before the suit was decreed, the decree-holder obtained an interim injunction on 14-7-1958 restraining the judgment debtor from alienating his immoveable properties i.e. three houses in Khammam Municipality and some others. The suit was decreed on 31-12-1958 and on the same day the order of injunction previously passed was made absolute. The judgment debtor notwithstanding the injunction order, alienated the three houses in Khammam under two registered sale deeds, Ex. A-3 dated 31-3-1959 for Rs.3,800/- and Ex. A-4 dated 31-3-1959 for Rs.2,500/-. The decree holder thereupon filed C.M.P. 65/59 under Order 39 R. 2 C.P.C. for detention of the respondent in civil prison for disobedience of the said order. The judgment-debtor had not filed any counter notwithstanding the fact that many opportunities were given to him for that purpose. Very curiously his counsel did not even address any argument on his behalf, and the matter had to be decided ex parte. Eventually, the learned Subordinate Judge ordered the petitioner to be detained in civil prison for one month.

(3) In appeal against this order Sri Deshmukh raised the following contentions on behalf of the petitioner.

(1) That the Court had no jurisdiction to issue an injunction after the suit was decreed.

(2) Since the injunction order was without jurisdiction, the petitioner cannot be committed to civil prison for its disobedience.

(3) Though there might have been a violation and disobedience of the order, it may be condoned.

We shall now examine the validity of these contentions.

(4) Soon after O.S. 12/58 was filed, the respondent filed C.M.P. 70/58 on 26-4-1958 under Order 39 Rule 1 praying for an injunction restraining the petitioner from alienating the properties described on the schedule. On that application, an interim injunction was granted on 14-7-1958. It is represented that for some reason or other, the interim injunction was not made absolute during the pendency of the suit, but was made absolute only after the suit was decreed. In that order the learned Subordinate Judge referred to the fact that the suit was decreed on 31-12-1958 to the extent of Rs.18,000/- and the judgment debtor was permitted to pay the amount in instalments, and that the respondent (decree-holder) prayed that in order to safeguard his rights, the petitioner may be directed not to alienate the properties till the satisfaction of the decretal amount. The learned Judge was of the opinion that such an injunction was necessary in the interests of justice and he accordingly prohibited the appellant from selling the immoveable properties (the houses in question and some others) till the satisfaction of the instalment decree passed on 31-12-1958.

(5) The argument of the learned counsel is that under Order 39 rule 1 C.P.C. under which the petition was filed, the Court was empowered to grant a temporary injunction until the disposal of the suit or until further order but not after the decree is passed. He also argued that it is only for disobedience of an injunction order passed under Order 39 Rule 2 that the party could be punished, but not for an injunction issued under Order 39 rule 1 C.P.C. Both these contentions are untenable.

(6) Whatever might have been the position formerly, it is now ruled by the Supreme Court in Manohar Lal v. Seth Hiralal, : AIR1962SC527 that there being no expression in Section 94 C.P.C. expressly prohibiting the issue of a temporary injunction in circumstances not covered by Order 39, or by rules made under the Code, the Courts have inherent jurisdiction to issue temporary injunction in circumstances which are not covered by the provisions of Order 39 C.P.C., if the Court is of the opinion that the interests of justice require the issue of such interim injunction. It cannot therefore for a moment be contended that the injunction issued in the instant case is illegal, let alone its being without jurisdiction. Further even granting for sake of argument that the Court did not act legally in issuing the injunction, the remedy of the petitioner was to have carried the matter in appeal or pursued some other remedy to have the injunction vacated; but that was not done and the injunction had become final.

(7) The cases relied on by the learned Advocate for the petitioner that in cases where an injunction has been issued by a Court which had no jurisdiction over the subject matter in controversy, disobedience cannot be punished, have no application. As already stated it cannot be said that in the instant case the Court had no jurisdiction over the subject matter in controversy. Even granting that there was some irregularity in the injunction order that order was allowed to become final. It has been ruled by this Court in Nagaiah v. Sambaiah : AIR1963AP136 that a combined reading of Section 94 and Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 leads to the conclusion that the punishment prescribed by sub-rule 3 of rule 2 applies to an injunction issued under Order 39 R. 1 as well, and that though sub-rule 3 was drafted somewhat inartistically, the intendment of the legislature appears to be clear viz., to punish persons guilty of violation of injunction issued under either of the two rules. The authority cited (Ayissa Umma v. P.K. Abdullah, AIR 1924 Mad 178) for the proposition that an injunction granted pendente lite lasts only till the disposal of the suit will not advance the case of the petitioner.

(8) The cases cited on behalf of the petitioner that in a suit for bare declaration, an injunction cannot be granted, have no application to the facts of the case.

(9) In view of the foregoing authorities we have no doubt in our minds that the order of injunction issued by the learned Subordinate Judge restraining the petitioner from alienating the three houses in question, was not illegal or without jurisdiction, and that the appellant flouted the orders and violated the injunction by alienating the properties. The attempt of the learned counsel to connect the deposit of Rs.3,100/- with the offending sales was futile, and cannot be accepted. As already stated, the petitioner had not made any attempt in the lower Court to establish any mitigating circumstances. Even before us he had not placed any material. It is well stated that the administration of justice will fail unless the orders of the Courts are respected by the parties. We are convinced that the appellant in this case has been guilty of disobedience of the injunction without any manner of justification. He was committed to civil prison by the lower Court for a period of one month, which cannot be said to be in any way severe.

(10) In these circumstances, we uphold the order of the learned Subordinate Judge, and dismiss the appeal with costs.

(11) Appeal dismissed.


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