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Munni/Jaswant Kaur Vs. Bhonrl Devi Etc. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtDelhi High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil R. No. 695 of 1973
Judge
Reported in1974RLR583
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC), 1908 - Order 39
AppellantMunni/Jaswant Kaur
RespondentBhonrl Devi Etc.
Advocates: S.N. Mehta and; Sultan Singh, Advs
Cases ReferredBrij Gopal vs. Kishan Gopal
Excerpt:
.....force to the execution of a decree by another court, and the same should not be restrained except under very grave and exceptional circumstances. the court of first instance considered the matter and refused the application under order 39 rules 1 and 2 as well as under section 151 of the code of civil procedure. dhillon, [1964]4scr409 ,as well as in brij gopal vs. kishan gopal, 1973 supreme court notes 55, even where conditions described under section 115 of the code of civil procedure have been satisfied, the high court retains a discretion in the matter and is not bound to interfere in all cases......setting aside of the decree and applied for interim injunction under 0.39 rules 1&2 and s. 151, civil procedure code . trial court held that plaintiff had no prima facie case. 1st appellate court held that order appealed against was made u/s 151 and was not appealable. petitioner moved high court.]. para 6 onwards, judgment is ',- (2) the principles for the grant of temporary injunction are well-settled. in order to obtain the interim relief, the plaintiff must show :- (i) that he has a prima-facie case ; (ii) that he is likely to suffer an irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted ; (iii) that the balance of convenience lies in his favor. the prima-facie nature of the case means that on a perusal of the plaint, the court is satisfied that there is a serious question to be.....
Judgment:

B.C. Misra, J.

(1) [ONE Mohanlal took on lease plot of land for 15 years w.e.f. 1.9.49. He put up structures on the same. On the expiry of 15 years, Respondent I sued him for eviction on 26.5.69. He died on 3-1-70 and all his Lrs from 2 widows were brought an record. Report of service of the petitioner was 'refusal.' It was deemed a sufficient service. Some L.R's appeared and suit was decreed on 15-5-71. Petitioner's mother then made an application for setting aside of exparte decree. Petitioner did not join her. Application was dismissed. Petitioner then filed instant suit for setting aside of the decree and applied for interim injunction under 0.39 Rules 1&2 and S. 151, Civil Procedure Code . Trial Court held that plaintiff had no prima facie case. 1st appellate Court held that order appealed against was made u/s 151 and was not appealable. Petitioner moved High Court.]. Para 6 onwards, judgment is ',-

(2) The principles for the grant of temporary injunction are well-settled. In order to obtain the interim relief, the plaintiff must show :- (i) That he has a prima-facie case ; (ii) that he is likely to suffer an irreparable injury if the injunction is not granted ; (iii) that the balance of convenience lies in his favor. The prima-facie nature of the case means that on a perusal of the plaint, the Court is satisfied that there is a serious question to be tried at the hearing and that the suit is not barred by any principles of law and on the allegations made between the parties, there is a probability that on the facts before it, the plaintiff is entitled to the relief. It may be noticed that at the stage of interlocutory application, the plaintiff is not required to make out a complete legal right, but has to satisfy the Court that he has a prima-facie case to raise and a mere existence of a doubt as to the plaintiff's right does not itself constitute a sufficient ground for refusing the injunction, although it is always a circumstance which calls for the attention of the Court. As far as the irreparable injury is concerned, the plaintiff is not required to show that the injury is not physically capable of being remedied, but the inadequacy of remedy by damages for the legal injury would be sufficient to constitute an irreparable injury. As regards balance of convenience, the plaintiff has to show that the inconvenience resulting to him in the event of withholding relief of temporary injunction is likely to exceed the inconvenience to the defendants which he would suffer by grant of injunction. It must also be borne in mind that the grant of injunction rests in the judicial discretion of the Court and so all the ' circumstances which may disentitle a party to the exercise of discretion in his favor would disentitle the plaintiff to the injunction.

(3) In the instant case, the petitioner is not in possession of the premises in dispute. The decree against Shanti Devi, her mother, has become final and executable and her application for setting aside the decree has finally been dismissed. Sita Devi, the other wife of Mohan Lal, appeared in the suit and contested it. There is a rule of law, the application of which will require consideration by the Court below at the trial of the suit that where a decree has become final against one of the legal representatives of the deceased, whether the estate of the deceased was sufficiently represented and the decree would bind all the other represented to unrepresented legal representative?. The petitioner admittedly came to know of the passing of t ha decree against her in December, 197; and she did not take any steps to have the same set aside by an appropriate application or even by the institution of the present suit till after 16 months had passed and then she had waited until the dismissal of the application of Shanti Devi for setting aside the decree. This would show that the petitioner herself is not interested in the suit property but she is really trying to fight a lost battle for her mother Shanti Devi who cannot resist execution. Both the Courts below have concurrently observed that the petitioner does not have a prima-facie case and they have, in exercise of their discretion, refused injunction. Even the allegations of the petitioner made in the plaint do not disclose any particulars of the fraud except-non- service of the summons and false report of refusal and they could not justify grant of any injunction. I do not find any cogent reason to differ from the Courts below.

(4) It has been contended that execution of a decree by the Courts does not constitute a legal injury within the meaning of the expression 'used in rule 2 of Order 39. It is true that a decree-holder in 'executing his decree is acting according to law and his action deserves the protection of the Court of justice. The proposition is, however, too widely stated and there may by cases where execution of a decree according to law may inflict an irreparable injury on the plaintiff. For instance, where there is a plaintiff who' is really in lawful possession of the property and who was not directly or constructively a party to the suit in which a decree for possession was obtained by setting up a fictitious and false defendant who had no right and who was not in possession and the decree holder, in execution of a decree, which may be without jurisdiction or which, for any other valid reason, does not bind the plaintiff, seeks illegally to dispossess the plaintiff. In such a case the execution of the decree is certainly calculated to cause real and substantial legal injury to the plaintiff. Assuming for sake of argument that execution of a decree does not constitute a legal injury within the meaning of the expression 'injury' used in rule 2, Order 39, still the Court possesses in herent jurisdiction to issue an injunction. In Manohar Lal vs . Seth Hira Lal. : AIR1962SC527 , the majority of the Court held that it was well-settled that the provisions of the Code are not exhaustive, for the simple reason that the Legislature is incapable of contemplating all the possible circumstances which may arise in future litigation and consequently for providing the procedure for them. The provisions of the Code did not control the inherent power by limiting it or otherwise affecting it. The inherent power has not been conferred upon the Court; it was a power inherent in the Court by virtue of the duty to do justice between the parties before it. Consequently, the Courts have inherent jurisdiction to issue temporary injunctions in circumstances which are not covered by the provisions of Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure, if the Court is of the opinion that the interests of justice require the issue of such an interim injunction. In the case before the Supreme Court injunction was sought to restrain the party from proceeding with a suit. Consequently, majority of the court held that the court possessed the power to issue such an injunction. However, in the facts of the case if found that the circumstances did not justify its issue. It this context, the court observed that issue of such injunction deserves great care and consideration and such an order is not to be made unless absolutely essential for the end of justice. The Supreme Court noted with approval the observations of Scrutton. L.J. in Cohen v. Rothfield, 1919 1 KB 410 which were to the effect that an injunction can be granted restraining the party from proceeding with another action, but as the effect is to interefere with proceedings in another jurisdiction, this power should be exercised with caution to avoid even the appearance of undue interference with another Court.

(5) I am of the opinion that caution and observations which were made'in the context of restraint of another suit would apply with greater force to the execution of a decree by another Court, and the same should not be restrained except under very grave and exceptional circumstances. The circumstances of the instant case do not, however justify the grant of injunction and the Courts below have rightly refused it.

(6) So far as the balance of convenience is concerned, both the Courts below have held that the balance of convenience lies in the refusal of the injunction. The contesting respondent had obtained a decree for eviction against her lessee who was a tenant in respect of two vacant plots of land for a fixed, period of 15 years on the expiry of which he was bound to vacate and deliver possession. It is thereforee, difficult to take a view contrary to the findings of the Courts below on the point. Moreover, the conduct of the petitioner has been found by the Courts below 10 disentitle her to the grant of injunction and do not find any reason to differ from them. Consequently I hold that the petitioner was not entitled to grant of injunction and her application has been rightly refused by the Courts below.

(7) There are, however, two points that need attention. The lower appellate Court has held that the appeal filed before it by the petitioner was not maintainable for the reason that the order of Court of the first instances assailed before it had been passed under Section. 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure. This observation of the lower appellate Court is not correct. The Court of first instance had been moved under Order 39, rules 1 and 2 and under section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure for grant of ad-interim injunction against the execution of the decree. The Court of first instance considered the matter and refused the application under Order 39 rules 1 and 2 as well as under section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure. However, the Order passed by the Court under Order 39, rules 1 and (whether granting or refusing injunction) was appealable under clause (r) of Rule 1 of Order 43 of the Code. The lower appellate Court missed the point that it was not a case of relief under section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure, about the appealability of which a doubt could be entertained. In the instant case, the Court of first instance had refused to grant a relief to the plaintiff under rules 1 and 2 of Order 39 and had also repelled the request under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The order was thereforee, appealable. inspire of this observation, I do not see any ground to allow this revision. The reason is that the lower appellate Court has, while holding that the appeal was not maintainable, considered the appeal of the petitioner on merits as well and has returned a finding that the appeal bad no merit. This finding has been found to be satisfactory and not contrary to law. So remand of the appeal to the lower appellate Court will be futile. Exercise of powers of revision under section 115 of the code of Civil Procedure is again discretionary. As laid down by the Supreme Court in Major S.S. Khanna vs. Brig. F.D. Dhillon, : [1964]4SCR409 , as well as in Brij Gopal vs. Kishan Gopal, 1973 Supreme Court Notes 55, even where conditions described under section 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure have been satisfied, the High Court retains a discretion in the matter and is not bound to interfere in all cases. The present is certainly a case where this Court would, in exercise of discretionary powers of revision, not interefere with the appellate order of the Court below.


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