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P.R. Aiyana Chariar and ors. Vs. Vathiar Ramanuja Ayyangar and ors. and - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in32Ind.Cas.698
AppellantP.R. Aiyana Chariar and ors.
RespondentVathiar Ramanuja Ayyangar and ors. and ;puliyur Narayana Ayyangar and ors.
Cases ReferredDurga Das Nandi v. Dewraj Agarwala
Excerpt:
civil procedure code (act v of 1908), order xxi, rule 32 decree granting permanent injunction - power of court to enforce obedience by punishment--detention in prison after removal of obstruction, whether lawful. - - order xxi, rule 32, can, therefore, be applied in a case like the present and i must hold that the district judge's order was not in accordance with law......will be again punished. in this manner, detention in prison or attachment of goods can be said to enforce a decree even when a breach of the decretal injunction may occur, after such detention or attachment has ceased. order xxi, rule 32, can, therefore, be applied in a case like the present and i must hold that the district judge's order was not in accordance with law. taking the view of the law that he did, the district judge did not consider the merits of the case, but on a perusal of the record it does not appear to me that there was such a grave breach of the injunction as to merit punishment at this stage of the proceedings. respondents purged their con-tempt by the withdrawal of obstruction, and consequently i do not think it necessary to make any order under order xxi, rule 32......
Judgment:

Phillips, J.

1. In this case a decree had been obtained by petitioners whereby respondents were restrained from interfering in certain processions of the Vadagalai community, and it has been found by the District Munsif that on 15th October 1912 respondents did interfere with such a procession and delayed it for three hours, after which it was allowed to proceed. Petitioners applied under Order XXI, Rule 32, Civil Procedure Code, for an order to enforce the decree by the imprisonment of respondents. The District Munsif ordered respondents to execute a security bond for obedience of the injunction order, an order for which there is no provision in Order XXI, Rule 32. In appeal the District Judge, accepting the facts as found, set aside the District Munsif's order as illegal and dismissed the petition on the ground that the decree had been enforced when the procession was allowed to proceed and that the application to enforce it had been subsequently put in, i.e., after its enforcement and that the only Court which can punish a contempt of Court is the High Court. It is now contended for the petitioners that Order XXI, Rule 32, empowers a Court to secure the future enforcement of a decree granting a permanent injunction by the punishment of the person disobeying the decree either by imprisonment or by attachment of his property. The reported cases of this Court do not appear to have decided this question. Kochappa v. Sachi Devi 26 M.k 494 only decides that in cases of breach of a temporary injunction a Court other than the High Court can only take action on the motion of a party and not suo motu. In Venkatachallam Chetty v. Veerappa Pillai 29 M.k 314, however, where persons had entered a certain jungle in defiance of a decree forbidding such entry, this Court, after deciding the question of limitation which was the only question raised in second appeal, remitted the petition for disposal under Section 260 of the old Code (corresponding to Order XXI, Rule 32), thus implying that the Court had power to take action under that section. Similarly in Durga Das Nandi v. Dewraj Agarwala 10 C.W.N. 297 it is clear from the judgment of Mookerjee, J., (pages 312-314) that he was of opinion that a breach of an injunction could be dealt with under Order XXI, Rule 32.

2. For the respondents it is urged, that a decree such as the present one cannot be enforced by imprisonment or attachment, and that imprisonment or attachment can only be ordered in cases, where such imprisonment or attachment can be continued until the decree has been executed, and not in cases where the injunction restrains persons from doing certain acts in perpetuity. In this case the decree must necessarily be in force so long as there are representatives of the Tengalai community surviving in Srirangam. However, the decree has been disobeyed and petitioners have lost and can never recover the full decretal rights which they sought to enforce during a period of three hours on 15th October 1912. The subsequent withdrawal of obstruction does not repair the breach of the injunction, for it can never be repaired so far as those three hours are concerned but may be a purging of the contempt of Court. The sole question for determination, therefore, is whether a decree can be enforced by punishment and I think it can, for otherwise the principle that where a right to make an order is conferred, there is also conferred a right to enforce that order, would be violated, A punishment is awarded not only as a penalty for a particular offence, but also in order to deter the commission of similar offences in future. Detention in prison of a person guilty of a breach of an injunction not only enforces the decree so long as the offender is detained in prison, but also contributes to its enforcement in future by putting the offenders and others in fear that in case of a future breach, they will be again punished. In this manner, detention in prison or attachment of goods can be said to enforce a decree even when a breach of the decretal injunction may occur, after such detention or attachment has ceased. Order XXI, Rule 32, can, therefore, be applied in a case like the present and I must hold that the District Judge's order was not in accordance with law. Taking the view of the law that he did, the District Judge did not consider the merits of the case, but on a perusal of the record it does not appear to me that there was such a grave breach of the injunction as to merit punishment at this stage of the proceedings. Respondents purged their con-tempt by the withdrawal of obstruction, and consequently I do not think it necessary to make any order under Order XXI, Rule 32. The order dismissing the petitions is, therefore, confirmed, and the respondents will pay the costs of these revision petitions.


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