(1995) 97 BOMLR 273, JT 1995 (2) SC 504, 1995 (1) SCALE 829, (1995) 3 SCC 33, 1995 1 SCR 543
Plaintiff cannot initiate injunction proceedings on the property in which he is not lawful owner or does not hold valid title.
Date of Judgement:
24 January, 1995
K Ramaswamy, N Venkatachala
Appellant : Mahadeo Savlaram Shelke
Respondent: Poona Municipal Corporation
This case dealt with whether the plaintiff can initiate proceedings of injunction against the property whose valid title was held by the respondent. The case stated that injunction can be granted when it is established that the plaintiff would suffer irreparable injury. Injunction is granted at the discretion of the court when it is according to the principle of ex debitojustitiae.
Section 38 of Specific Relief Act, 1963 deals with perpetual injunction. This section states that perpetual injunction may be granted to prevent any breach of obligation in the favour of plaintiff.
- The Poona Municipality had undertaken road widening project in order to ease traffic congestion and subsequently proceedings were initiated under Section 4(1) of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894.
- The award was passed by the Land Acquisition Officer and the tenants were paid compensation for the same after the possession was handed over to the Corporation.
- The tenants refused to vacate and therefore eviction proceedings were initiated. The eviction proceedings was appealed by the appellants, however the court affirmed the decision of eviction.
- The appellants filed a civil suit seeking perpetual injunction from dispossession and for ad interim injunction. The Civil Judge refused to grant ad interim injunction.
- The Joint Judge, on appeal under Section 43(r) C.P.C. allowed the appeal and granted ad interim injunction pending disposal of the suit.
- The High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution, by Special Civil Application by its appellate order and confirmed the order passed by the Civil Judge to refuse ad interim injunction.
- The counsel for the appellants contended that the High Court and subordinate court did not have power of revision under Section 115 of Civil Procedure Code as the Joint Judge had already exercised appellate power.
- The counsel for the appellants further contended that since the tenants were in continuing possession, they shall be entitled to remain in possession till the disposal of the suit.
- The counsel for the respondents contended that the widening of the road by the Corporation was still required and that the appellate Judge had committed error of law in interfering with the order. He further contended that the Civil Suit was not maintainable as it was being barred by the provisions in the Corporation Act and C.P.C
- Whether injunction can be granted in favour of persons who remain in unlawful possession of property?
- Is the respondent’s contention that they held a valid title tenable?
- The question that this case arose was whether the appellant had established that there was a prima facie case, triable issue and balance of convenience for granting ad interim injunction. The facts of the case highlight that the appellants had no legal right to retain possession of the shops and Corporation was just and valid in initiating proceedings against the appellants.
- It was established in the case of Shiv Kumar Chadha v. Municipal Corporation of Delhi, injunction can only be granted at the discretion of the court and such discretion can be granted when it is according to the principle of ex debito justitiae.
- Further, in the case of Dalpat Kumar v. Prahlad Singh, it was established that court should exercise judicial discretion and be cautious before granting injunction and look at the consequences which are likely to be caused to the parties.
- The court stated that injunction cannot be granted against the true owner against persons in unlawful possession. It was stated that the appellants held no prima facie right or title to have perpetual injunction against the Corporation.
- Citing the Modern Law Review, it was stated that the plaintiff may be deprived of an injunction, in case it involves public interest. Further, citing the Law Quarterly Report, it was stated that if the plaintiff is likely to suffer irreparable damage, however no interlocutory injunction can be granted unless it is provided by the plaintiff to compensate the defendant in case of order in favour of plaintiff.
- Further, in a suit for perpetual injunction, the court stated that affidavit evidence and other material before the court are necessary to establish a strong case.
- It was also observed that the pecuniary award for compensation is consequential to the adjudication of the dispute, the grant or refusal of damages is not dependent upon original cause of action but the consequences of the order on the parties, the damage suffered by the defendant by the order of the court.
- The court remarked that the Appellate Court had failed to consider any material aspects of the matter before granting injunction.
- The court further stated that plaintiff shall be liable to pay escalation costs and damages suffered by corporation, as a result of injunction.
The honourable Supreme Court held that the plaintiff shall be liable to compensate the Corporation on the damages and escalation costs suffered by them as a result of injunction. The court further added that, in cases where injunction is to be granted, the effect of such adjudication on the respondent and the public at large must be considered.
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