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Transient Nature Of The Impugned Injunction Does Not Warrant Invocation Of Article 227 Of The Constitution: High Court

Ifrah Murtaza ,
  15 February 2024       Share Bookmark

Court :
Hon’ble High Court of Jammu & Kashmir And Ladakh
Brief :

Citation :
CM(M) No. 20/2024 and CM No. 387/2024

Case title:

Kaka Ram & Ors v. Mangat Ram

Date of Order:

5th February 2024

Bench:

Hon’ble Mr. Justice Javed Iqbal Wani

Parties:

Appellant(s)/Petitioner(s): 

1. Kaka Ram

2. Sandeep Kumar

3. Gurdeep Kumar

4. Ravi Kumar

5. Mohinder Kumar

Respondent(s):  1. Mangat Ram

SUBJECT:

The instant case revolved around the dispute over ownership and possession of land in the village Bansultan Tehsil R.S. Pura, Jammu. The petitioner had challenged the injunction granted by the Additional District Judge of Jammu (appellate court) by filing a petition under Article 227 of the Constitution of India in the Hon’ble High Court of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh (hereinafter referred to as ‘the High Court’ or ‘the Court’). The Court opined that the petition was unwarranted as the injunction granted by the appellate court was not permanent and thus required no intervention from this Court.

IMPORTANT PROVISIONS:

The Constitution of India, 1950:

  • Article 227: Power of superintendence over all courts by the High Court

The Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC):

  • Order 39: Temporary Injunctions

OVERVIEW:

  • The plaintiff (respondent) filed a suit of injunction against the defendant (petitioners) over a piece of land measuring 6 ½ marla situated at village Bansultan Tehsil R.S. Pura, Jammu.
  • The respondent claimed ownership and possession of the land and alleged that the petitioners were illegally interfering with his land.
  • Upon receiving the summons from the trial court, the petitioners in the present case responded with the filing of objections and written statements.
  • The trial court vacated the interim relief order dated 20.07.2020, granted to the respondent on 12.10.2020.
  • The respondent appealed against this order in the appellate court.
  • Both parties were directed by the appellate court to maintain the status quo regarding the disputed land on 15.09.2023.
  • Aggrieved by this order, the defendant (petitioners) filed a petition under Article 227 before the High Court challenging the said order.

ISSUES RAISED:

  • Whether the respondent was the owner-in-possession of the land in dispute?
  • Whether the injunction granted by the appellate court warrants invocation of Article 227 of the Constitution of India.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE PETITIONER(S):

  • Interim injunctions serve the purpose of maintaining the property until the ownership dispute is settled by the court.
  • The appellate court had erred in deciding that the disputed land was in possession of the respondent.
  • The counsel on behalf of the petitioners claimed that they have been in possession of the disputed land since 1990 and have constructed a residential house over the same.
  • The injunction sought was only temporary in nature and therefore should not be held as the final opinion of the court.

ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE RESPONDENT(S):

  • Counsel on behalf of the respondent argued that the respondent was the owner-in-possession of the land which was being interfered with illegally by the appellants.
  • Respondent had sought a permanent prohibitory injunction to prevent petitioner from forcibly dispossessing him of his land.

JUDGEMENT ANALYSIS:

  • Upon assessment of the impugned order, the High observed that the appellate court had carefully considered the merits of the case as well as the principles regulating and governing the grant or refusal of an injunction.
  • The appellate court had pronounced a fair judgment as the title and possession of the disputed land were still being contested.
  • The order of the appellate court was of a transient nature and could not be held as a definitive stance on the merits of the case.
  • The contentions of the appellants raised regarding the ruling of the appellate court were thus deemed insignificant owing to the tentative nature of the order.
  • Based on the precedent set by the case of Shalini Shyam Shetty v. Rajendra Shankar Patil., renders the invocation of Article 227 by the petitioner unwarranted.
  • The petition was dismissed by the High Court.

CONCLUSION

The High Court expressed reluctance in utilizing its supervisory authority under Article 227 of the Constitution and upheld the order of the appellate court. Justice Javed Iqbal Wani observed that the tentative nature of the appellate court’s order renders the invocation of Article 227 unjustified and there was no compelling reason for the High Court to intervene with the appellate court’s order. The petition was accordingly dismissed.

 
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