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Injunctions: Summed Up

What is injunction?

Firstly, it is important to know what is meant by injunction. In general, it is a legal order whereby a person is either restrained from doing an act, or to perform an act. It prohibits a person from either committing an act or to put a full stop to what he has been doing already.
Purpose of granting an injunction:
  1. To ensure that the legal rights of the person seeking injunction is not prejudiced by the unnecessary acts, if any of the other party.

  2. To preclude the possibility of any injury to such person which may be caused if the relief of injunction isn't granted by the Hon'ble Court

  3. Preservation of suit property as status quo i.e. as it is, in order to prevent it from being misused, misappropriated or destroyed in any other way by any person.

Types of Injunctions:

Mainly, injunctions are of three types:
  1. Permanent/Perpetual Injunction
  2. Temporary Injunction
  3. Mandatory Injunction
However, there are other ancillary types of injunctions also, like ad-interim injunction, preventive injunction, prohibitory injunction, etc.

Glimpse of main types of injunctions:

Permanent injunction:

It refers to an injunction which a person seeks to put stoppage on doing of an illegal or unauthorized act i.e. the illegal act has not yet been committed, there is only an apprehension of such illegal/unauthorized act to be committed or performed. Section 38 of the Specific Relief Act deals with the topic of permanent injunction. A Suit for permanent injunction is generally filed to prevent happening of an act which is unlawful/illegal.

  • Such injunction, if granted, it would perpetually restrain the person against whom relief is claimed from doing an act or to perform an act.

  • It is granted to prevent the breach of an obligation existing in the plaintiff's favor.

Cases where perpetual injunction is granted:

When the defendant invades or threatens to invade the plaintiff's right to, or enjoyment of, property, the Court may grant permanent injunction:
  • Where the defendant is the trustee of the property for the plaintiff, or
  • Where there exists no standard for ascertaining damage, or
  • Where compensation in money is not an adequate relief, or
Where injunction is necessary to prevent multiplicity of proceedings.

Mandatory Injunction:

It refers to an injunction that is preferred to undo an illegal/unauthorized act which has already been done/performed i.e. to restore the things to their original position as they were. Mandatory injunction is also governed by the provisions of the Specific Relief Act.

For Eg.: A a tenant, has built a garden terrace by making certain additions to the rented house without permission of the landlord and while B the landlord is out of station. As per the lease agreement, A isn't permitted to do any alterations/addition/changes to the house except with the landlord's permission. Here B may seek a mandatory injunction to undo the garden terrace which A has built.

Temporary injunction:

Temporary injunction is governed by Order 39 of the Civil Procedure Code. An application for temporary injunction is filed during the pendency of proceedings, if it is proved by an affidavit or otherwise that-there is a threat of imminent danger/damage/ alienation of the suit property.
  • Temporary injunction is filed during pendency of a suit, and it can't be filed independently.
  • The provisions of temporary injunction aren't repeated in the Specific Relief Act, in order to avoid duplicacy.
  • Temporary injunction prevails until the next order of the Court or till disposal of the case.
  • Temporary injunctions are generally not filed in a suit for mandatory injunction, as the grant of temporary injunction in such suit would defeat the main relief in itself. 
  • Disobedience of order of injunction granted by court under O.39 R1/R2 CPC would lead to the attachment of the property of the violator or he may also be ordered to be detained in civil prison for not more than 3 months. The attachment of property shall remain in force for not more than one year.
  • The Court shall make a notice to the opposite party before granting an injunction under O.39 R1/R2 CPC, however, there is an exception to this rule which says that the Court may grant such injunction without giving a notice to the opposite party when it appears to the court that the object of granting the injunction would be defeated by reason of unnecessary delay.
  • If the Court grants injunction without giving notice to the opposite party i.e. ex-parte injunction, it shall record reasons for the same and the following compliances shall be performed by the applicant:
    1. To deliver to the opposite party, the copy of the application together with:Copy of affidavit,Copy of the plaint and,Copies of documents on which he reliesImmediately after the granting of injunction.
    2. To file an affidavit on the day on which has injunction has been granted or on the following day, stating that the aforesaid docs. have been sent/posted.If such compliances aren't performed, then the order of injunction shall vacate or become inoperative.
  • The Court shall dispose of the application within 30 days from the date on which the aforesaid injunction is granted.
  • An order of injunction may be varied, set aside or discharged, on an application by the party who is dissatisfied with order of injunction.
  • If the injunction is granted ex-parte, and it is found that the application is based on false statement or in a misleading manner, then the Court shall vacate the order of injunction. If the injunction was granted in presence of the opposite party, then the order shall not be discharged, varied or set aside. However, there is an exception to this, which states that the Court may do so if such order has caused undue hardship to the party or there is any change in the circumstances.
  • Section 95 of CPC provides for levy of penalty not exceeding Rs.50,000 in case the injunction has been obtained on insufficient grounds.

Comparison of Permanent Injunction and Temporary Injunction:

A Suit is filed to seek permanent injunction. Whereas on the other hand, an application is filed to seek temporary injunction during the pendency of proceedings.
  • The scope of temporary injunction is much vast than the permanent injunction as Order 39 CPC    i.e. provision of temporary injunction is generally applicable to all types of civil proceedings and on the other hand, permanent injunction is applicable only to the suits filed u/s 38 of the Specific Relief Act.
  • Temporary injunction is an interim order, which if granted will ultimately merge with the final order/judgment. And permanent injunction, if granted, is in itself a final order/judgment.
  • Temporary injunction being an interim order is provisional in nature. It might be discontinued on the orders of the Court after a certain period. However, perpetual injunction being a final order is conclusive in nature and thus, cannot be revoked or discontinued.

Factors observed by Court while granting an injunction:

The relief of injunction is completely in the discretion of the Court. It is the duty of the Court to exercise this discretion in a judicious manner and to ensure that no grave injustice is caused to the parties.

Therefore, the Court has to keep certain considerations in mind while deciding on an injunction relief, these are:
  1. Whether the plaintiff has prima facie case in his favor.
  2. Whether balance of convenience lies in the favor of plaintiff.
  3. Whether an irreparable injury will be caused if injunction sought for isn't granted.
  4. Whether refusal of injunction would result in greater injustice than grant of it would involve.
Other Points To Remember:
  1. Injunction and Stay are two different concepts. Stay refers to stoppage or suspension of judicial proceedings. And injunction refers to order restraining performance of an act or obliging to perform an act.

  2. Any of the parties may apply for seeking temporary injunction. It is not necessary that only plaintiff has the right to do so.

  3. An injunction can be issued against a party to the suit only and not against any third person.

  4. Injunction can't be asked for as a right. It is a matter of discretion of Court to whether grant or reject it.

  5. The Court has an inherent power u/s 151 CPC to grant injunction in cases that aren't covered under the statute.

  6. Generally, interim injunction has no precedential value.

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