Parameters for granting Interim Injunctions

Parameters for granting Interim Injunctions

Author: Sudhanshu Sachan, Central University of South Bihar.

What do you mean by Injunctions?

The Oxford law dictionary defines injunctions as “A judicial order restraining a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another, or compelling a person to carry out a certain act, e.g. to make restitution to an injured party.”

Injunctions means an order of the court of law which tells someone to do or not to do something which is required for maintaining justice and equity. They are of two types –

  1. Temporary injunctions
  2. Permanent injunctions

What do you mean by Temporary Injunctions?

Temporary injunctions are also known as interlocutory injunctions or interim injunctions. Temporary injunctions are granted for a time period or until further order of the court.

  1. It can be granted at any stage of the suit.
  2. Any of the parties can apply for temporary injunctions.
  3. it cannot be issued against any third party.
  4. It is only provisional in nature.
  5. It does not concludes the matter.

Objective of such injunctions is just to maintain the status quo.

Laws that govern injunctions in India

In our country in Criminal matters

Sections 133, 142 and 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure deal with grant of injunction.

In Civil matters

the law relating to grant of injunction is contained in Chapter VII of Part III of the Specific Relief Act, 1963. Sections 36 to 42 deal with the grant of injunction. Section 37(1) of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 deals with the temporary injunctions which are such as are to continue until a specified time, or until further orders of the Court, and they may be granted at any stage of the suit or proceedings and are regulated by the Code of Civil Procedure.

Parameters for granting Interim injunctions-

According to Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 interim injunctions can be granted in these cases-

Where in any suit it is proved by affidavit or otherwise—

  • that any property in dispute in a suit is in danger of
  • wasted,
  • damaged being
  • or alienated

 by any party to the suit, or wrongfully sold in execution of a decree, or

  • that the defendant
  •  threatens,
  •  or intends, to remove or dispose of his property with a view to [defrauding] his creditors,
  • that the defendant threatens
  • to dispossess, the plaintiff or
  • otherwise cause injury to the plaintiff in relation to any property in dispute in the suit,]

The Court may by order grant a temporary injunction to restrain such act.

or make such other order for the purpose of staying and preventing the wasting, damaging, alienation, sale, removal or disposition of the property [or dispossession of the plaintiff, or otherwise causing injury to the plaintiff in relation to any property in dispute in the suit] as the Court thinks fit, until the disposal of the suit or until further orders.

In the case of Dalpat kumar v. Prahlad Singh, the court said that the situations mentioned in this Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 are not exhaustive. The judiciary can evolve more heads for granting such injunctions.

 But the heads should be evolved judiciously, reasonably and in the light of existing laws and legal principles. This is because granting injunction to one party must not result in harm to the other. And also such heads set up precedents and setting of wrong precedents may create more problems.

Some other heads for granting injunctions include-

  1. Prima facie case – It simply means that the party asking for the injunction needs to prove that the primary facts and evidences of the case show that if the decision of the case comes it will fall on their side. The party has to prove its claim that he is entitled to property, possession or otherwise. And if the court finds the claim of the party to be rightful, it may grant injunctions.

It was held in the case of Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund V/s. Kartik Das, that “a prima-facie case implies the probability of the plaintiff obtaining a relief on the material placed before the Court. The Court should be satisfied that there is a serious question to be tried at the hearing and that on the facts before it, there is probability that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief.”

  • Irreparable loss or injury – The courts needs to assess that if injunction is not granted to the party asking for it, then will it cost a huge loss to the party. If the court gets convinced that the party will suffer such loss that cannot be compensated, it may grant injunctions. It should be granted only in cases where the party has no other alternative remedy left except this.  

In the case of Dalpat Singh, It was held that “The Court further has to satisfy that non-interference by the Court would result in “irreparable injury” to the party seeking relief and that there is no other remedy available to the party except one to grant an injunction and he needs protection from the consequences of apprehended injury or dispossession. Irreparable injury, however, does not mean that there must be no physical possibility of repairing the injury, but means only that the injury must be a material one, namely one that cannot be adequately compensated by way of damages.”

  • Balance of Convenience – The court needs to assess that if they grant injunctions to the party seeking for it, then what effect it would have on the other party. If they see that the other party won’t be affected much it may grant injunctions. But if it seems to the court that the other party will suffer huge losses it may not grant injunctions. The courts need to strike a balance of convenience i.e. give a decision that suits to both the parties and doesn’t affects one more than the other. The court must always remember the objective of granting such injunction that is to maintain the status quo.

When injunction cannot be granted-

  1. If the party has approached the court by hiding some facts important to the case and seeks for injunction, then it must not be granted.
  2. No interim injunction can be granted if final relief cannot be granted.
  3. When the plaintiff has no personal interest in the matter, injunction cannot be granted.
  4. When other remedy is available, injunction cannot be granted.