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Temporary Injunction: Meaning & Application
Any party to the suit may, at any time during the pendency of the suit, by application, apply to the court for a "temporary injunction" preventing the other party from doing any act prejudicial to his interest in the suit property.
What is Meaning of Temporary Injunction?
The literal meaning of the term "temporary injunction" is a short-term ban. A temporary injunction is granted by the civil court only in relation to the matter in issue before the court and is operative only between the parties to the suit. The court, before granting a "temporary injunction," shall satisfy itself that there are circumstances that prima facie establish that a "temporary injunction" is necessary for protecting and preserving the suit property from being illegally wasted, damaged, or otherwise alienated during the pendency of the suit, so as to make it difficult to do complete justice between the parties.
Legal Provisions under the Code of Civil Procedure (1908)
A temporary injunction is granted by the civil court under Order 39, Rule 1, and Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Further, no proceedings can be instituted in the court for the sole purpose of seeking a temporary injunction; therefore, the relief of a temporary injunction shall be granted only during the pendency of the suit or proceedings before the court. There are specific cases in which the court may grant a temporary injunction to prevent the suit's property from being illegally sold, damaged or wasted by an unauthorized user, or wrongfully alienated by any party to the suit.
The cases in which a temporary injunction may be granted are listed in Rule 1 of Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Under this provision, if it is proved by affidavit or otherwise to the court in which suit is pending that the suit property is in danger of being wasted, damaged, or alienated by any party to the suit, or if the suit property is going to be wrongfully sold in execution of a decree, the court may grant an order of temporary injunction forbidding the other party from doing any of the acts mentioned in the injunction order.
A temporary injunction may also be granted if the defendant in the suit of recovery threatens the plaintiff to remove or dispose of his property with a view to defrauding his creditors.
The other case in which a temporary injunction may be given is where the defendant threatens to dispossess the plaintiff or otherwise cause injury to the plaintiff in relation to any property in dispute in the suit.
Effect of a Temporary Injunction
The purpose of seeking a temporary injunction is to restrain the other party form doing an act which is intended to dispose of the suit property either by wasting, damaging, selling or otherwise causing injury to the plaintiff and to preserve the suit property until the disposal of the suit or until further orders as the court thinks fit in a particular case.
Remedy Against a Temporary Injunction
If the party (defendant) against whom Temporary injunction is granted, is aggrieved by that order, he may apply to the higher court for vacating such injunction under rule 4 of Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The provision under this rule provides that the court, on the application made
Remedy Against Violation of the Temporary Injunction
If the party to suit against whom a temporary injunction is granted violates any of the conditions of the order granting the injunction, the court may order the property of the person guilty of such disobedience to be attached and be kept in the possession of the receiver appointed by the court. Additionally, the court may also order that such a person be detained in the civil prison for a term not exceeding three months. It is important to mention here that the property attached under this provision shall be attached for no more than one year. However, after the expiration of the statutory period of one year, the court may order that the attached property be sold, and out of the proceeds of such a sale, compensation may be awarded to the injured party.
Section 94 clause (c) of the Code of Civil Procedure provides that incase of violation of the injunction order the court has power to order the arrest of the contemnor and detained him in civil prison additionally the property of that person be attached and sold
Misuse of the Provision
This provision of the Code of Civil Procedure is highly misused. It is seen very often that after obtaining a temporary injunction, the party in whose favour the injunction has been granted causes delays in the disposal of cases on false and unreasonable grounds. To stop the use of this provision from tacitly causing injustice to the other party, it is necessary to provide a check and balance under Order 39 itself. One option may be that the court may direct the party who applies for an injunction to furnish security for not adopting any delaying tactics during the trial of the case.
Who may Apply for a Temporary Injunction?
For the relief set out in Rule 1(a) of Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure, either of the two parties, the plaintiff or the defendant, can apply by making an application for seeking a temporary injunction for the purpose mentioned in the said provision. Further, as far as relief by temporary injunction under Order 39, Rule 1(b) and (c), is concerned, only the plaintiff in the suit may file an application with the court. This provision is not available to the defendant in such a type of civil suit.
However, the defendant has the right to file a separate suit against the plaintiff and seek relief provided under Order 39, Rule 1(b) and (c) of the Code of Civil Procedure.
Inherent Power to Grant a Temporary Injunction
In cases that do not fall under O 39, rule 1 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the court has the inherent power under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure to grant the relief of an injunction. Under this provision, it is at the discretion of the court to grant an injunction. The court shall use its discretion only when it is satisfied that such an order is necessary to meet the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the court's process.
The Condition for Issuing a Temporary Injunction
The grant of an injunction is discretionary and equitable relief. It cannot be granted when equally efficacious relief is obtainable in any other usual mode or proceeding. Thus, where equally efficacious relief is available to the plaintiff, he is not entitled to seek an interim injunction.
A temporary injunction is a kind of prohibitory relief that, if granted in favour of one party to the suit, will restrict the other party from doing or continuing to do the act mentioned in the injunction order. Ironically, this provision is being excessively misused by one party to the suit, due to which the other party is suffering. Additionally, such misuse is creating a hindrance to the court's smooth administration of justice by delaying the suit's progress. This is one of the reasons for the huge backlog of suits in the Indian courts. So the courts in India have to be very cautious in granting relief under this provision and should always be flexible to modify the injunction order as changes in the circumstances require.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What is the purpose of granting a temporary injunction?
Ans. As per the provision of Rule 1(a), the purpose of granting a temporary injunction is to prevent the suit from being damaged, wasted, or alienated by any party to the suit.
Q2. What are the situations in which only the plaintiff is entitled to seek the relief of a temporary injunction?
Ans. The plaintiff is only entitled to the relief of a temporary injunction if his suit is covered under the provisions of Rule 1(b) and (c) of Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure. This provision applies to the following situations: 1. Those in which the defendant threatens to sell his property to defraud his creditors (plaintiff). 2. In cases where the defendant threatens to depose the plaintiff or otherwise injures the plaintiff in relation to any property in dispute in the suit,
Q3. Under what provision of the Code of Civil Procedure, may a temporary injunction be set aside?
Ans. A temporary injunction granted under Rules 1 and 2 of Order 39 may be set aside under Rule 4 of this order by making an application to the court that granted the injunction.
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