Introduction to Injunction
An injunction is a letter issued by an equity judge in a plaintiff’s case, addressed to a defendant in the case, or a party making a defendant for that matter, prohibiting the latter from taking any action, or allowing his servants or associates to take any action, that he is threatening or intending to commit, or preventing him from continuing the litigation, that is unjust.
For example, if someone demolishes a structure on which you may have claims, you can ask a competent court to order that person not to demolish the property until the claim trial is completed and a decision is rendered in his favour.
To be more precise, An injunction is a court order that requires a person to do or refrain from doing anything that is appropriate in terms of justice and whose failure would be contrary to good faith and good conscience. Injunctions are used to reclaim a party’s rights that have been violated when punitive or compensatory sanctions are insufficient. This is in line with the objectives of equity and justice for all.
In English jurisprudence, the term “injunction” comes from the French word ” injungere,” which means “to join.” Its roots in Indian law can be found in a number of Indian laws. To be clear, the substantive provisions for injunctions are found in the CrPC (for criminal proceedings), the CPC (for civil cases), and the Relevant Relief Act (for civil cases) where appropriate. Depending on the situation and the incident, any of these statutes may provide for an injunction. An injunction is rarely able to stand alone as a legal entity. In most cases, it is used in conjunction with another treatment.
The fundamental goal of interim relief is to keep property in dispute safe until the legal rights and competing claims of the parties before the court are resolved. Interim remedy can be granted or denied by the court in the exercise of good judicial judgement.
In Halsbury’s Laws, an injunction is defined as follows: A judicial process whereby a party is ordered to refrain from doing or to do a particular act or thing. The definition of the word injunction according to the Oxford dictionary is a Judicial warning or a Judicial order restraining a person from an action or compelling a person to carry out a certain act,
Types of Injunction
Injunctions can be divided into two categories:
- Temporary Injunction
- Permanent Injunction
According to Section 37(1) of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 “Temporary injunctions are those that are to last until a particular time, or until the further order of the court, and they may be granted at any stage of a claim, and are regulated by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (5 of 1908).” Sections 94(c) and (e) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, provide that a court may issue a temporary injunction or make other interim orders in order to prevent the achievement of the goals of justice from being hindered. Order 39 of the Code of Civil Procedure outlines the process for obtaining a temporary injunction. An injunction, on the other hand, is a fair discretionary relief that cannot be granted when equally effective relief can be obtained through any other common means or procedure.
The purpose of an interim or temporary order is to protect the plaintiff from harm by asserting a right that he would not be able to appropriately recompense in damages recoverable in the action if the uncertainty is resolved in his favour at the hearing.
Interim injunctions are granted based on three criteria: Prima facie case, irreparable loss, and balance of convenience. These were explained by the court as follows:
(A) PRIMA FACIE CASE-
The first requirement is that the petitioner must establish a prima facie case for the right he is claiming. The court must be convinced that the applicant has presented a genuine dispute, that there is a compelling case for trial that requires investigation and a merits decision, and that the applicant is likely to be entitled to the relief sought based on the facts before the court. The existence of a prima facie right and its infringement is a prerequisite for the issuance of a temporary injunction. The plaintiff has the duty of proving to the court that he has a prima facie case in his favour by presenting evidence or otherwise. In other words, the court should not focus on the merits of the issue at that point because it is not expected to decide the suit finally. The plaintiff’s case, as disclosed in the plaint, affidavits, or other evidence supplied by him, should guide the court in deciding a prima facie case.
The plaintiff should appear in court with his or her hands clean. If he withholds key facts or documents, he is not entitled to an injunction, and other factors such as the balance of convenience and irreparable harm are not necessary to be addressed in such a case.
(B) IRREPARABLE INJURY-
The mere existence of a prima facie case does not entitle the applicant to a temporary injunction. The petitioner must also satisfy the court on the second criterion by demonstrating that he would suffer irreparable harm if the injunction is not granted, and that he has no alternative means of protecting himself from the consequences of the anticipated harm. In other words, the court must be convinced that refusing to grant an injunction would cause the party seeking relief to suffer “irreparable injury,” and that he needs to be protected from the consequences of such injury.
(C) BALANCE OF CONVENIENCE-
The balance of convenience must be in favour of the applicant as the third condition for granting an interim injunction. In other words, the court must be satisfied that the relative harm, hardship, or annoyance caused to the applicant by refusing the injunction is higher than the harm, hardship, or inconvenience caused to the opposing party by granting it.
The Hon’ble Apex Court ruled in Agricultural Produce Market Committee Case 1 that “A temporary injunction can be issued only if the person seeking injunction has a legal right that can be enforced by way of injunction,”
The court established some principles for giving interim orders in the case of Nawab Mir Barkat Ali v. Nawab Zulfiquar, which the court must be satisfied with:
- that the applicant’s case is prima facie strong enough to go to trial.
- That the dispute between the parties be genuine, as well as on whose side the balance of convenience will fall in the event of triumph if no injunction is granted.
- the plaintiff has experienced irreparable harm
- When a permanent injunction is not possible, temporary injunctions will not be permitted.
A temporary injunction is a type of preliminary relief that tries to safeguard the subject in his or her current state without the defendant interfering or threatening him or her. Its purpose is to protect the plaintiff from disposing of, destroying, or damaging his property (subject), as well as any injury to him. The primary purpose of a temporary order is to safeguard an individual’s or entity’s interests while a final decision is made. If issued, a temporary injunction lasts for a set amount of time or until the court decides otherwise.
Permanent Injunctions, also known as Perpetual Injunctions, can only be obtained by a decree issued at the hearing and based on the merits of the case. The defendant is therefore eternally barred from asserting a right or committing an act that would be detrimental to the Plaintiff’s rights. In simple words, a permanent injunction (sometimes known as a perpetual injunction) is one that is issued at the time of the final judgement and remains in effect for an extended length of time. In this circumstance, the Defendant is permanently barred from performing any act, or refraining from performing any act, that might harm the Plaintiff’s interests.
According to Sec 37(2), a perpetual injunction can only be obtained by a decree rendered during the hearing and on the merits of the case.
The following rules apply to the issuing of a perpetual injunction under Section 38:
- A permanent injunction may be given to the plaintiff to prevent the breach of a duty existing in his favour, whether expressly or by implication, subject to the other conditions included and referred to in Chapter VIII, Specific Relief Act,1963.
- When a contract creates such an obligation, the court must follow the norms and procedures for specific performance of contracts, which are included in Chapter II.
- The court may grant a perpetual injunction in the following instances when the defendant infringes or threatens to infringe on the plaintiff’s right to or enjoyment of property:
- Where the defendant is the plaintiff’s property trustee
- Where there is no criteria for determining the actual or potential damage caused by the invasion
- Where the invasion is so severe that monetary compensation would be insufficient to provide adequate relief
- When an injunction is required to avoid a slew of legal actions.
In the case of Jujhar Singh vs. Giani Talok Singh, a son’s request for a permanent injunction to prohibit his father, who also happened to be the Karta of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), from selling the HUF property was denied. It was deemed unmaintainable because the son, who was also a coparcener, had obtained the remedy of contesting the sale and having it set aside in a suit after the sale was completed.
If an injunction had been granted, the father would not have been allowed to sell the property even when he was legally compelled to do so as a Karta, which would have been illegal. As son was a coparcener, he had other additional legal options available.
An injunction was requested in Cotton Corporation Of India vs. United Industrial Bank(4) to prevent the defendants from filing a winding-up petition under the Companies Act of 1956 or the Banking Regulation Act of 1949. The Court dismissed the petition because it lacked jurisdiction to issue a temporary injunction prohibiting a person from filing a lawsuit in a court that was not subordinate to it. If a perpetual injunction for the subject matter of the case cannot be issued under Section 41(b) of the statute, the Court held that an ipso facto interim injunction could not be given.
Differences between Temporary Injunction and Permanent Jurisdiction
- A temporary injunction is issued for a set length of time or until the court rules. It can be given at any time during the case whereas a permanent injunction is given by a court order following a thorough investigation of the facts and merits of the case.
- Temporary injunctions are governed under Order 39 (Rules 1–5) of the Civil Procedure Code of 1908. Permanent injunctions, on the other hand, are governed by sections 38 to 42 of the Special Relief Act of 1963.
- A temporary injunction is not conclusive. It is, in essence, a temporary order rather than a long-term solution. A permanent injunction, on the other hand, deals with the finality of a judgement, resulting in a conclusive and long-term resolution of the dispute.
- A temporary injunction may be one-sided because it solely considers the Plaintiff’s side of the dispute. It is crucial to note, however, that this is not always the case. In contrast, a permanent injunction targets both the Plaintiff and the Defendant. It listens to both sides before offering a solution.
- A temporary injunction is only temporary, it can be reversed by the court that issued it. A permanent injunction, on the other hand, cannot be revoked by the court that issued it. An appellate or higher court may, however, revoke it.
- The Plaintiff’s failure to respond or make a request in a timely manner may result in the grant of an injunction order being denied. A permanent injunction order, on the other hand, permits the parties to explain, elaborate, and provide for specifics at a later and more moderate pace, as long as there are sufficient and solid grounds for it.
- A temporary injunction is a legal order issued by a judge. A permanent injunction is a ruling (that is, a legal court order).
An injunction is a type of protective order that tries to protect the interests of all parties involved. It aims to create a scenario in which one party does not hurt or interfere with the rights and authority of the other. While an injunction is not a self-contained remedy, the protection of rights is crucial. Permanent and interim injunctions each have their own set of benefits and rights. It is vital to first understand one’s situation before moving on to the most appropriate relaxation technique. When doing so, keep in mind that an injunction order is not a right in and of itself, and that its rejection is at the exclusive discretion of the court.
If one tries to meet the demands of both parties. It aims to create a scenario in which one party does not hurt or interfere with the rights and authority of the other. While an injunction is not a self-contained remedy, the protection of rights is crucial. Permanent and temporary injunctions each have their own set of benefits and rights. It is vital to first understand one’s situation before moving on to the most appropriate relaxation technique. When doing so, keep in mind that an injunction order is not a right in and of itself, and that its dismissal is entirely at the discretion of the courts.
(1) AIR 1997 SC 2674
(2) AIR 1982 A.P. 384.
(3) AIR 1987 P H 34
(4) 1983 AIR 1272, 1983 SCR(3) 962
This article has been written by Sukhmandeep Singh from Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar