Injunction and Injunction Proceedings

What is an Injunction and What Procedures are involved in Injunction Proceedings?

An injunction is a remedy granted by the court that prohibits the commission of a wrong threatened or the continuance of a wrongful course of action already begun.

What is an Injunction and What Procedures are involved in Injunction Proceedings?

If a party fails to comply with an injunction granted by a court, then the party could face criminal or civil penalties or contempt of court.

Types of Injunction:

The following are the different types of the injunction:

  • Preliminary injunction
  • Preventive Injunction
  • Mandatory injunction
  • Temporary restraining order
  • Permanent injunction
  • Preliminary Injunction

A preliminary injunction, which is also known as an ad-interim injunction, is assigned to a plaintiff prior to a trial. preliminary injunction preserves the subject matter in its existing condition to prevent any dissolution of the plaintiff’s rights, and thereby render him/her the possibility of immediate relief.

  • Preventive Injunctions

A preventive injunction is an adjudication that forces an individual to abstain from doing an action that is preventive, prohibitive or negative. The injunction intends to prevent a threatened injury, preserve the status quo, and reserve the continued commission of an ongoing wrong.

  • Mandatory Injunction

Considered as the most rigorous of all injunctions, a mandatory injunction directs the defendant to perform an act. For example, if a court orders the removal of a building or structure due to misplaced construction, then it fits the description of a mandatory injunction.

  • Temporary Restraining Order

A temporary restraining order is just what its name suggests, as the same is valid until the period of restraining order draws to a closure. The court grants it to preserve the status quo of the subject of the controversy until the hearing of an application for a temporary injunction. Through it, it also seeks to prevent any instance of unnecessary and irreparable injury.

  • Permanent Injunction

At the time of final judgement issues the permanent injunction for granting a final relief to the applicant. These injunctions remain constant if the conditions that produced them are permanent.

  • Contempt of Court

The provisions of an injunction comply with the respective parties, failing which the defendant is punishable for Contempt of Court after performing the necessary trial or hearing. Such a scenario would force the defaulter to remit the prescribed penal charge and/or face imprisonment. The quantum of punishment would be decided by considering the type of default.

  • Prohibitory Injunction

A prohibitory injunction when granted by a court, prohibits the defendant from doing a wrongful act that would be an infringement of the plaintiff’s legal rights. For example, prohibitory injunctions restrain a breach of contract or to protect the disclosure of confidential information.

  • Mandatory Injunction

A mandatory injunction forbids a defendant from continuing a wrong act that has already occurred at the time when the injunction is issued. The purpose of a mandatory injunction is to restore a wrongful state of things to the rightful order.  For example, a mandatory injunction makes the defendant deliver possession of a property to its rightful owner.

When issuing a mandatory injunction, the Courts would take into consideration, whether the plaintiff could be adequately compensated or whether the grant of an injunction was necessary to do justice.

  • Interlocutory or Interim Injunction

An interlocutory injunction is a type of temporary injunction, which is operational during the pendency of the case before the court. Hence, an interlocutory injunction can compel or prevent a party from doing certain acts, pending the final determination of the case. The primary purpose of using an interlocutory injunction is to preserve matters in the status quo.

Requirements for Temporary Injunctions:

The case of Dalpat Kumar And Another v. Pralhad Singh And Others (1991) has settled the three main requirements for granting a temporary injunction, they are:

  1. Prima Facie Case

A suit consists of a seriously disputed question. The facts in those questions encourage the probability of entitlement to relief for the plaintiff or the defendant. A prima facie case does not mean that the plaintiff or the defendant come up with an irrefutable argument that will in all probability succeed in a trial. It only means that the case they build for their injunction must be meritorious enough, not to be rejected instantly.

  • Irreparable Loss

If an irreparable loss were to be incurred by an individual with regards to the suit before his legal right is established in the trial, it would be a cause of grave injustice. However, it must be noted that illustrations like frustration over a loss of something with sentimental value will not be regarded as irreparable damage. On the other hand, things that by nature can be remedied will be considered to be irreparable damage if the court were to have no fair or reasonable address. Very often an injury is irreparable where it is continuous and repeated or where it is remediable at law only by a multiplicity of suits. Sometimes, the term irreparable damage refers to the difficulty of measuring the amount of damages inflicted. However, a mere difficulty in proving injury does not establish irreparable injury.

  • Balance of convenience

The court needs to compare the case of parties, comparative mischief or inconvenience which is likely to sue from withholding the injunction will be greater than which is likely to arrive from granting it. 

When can a Temporary Injunction be rejected:

The circumstances in which a temporary injunction is granted is governed by Order 39, Rule 1 of the Code on Civil Procedure, 1908, which will be discussed later. Thus, it becomes imperative to discuss the instances when a temporary injunction can be rejected. This is highlighted in Section 41 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963.

  1. Restrain any person from prosecuting a judicial proceeding at the institution of the suit, in which injunction is sought, unless restraint is necessary to prevent multiplicity of proceedings.
  2. To restrain any person from instituting or prosecuting any proceeding in a Court not subordinate to that, from which injunction is sought.
  3. To restrain any person from applying to any legislative body.
  4. To restrain any person from instituting or prosecuting any proceeding in a criminal matter.
  5. To prevent the breach of a contract the performance of which could not be specifically enforced.
  6. To prevent on the ground of nuisance, an act of which it is not reasonably clear that it will be a nuisance.
  7. To prevent a continuing breach in which the plaintiff has acquiesced.
  8. When equally efficacious relief can certainly be obtained by any other usual mode of proceeding except in case of breach of trust.
  9. When the conduct of the plaintiff or his agents has been such as to disentitle him to the assistance of the court. 
  10. When the plaintiff has no personal interest in the matter. 

Rules under Order XXXIX of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908

On Temporary Injunctions

  1. Order 39, Rule 1 talks about the cases in which the court may grant a temporary injunction as a statutory relief, they are:
  2. In the case of property dispute, if the property in question is under a risk of being wasted, damaged or alienated or wrongfully sold by an individual involved in the suit.
  3. If an individual threatened or displayed intention of removing or disposing off of his property with a motive to defraud his creditors. This is specific to the defendant only.
  4. If the plaintiff is threatened – by the defendant – to be dispossessed or injured in the context of the property dispute under question.
  5. If the defendant were to commit a breach of peace or contract. The aforementioned ground is also highlighted in Order 39, Rule 2 of the CPC, 1908. 
  6. Lastly, the court may issue an injunction if it is of the opinion that it would be an act in the interest of justice.
  7. Order 39, Rule 2-A talks about the non-compliance of an individual with regards to an injunction, they are:
  8. It mandates the detainment of that individual in civil prison for not more than three months.
  9. Furthermore, it warrants the attachment of property of that guilty individual for not more than a year. However, if the delinquency were to continue, the property may be sold.
  10. In the case of Ram Prasad Singh v. Subodh Prasad Singh (1983)it was highlighted that it is not necessary for an individual to be a party to the concerned suit, to be liable under Order 39, Rule 2-A of the CPC, 1908, provided it is known that he was an agent of the defendant and violated the injunction despite being aware of the same.
  11. Usually, the court is required to issue a notice to the opposite party regarding the application of injunction, but through Order 39, Rule 3, the court can grant an ex-parte injunction when it is under the belief that the object of the injunction would be defeated because of delay. The Supreme Court through the case of Union of India v. Era Educational Trust  (2000), laid down certain guiding principles for courts to follow while deciding upon an ex-parte injunction, they are:
  12. Whether the plaintiff will be a victim to irreparable mischief by the defendant?
  13. Whether the weight of injustice will be heavier if an ex-parte injunction is not granted?
  14. Whether the timing of applying for an ex-parte jurisdiction was maliciously motivated?
  15. The courts will also consider the general principle of balance and irreparable loss.
  16. Order 39, Rule 4 lays down that an injunction may be discharged, varied or set aside, if any dissatisfied party makes an appeal against it, provided that:
  17. The application for injunction or documents advocating the same included knowingly false or misleading statements and the injunction was granted without listening to the other party. Thus, the court will vacate the injunction. However, it can also stick with the injunction if it considers – the reason is to be recorded – the same not be necessary in the discourse of injustice.
  18. Furthermore, the court may also set aside the injunction if, due to a change of circumstances, the party against whom the injunction is granted, has suffered unnecessary hardships.
  19. Order 39, Rule 5 makes an important point that, if an injunction is granted against a corporation or a firm, the authority of the is not limited to the corporation as an entity alone, members and officers of the corporation whose personal action it seeks to restrain are also included under its ambit. 

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