Section 37 of Specific Relief Act, 1963 provides that “temporary Injunction are such as are to continue until a specified time, or until the further order of the court, and they may be granted at any stage of a suit.” The procedure for seeking temporary injunction has been provided under Order XXXIX of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. The order may be granted under Order XXXIX Rules 1 and 2, or under Section 94, or even in exercise of inherent powers under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
Objective of Temporary Injunction
To protect the plaintiff against injury by violation of his right for which he could not be adequately compensated in damages recoverable in the action if the uncertainty were resolved in his favour at the trial.
The Hon’ble Apex Court in the case of Dalpat Kumar v. Prahlad Singh, [AIR 1993 SC 276] laid down three major points to be considered while considering the matter of grant of Temporary Injunction.
- Prima Facie Case
A prima facie case simply means that on the first look of the matter at hand, the judge should be able to perceive the fact that yes, there may arise a legal case in the matter at hand.
A prima facie case does not mean a case proved to the hilt but a case which can be said to be established if the evidence which is led in support of the same were believed. While determining whether a prima facie case had been made out the relevant consideration is whether on the evidence led it was possible to arrive at the conclusion in question and not whether that was the only conclusion which could be arrived at on that evidence.
On this point the court will look into whether at this preliminary stage of the case, on having the look at the limited number of documents available to it, whether it seems that yes, there does exist a legal case to be adjudicated.
- Balance of Convenience
The concept of balance of convenience is based on the concept that what will be the consequence if the injunction is granted and what will be the consequence if the injunction is not granted.
On this point the Court will have a look at the matter from the viewpoint of the parties. First, what does the owner of the house gain and the govt. loose if the injunction is granted. Secondly, what does the govt. gain and the owner of the house loose if the injunction is not granted. The court will look into these two viewpoints and figure out as to what will be the most balanced interim solution. On a balance of scales, what order if ordered will least tilt the scale.
- Irreparable Loss
This concept of irreparable loss is founded on the principle that there are a number of things in this world that can not be compensated for. These things can have environmental sentiments, or at other times emotional sentiments attached to it. For example, an old tree is an asset to the environment and thus, if it is cut down, then the loss incurred cannot be compensated for. Similarly, a house has emotional sentiments attached to it, as the family stying in the house will have numerous memories attached to it, and thus, if it is demolished, then the loss suffered by the residents of the house cannot be compensated for.
Herein, the court will look into the fact that whether by demolition of the house, the owner of the house suffers a loss that cannot be repaired by any means whatsoever or not.
The Court while considering grant of the interim injunction, has also to keep in mind that temporary injunction is always granted in aid of final relief. If the final relief is not available to the person seeking interim relief, then no interim relief can be granted in his favour. Interim injunctions are thus characterized by wide discretion of the Court and near absence of legislative control. This does not imply that orders on interim injunction run amok. Limits on exercise of discretion emanate judicial decisions rendered by superior courts. These decisions are binding on trial courts by operation of the principle of stare decisis, and is also rooted in judicial discipline.