October 3, 2022

By Bhavika Adwani

The author is a student at DNLU Jabalpur.

injunction

Introduction

Tort in simple word is a civil wrong. When someone in a society harm the civil rights of another person then he commits a civil wrong. For example, Nuisance, Defamation, Trespass etc. there a legal maxim: –Ubi jus ibis remedium: where there is a right, there is a remedy. Any law without remedy is a pointless exercise, so for every wrong there must be a remedy and the person can claim compensation for their damage. Now there are many remedies available like Monetary awards called “damages”, Expulsion of trespasser, Re-entry on land, Re-caption of goods, Abatement and restricting order of court (injunction).

Injunction: A court order to do or prevent someone from doing something wrong.

For example- X and Y are next-door neighbours. The song is always played at 4 a.m. by the Y, which annoys the X. X files a nuisance complaint against Y and asks the court for an injunction to stop the music. The court now has complete discretion over whether or not to issue an injunction.

In this research paper we are going to read more about injunctions and its types and all the conditions when it can be invoked and all the requisite of an application for it and the different judgements by court.

What is an Injunction?

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. 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.[1]

Injunction as a remedy is available when other remedies like damages (monetary compensation) can not satisfied plaintiff. The judges will only use the injunction When no other remedies are available, the plaintiff is compensated, and courts also consider non-parties such as the general public. It was created to prevent defendant from further exploiting plaintiff’s rights. Courts pay special attention to issues of fairness and good faith when deciding whether or not to issue an injunction and the scope of that injunction. Equitable defences to injunctions, for example, include laches and unclean hands. As a result, we can conclude that the Indian legal system does not facilitate an application for an injunction unless and until there is a risk of irreparable harm. Irreparable injury refers to a situation in which the applicant’s harm has been proven to be irreversible.

Illustration

X and Y are next-door neighbours. The song is always played at 4 a.m. by the Y, which annoys the X. X files a nuisance complaint against Y and asks the court for an injunction to stop the music. The court now has complete discretion over whether or not to issue an injunction.

The News channel is AHB. They conduct an interview with Mr. X (celebrity), and the next day they twist the facts that Mr. X is involved in terrorist activities. So, he files a case against the news channel and also requests an injunction, which is a court order ordering the news channel to stop repeating the news on their channel on a regular basis. The court now has complete discretion over whether or not to issue an injunction.

A person not complying with the court order are liable for the punishment.

The consequence of disobedience or breach of an injunction

The person must comply with the court’s injunction order. If the individual fails to comply with the court order, he or she will be charged with contempt of court. Such a person may be sentenced to imprisonment for no more than three months, or until the court orders further release.

When an Injunction is granted

In general, a court must be satisfied with the following factors before issuing an injunction:

The court has the power to issue a temporary injunction at its discretion. However, this discretion should be used with caution, prudence, and in accordance with sound legal principles.

Injunctions should not be granted lightly because they have a negative effect on the opposing party. An injunction is a type of equitable relief in which the court has complete discretion over the terms and conditions it imposes. Such conditions, however, must be reasonable so that they do not make it impossible for the party to comply, effectively denying him the relief to which he is otherwise entitled.

When is injunction Refused?

When other remedies like damages (monetary compensation) can not satisfied plaintiff then judges will only use the injunction and it may harm the right of defendant sometimes. So, Injunction relief may be denied due to error, intentional torts, or because the applicant has not come with clean hands or has suppressed material facts, or where monetary compensation is adequate relief. An injunction cannot be issued to prevent anyone from pursuing legal action.

Classification of Injunction[2]

Injunctions are classified into two categories:

  • Based on the time period
  • (a)  Temporary Injunction
  • (b)  Permanent Injunction

Based on the nature of the order

  • (a)  Prohibitory Injunction
  • (b)  Mandatory injunction
  • (c)  The Mareva Injunction

Temporary injunctions

As the name suggests, a temporary injunction is for a temporary period of time and is given when the trial is going on. The main purpose of a temporary injunction is to maintain the status quo and prevent further harm to the plaintiff’s legal rights. Following the trial, either the temporary injunction was changed into a permanent injunction, thereby making the temporary injunction a permanent rule, or the temporary induction was dissolved, implying that the temporary induction had no value now in the eyes of law.

Take, for example, X and Y are neighbours. There is a dispute related to the position of Garden. Y enters into the garden and plucks the flowers and fruits without the permission of X. X files a suit against Y, and X can ask the court for a temporary injunction against Y to restrict him from further damage to his garden. The restriction by the court till the final judgement will be called as temporary injunction.

Ramesh Khatanmal Lulla vs Mohammad Yusuf Abdul Gaffar on 9 March, 2018[3]

The given case is about the registered trademark. In this case, the defendant is using the plaintiff’s trade mark to sell his product. The plaintiff went to court for a temporary injunction pending the final decision. The court should grant the order of temporary injunctions by referring to the previous supreme court judgement: “The respondent has a registered trade mark and the appellant was infringing the same by using a mark that was identical in essential features or deceptively similar, causing customer confusion.” A case for a temporary injunction was made out. According to the law laid down in various judgments, once it was proven that there was a likelihood of deception or confusion, the plaintiff did not need to prove actual loss or damage in order to successfully claim an order of temporary injunction. It was argued that the possibility of deception or confusion led to the conclusion that there was a possibility of loss or damage, and that thus, at the prima facie stage for granting a temporary injunction, proof of actual loss or damage suffered by the plaintiff was not required to be brought on record.

An injunction to restrain the repetition of the same act

The plaintiff seeks a temporary injunction from the court to prevent the defendant from committing the same tort over and over again, whether during the course of the suit or before or after the judgement.

The court may grant the injunction on the condition that the plaintiff keep an account, provide security, or do something else that the court deems appropriate. 

Permanent injunctions

A permanent injunction is a final judgement given by a court either restraining someone from doing something or asking them to do something. The plaintiff gets final relief from the defendant’s act. The injunctions are constant in nature and are to be followed permanently till further notice or something that is legal in nature.

Take the same facts given above, A and B, which are in dispute with the possession of the garden. If the court restricts B from entering into the garden and not plucking the flowers and fruits, it is an infringement of A’s legal right. The final judgement of the court by not allowing the B into A’s garden is a permanent injunction.

Nagar Palika Parishad, Mihona And … vs Ramnath And Anr on 9 April, 1947

In the case at hand, the plaintiff is seeking a permanent injunction from the court. The dispute was over land, and the plaintiff claimed that the land belonged to his forefathers. On the other hand, nagar palika (defendant) wishes to acquire that property due to the construction of the Pucca Road. He was granted a permanent injunction by the trial court.

Based on the nature of the order

Prohibitory injunction

Prohibitory injunctions are the injunctions which restrict or prohibit the defendant from doing continuous wrong against the plaintiff’s legal rights. The Maxim Status Quo ante has been followed here, which is to make the plaintiff whole again of the rights which have been violated by the defendant. This type of injunction helps the plaintiff in cases like the breach of contract and to protect the disclosure of confidential information.

When X was fired from his job, he threatened to reveal the company’s confidential information to the public. The employer went to court and asked for an injunction to prevent him from doing so. That is to say, he will not reveal those details in the future. This type of injunctions is known as prohibitory injunctions.

Murari Lal S/O Ram Saran Dass vs Nawal Kishore and Ors. on 16 May, 1961[4]

In the above case, the decree-holder, Nawal Kishore, obtained a decree for an injunction restraining the judgment-debtors from preventing him from erecting a separating wall in the residential premises to separate his portion from the judgment-debtors’. He requested an injunction now because the court was unsure whether it would be prohibitory or mandatory. The injunction preferred in this case was not to prevent the defendants from doing something positive, but to prevent them from interfering with the plaintiff’s pursuit of a specific course of action, namely, the construction of a wall on his portion of the premises. In other words, the prohibitory order is a kind of double negative that results in a positive, and the decree is essentially a mandatory decree ordering the defendants to allow the plaintiff to do something properly on his own. However, there was another argument. The injunction simply prohibits the judgement debtor from interfering with the decree-construction holders of the wall. It makes no demands on the decree-holder to build the wall. The decree-holder may or may not erect the wall, and if he does not erect the wall, there is no question that he is in violation of the injunction. The injunction in the present case cannot be construed as a mandatory injunction. It is only a prohibitory injunction, and as such, it is outside the ambit of Sub-rule (5).

Mandatory injunction

A mandatory injunction prevents a defendant from continuing a wrongdoing that occurred before the injunction was issued. The goal of a mandatory injunction is to return things to their proper order after they have gotten out of hand. A mandatory injunction, for example, requires the defendant to return property to its rightful owner. In extremely rare cases, the court will issue a mandatory injunction. Under this injunction, the court can order or direct someone to perform an action, such as undoing an action or asking a person or corporation to perform an action.

When issuing a mandatory injunction, the courts would consider whether the plaintiff could be compensated fairly or whether the  injunction was required to do justice.

For example, If A falsely possesses B’s goods, B can seek a mandatory injunction, which allows the court to order A to return B’s property to B.

State Of Punjab and Ors vs Brigadier Sukhjit Singh on 11 June, 1993[5]

Brigadier Sukhjit Singh is the plaintiff in this case. He is Maharaja Paramjit Singh’s son and Maharaja Jagajit Singh’s grandson. Maharaja Jagajit Singh’s ancestors can be traced back to Baba Jassa Singh Ahluwalia, the founder of Kapurthala State and the Ahluwalia dynasty. The dispute concerns a two-story building currently under the control of the state of Punjab’s Public Works Department. The plaintiff-respondent claimed that the State of Punjab’s possession of the disputed building was permissive in nature and in the nature of a licence, and that despite his termination of the same, the State of Punjab had not vacated the disputed building. He sought relief through a suit for a mandatory injunction compelling the State of Punjab to vacate the premises. The State of Punjab, on the other hand, disputed the plaintiff’s ownership of the Jallowkhana complex, claiming that the building in question belonged to the government and had been maintained at state expense by the Public Works Department since 1947. The plaintiff was denied possession of any part of the buildings. The plaintiff-respondent was successful in having the entire suit decreed. The trial court’s findings issued a mandatory injunction requiring the defendant-state to hand over possession of the disputed double-story building to the plaintiff, as well as affirming and restraining the State from interfering with the plaintiff’s possession of properties in other parts of the Jallowkhana complex. Obedience to the mandatory injunction was contingent on the fact that, because the government offices had been operating in the double-story building for a long time, the same may be vacated by the government as and when suitable accommodation is made available for such offices, and until then, the plaintiff and the state government were advised to mutually agree on a reasonable rent to be paid by the state government for use and occupation until the government vacated it.

Mareva injunctions

This is used in extreme cases to freeze a defendant’s assets. It’s a court order that prevents the defendant from removing or disposing of his assets until the court issues another order or the trial is completed. The plaintiff must also show the Court that the defendant’s “intention” is to remove his assets in order to avoid his obligation.

As an example, suppose y and z are involved in a property ownership dispute. Now, if the court so wants, it can issue a Mareva injunction against the party, limiting the party’s possession of property till the final judgement is declared.

Conclusion

The tort law primarily deals with civil wrongs, and there are times when monetary compensation is insufficient to cover the plaintiff’s needs and damages. It is not good to punish the defendant harshly for civil wrongdoings. In these situations, remedies such as injunctions can be extremely beneficial. Injunctions are more effective than monetary damages in providing relief to the plaintiff. It assures a plaintiff that the defendant will not infringe on her or his rights again. An injunction is a court order that prevents someone from doing something, so judges must exercise extreme caution when issuing one because it prevents the defendant from doing something and may result in a violation of his or her rights. Plaintiffs seek an injunction only when monetary or other forms of compensation are insufficient to compensate them for enduring the situation. Furthermore, the party must demonstrate that no other remedy exists. Judges also use injunctions with caution, and only when the party seeking the injunction can demonstrate that the court’s refusal to grant the injunction will result in irreparable harm If the defendant is really infringing on the plaintiff’s rights, the plaintiff should come with clean hands and a non-guilty mind and ask for an order of injunction.There must be some room for manoeuvre, though. Exercised with caution and in accordance with the provisions of the Special Relief Act relating to the grant of injunctions. No interim injunction will be granted, as is well known. A restraining order will be issued if final relief is not available. An injunction cannot be issued if the plaintiff has no personal interest in the matter. The remedy of injunction should be included in torts because it ensures proper justice for the plaintiff, and the defendant must strictly follow the injunction order or face contempt of court penalties.

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Bibliography


[1] https://www.indiafilings.com/learn/what-is-an-injunction/

[2] Supra 1

[3] Ramesh Khatanmal Lulla vs Mohammad Yusuf Abdul Gaffar on 9 March, 2018

[4] Murari Lal S/O Ram Saran Dass vs Nawal Kishore And Ors. on 16 May, 1961

[5] State Of Punjab and Ors vs Brigadier Sukhjit Singh on 11 June, 1993

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