An injunction is a court’s direction to one or more parties in a civil trial to refrain from performing, or less frequently to perform specific conduct or acts. Preliminary, or temporary, injunctions are usually issued before the start of a trial; they expire when the proceeding is resolved or at an earlier time specified. Permanent, or perpetual, injunctions may be issued as part of the court’s final judgment after a trial; they usually enjoin (or mandate) the specified act or acts permanently or for as long as the relevant circumstances exist. An injunction can only be granted if the plaintiff can show that, among other things, he will likely suffer irreparable harm without it, that the injunction will be in the public interest, that it will be beneficial to him more than it will be burdensome for the defendant, and that, in the case of a preliminary injunction, he will probably win the case at trial. A claim of contempt of court may be made if an injunction is not followed.
A preliminary or permanent injunction may be requested to halt certain actions, such as the demolition of a historical structure, contaminating a public water supply, violating copyright, manually recounting votes in a presidential election, or enforcing a law or executive order that violates the constitution. In the field of family law, injunctions may be used to stop domestic violence and harassment or compel the payment of child support. Mandatory injunctions were used in the 1970s and 1980s to implement busing-based racial integration in public schools.
- Injunctions of various kinds
The Specific Relief Act of 1963 defines the different types of injunctions. Certain types of injunctions are provided to prevent possible future injury to the plaintiff, which the plaintiff would have to bear if the relief is refused:
- Temporary Injunction
- Permanent Injunction
- Mandatory Injunction
Section 37 of the Specific Relief Act of 1963 addresses interim injunctions. Temporary injunctions are in effect for the duration of that period or until the court issues another ruling. They are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure and may be admitted at any point throughout a lawsuit (1908). The main goal of issuing this injunction is to protect a person’s interests or the assets involved in the lawsuit until the verdict is reached.
The duration of such an injunction is at the discretion of the court. This type of injunction was also made available in the case Union of India v. Bhuneshwar Prasad[i].
The Court shall provide direct notice of the request for the same to be communicated to the other party in all situations, save where the purpose of issuing the injunction appears to be thwarted by the delay even before the injunction is granted.
- Perpetual Injunction:
When a judge grants a perpetual injunction, the injunction suit is finally resolved. It is ordered at the time of the final judgment. It is a final relief injunction, not an interim injunction. Section 37 (2) of the Specific Relief Act of 1963 defines the granting of a perpetual injunction. According to the section, a perpetual injunction can be granted only by a decree issued after an inquiry and hearing on the merits of the case; the defendant is thus perpetually enjoined to exercise his right or to forever pervade his conduct that would conflict with the plaintiff’s rights.
The court held in the case of Nuthaki Venkataswami v. Katta Nagi Reddy[ii] that the champertous agreement is not void in and of itself and that if the recovery is not against public policy, it cannot be called illegal, and thus an injunction may be granted.
In the case of Walter Louis Franklin v. George Singh, where the plaintiff petitioned the court for a perpetual injunction to prevent the defendant from unlawfully using his land and the defendant claimed that he was the true owner, the court held that the perpetual injunction should be granted because the plaintiff owned the land.
- Mandatory Injunction:
The Mandatory Injunction is addressed in Section 39 of the Special Relief Act of 1963. The section does not define a mandatory injunction, but it does deal with the granting of a mandatory injunction. According to the section, to prevent a breach of an obligation, the court may compel the performance of certain actions that it is capable of enforcing and may issue injunctions for the infringement complained of. The principle of mandatory injunction is used to grant final relief rather than interim relief, such as in exceptional or exemplary cases such as saving a life, and so on.
In the case of N.E. Sankarasubbu Pillai v. Parvathi Ammal Others[iii], the plaintiff, whose right to land was infringed upon by the defendants, pleaded before the court for a mandatory injunction, which was denied because the essential conditions for the mandatory injunction were not met.
- Procedure For Obtaining An Injunction
‘Notwithstanding anything contained in Part I of the CPC, when seized of an action in a suit for which the parties have agreed, a judicial authority may refer to Section 44 of the Arbitration Act, 1996, and shall refer the parties to arbitration at the request of any of the parties or of any person claiming by or under it, unless it finds that the agreement is void, inoperative, or unable to be concluded by the parties.’
An injunction is a type of equitable relief. The court has complete discretion in granting or refusing an injunction. The relief cannot be claimed as a matter of right, no matter how compelling the applicant’s case. The power to issue an injunction must therefore be used with extreme caution, vigilance, and care.
* Harshita Malviya, Final Year Law Student, Banasthali University.
Contract-II, Dr. R.K. Bangia
Avtar Singh, Contract & SRA
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