Plaintiff Can’t Seek Specific Performance And Injunction In One Suit: SC [Read Judgment]
The cause of action to claim a relief of permanent injunction and the cause of action to claim a relief of specific performance of agreement are independent and one cannot include the other and vice versa, the court said.
The Supreme Court in Sucha Singh Sodhi v Baldev Raj Walia, has held that a plaintiff could not claim the relief of specific performance of agreement along with the relief of a permanent injunction in a suit.
In this case, first suit seeking an injunction against the defendant was withdrawn with leave of the court. Later, when a suit for specific performance was filed, the defendant objected to it, invoking Order 2 Rule 2, which states that the relief of specific performance ought to have claimed along with the relief of injunction in the earlier suit, which was withdrawn. The Trial Court and the High Court found favour with the defendant on this contention.
On appeal filed by the plaintiff, a bench of Justice RK Agrawal and Justice AM Sapre, found that such a relief of specific performance could not have claimed along with the suit for injunction, for the following reasons:
- The cause of action to claim a relief of permanent injunction and the cause of action to claim a relief of specific performance of agreement are independent and one cannot include the other and vice versa. In other words, a plaintiff cannot claim a relief of specific performance of agreement against the defendant on a cause of action on which he has claimed a relief of permanent injunction.
- The cause of action to claim temporary/permanent injunction against the defendants from interfering in plaintiff’s possession over the suit premises accrues when defendant No.1 threatens the plaintiff to dispossess him from the suit premises or otherwise cause injury to the plaintiff in relation to the suit premises. It is governed by Order 39 Rule 1 (c) of the Code which deals with the grant of an injunction. The limitation to file such suit is three years from the date of obstruction caused by the defendant to the plaintiff (See – Part VII Articles 85, 86 and 87 of the Limitation Act). On the other hand, the cause of action to file a suit for claiming specific performance of agreement arises from the date fixed for the performance or when no such date is fixed when the plaintiff has noticed that performance is refused by the defendant. The limitation to file such suit is three years from such date (See – Part II Article 54 of the Limitation Act).
- When both the reliefs/claims namely, (1) Permanent Injunction and (2) Specific Performance of Agreement are not identical, when the causes of action to sue are separate, when the factual ingredients necessary to constitute the respective causes of action for both the reliefs/claims are different and lastly, when both the reliefs/claims are governed by separate articles of the Limitation Act, then, in our opinion, it is not possible to claim both the reliefs together on one cause of action.
Another issue raised before the apex court was that, in the absence of any permission/liberty granted by the trial court to the plaintiff at the time of withdrawing the previous suit filed for permanent injunction, the plaintiff was entitled to file the suit for specific performance of agreement against the defendants in relation to the suit property. The bench said: “In our view, the Court was entitled to take into consideration the statement made by the original plaintiff (Sucha Singh) for withdrawing the suit and filing it afresh and his statement could be made a part of the order for granting permission to withdraw the civil suit and file a fresh suit.”
Read the Judgment Here