The Supreme Court recently set aside a Punjab and Haryana High Court order in a revision petition which directed parties in a civil suit to maintain 'status quo' despite the fact that no prima facie case was made out by the plaintiffs for grant of such relief.
In this case, the plaintiff sought an interim injunction against construction by a defendant in a building which he claimed to be his own. The Trial Court dismissed the application under Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The court made a factual finding that the suit property was owned by the defendants and that the plaintiff produced no evidence with regard to purchase of first floor over the suit property in dispute. The First Appellate Court dismissed the appeal.
While disposing of the revision petition against these concurrent orders, the High court, in its judgment, narrated the facts and contentions made by the parties. It did not make any findings of its own, but disposed of the Revision Petition observing thus: "Since the suit is itself at initial stage and rights of the parties are yet to be determined by the trial Court with reference to the evidence to be led by them, therefore, in my considered opinion, it would be just and appropriate to direct both the parties to maintain status quo as regards construction as it exists today."
While setting aside the 'Status Quo' order by allowing the SLP filed by defendants, the bench comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna said:
"In our opinion, the High Court committed manifest error in directing the parties to maintain status quo despite the fact that no prima facie case was made out by the plaintiffs for grant of such relief. .
..Suffice it to observe that the impugned order directing the parties to maintain status quo cannot be sustained in the fact situation of the present case. The same is set aside."
The bench then directed the Trial Court to expedite the hearing of the suit and dispose of the same,
Case name: POOJA MITTAL vs. RAKESH KUMARCase no.: CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2737 OF 2020Coram: Justices AM Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna