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Relief Of Permanent Injunction Against True Owner Cannot Be Granted When Title Dispute Is Settled Against Plaintiff : Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
3 March 2022 3:00 PM GMT
Relief Of Permanent Injunction Against True Owner Cannot Be Granted When Title Dispute  Is Settled Against Plaintiff : Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court observed that a suit for permanent injunction is not maintainable against the true owner of the property when the dispute with respect to title is settled against the plaintiff.Once the suit is held to be barred by limitation qua the declaratory relief, the prayer for permanent injunction, which is a consequential relief can also be said to be barred by limitation,...

The Supreme Court observed that a suit for permanent injunction is not maintainable against the true owner of the property when the dispute with respect to title is settled against the plaintiff.

Once the suit is held to be barred by limitation qua the declaratory relief,  the prayer for permanent injunction, which is a consequential relief can also be said to be barred by limitation, the bench comprising Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna observed

In this case, the trial court declined to grant the relief of cancellation of the sale deed and declaration and held that defendant purchased the entire subject property under the registered Sale Deed dated 17.06.1975. However, the trial court granted the relief of permanent injunction. The First Appellate Court dismissed defendant's appeal. Dismissing the Second appeal, the High Court held that the relief of permanent injunction sought by the original plaintiff can be said to be substantive relief and not a consequential relief and therefore, the trial court was justified in granting the permanent injunction in favour of the plaintiff.

The issue framed by the Apex Court reads thus: Whether the plaintiff is entitled to a relief of permanent injunction against the true owner, more particularly, when the plaintiff has lost so far as the title is concerned and can thereafter the plaintiff be permitted to contend that despite the fact that the plaintiff has lost so far as the title is concerned, her possession be protected by way of injunction and that the true owner has to file a substantive suit claiming the possession?

The court noted that the main reliefs sought by the plaintiff in the suit were cancellation of the sale deed and declaration and thus the prayer of permanent injunction can be said to be a consequential relief.

"Therefore, the title to the property was the basis of the relief of possession. If that be so, in the present case, the relief for permanent injunction can be said to be a consequential relief and not a substantive relief as observed and held by the High Court. "

While allowing the appeal, the court made the following observations regarding the law involved.

Permanent Injunction and limitation

Therefore, once the suit is held to be barred by limitation qua the declaratory relief and when the relief for permanent injunction was a consequential relief, the prayer for permanent injunction, which was a consequential relief can also be said to be barred by limitation. It is true that under normal circumstances, the relief of permanent injunction sought is a substantive relief and the period of limitation would commence from the date on which the possession is sought to be disturbed so long as the interference in possession continuous. However, in the case of a consequential relief, when the substantive relief of declaration is held to be barred by limitation, the said principle shall not be applicable

Suit for permanent injunction not maintainable when title dispute is decided against plaintiff

In a given case, the plaintiff may succeed in getting the injunction even by filing a simple suit for permanent injunction in a case where there is a cloud on the title. However, once the dispute with respect to title is settled and it is held against the plaintiff, in that case, the suit by the plaintiff for permanent injunction shall not be maintainable against the true owner. In such a situation, it will not be open for the plaintiff to contend that though he/she has lost the case so far as the title dispute is concerned, the defendant – the true owner still be restrained from disturbing his/her possession and his/her possession be protected.

 Where once a suit is held not maintainable, no relief of injunction can be granted. 

An injunction is a consequential relief and in a suit for declaration with a consequential relief of injunction, it is not a suit for declaration simpliciter, it is a suit for declaration with a further relief. Whether the further relief claimed has, in a particular case as consequential upon a declaration is adequate must always depend upon the facts and circumstances of each case. Where once a suit is held not maintainable, no relief of injunction can be granted. Injunction may be granted even against the true owner of the property, only when the person seeking the relief is in lawful possession and enjoyment of the property and also legally entitled to be in possession, not to disposes him, except in due process of law.



Headnotes

Civil Suit - Injunction - Once the dispute with respect to title is settled and it is held against the plaintiff, the suit by the plaintiff for permanent injunction shall not be maintainable against the true owner. (Para 9)

Specific Relief Act, 1963 - Section 38 - Suit Permanent Injunction - Once the suit is held to be barred by limitation qua the declaratory relief and when the relief for permanent injunction was a consequential relief, the prayer for permanent injunction, which was a consequential relief can also be said to be barred by limitation. (Para 8.3)

Civil Suit - If the title to the property was the basis of the relief of possession, the relief for permanent injunction can be said to be a consequential relief. (Para 11)

Specific Relief Act, 1963 - Section 38 - Suit for Permanent Injunction - Injunction may be granted even against the true owner of the property, only when the person seeking the relief is in lawful possession and enjoyment of the property and also legally entitled to be in possession, not to disposes him, except in due process of law. (Para 11.1)

Words and phrases - Due process of law - meaning discussed. (Para 12)

Summary - Appeal against High Court judgment which dismissed second appeal to uphold Trial Court judgment which granted relief of permanent injunction while declining to grant the declaratory relief - Allowed - After having held that the plaintiff had no title and after dismissing the suit qua the cancellation of the registered sale deed and the declaration, the plaintiff is not entitled to relief of permanent injunction against defendant, the true owner.


Case: Padhiyar Prahladji Chenaji (D) vs Maniben Jagmalbhai (D) | CA 1382 OF 2022 | 3 March 2022
Citation : 2022 LiveLaw (SC) 241 
Coram: Justices MR Shah and BV Nagarathna




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