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Report No. 144

9.5.2. Question for consideration.-

The question has arisen whether, after a temporary injunction is vacated, its breach (committed before it was vacated), can be punished under Order 39, rule 2A.

9.5.3. The following High Courts hold that this is not permissible:-

(a) Allahabad,1 and

(b) Punjab.2

1. (a) Sitaram v. Ganesh Dass, AIR 1973 All 449 (Hari Swamp, J.);

(b)Sheo Kumar v. Zila Sahakari Vikas Sangh, AIR 1983 All 180 (SC) (Mathur, J.).

2. Rachhpal Singh v. Gurdarshan Singh, AIR 1985 P&H 299 (301), para. 5 (DB), agreeing with Sheo Kumar Saxena v. Zila Sahkari Vikas Sangh, AIR All 180.

9.5.4. The Allahabad decisions before 1961 seem to emphasise the impropriety of such punishment 1-2 But subsequent decisions of that High Court seem to regard such punishment as even illegal. The Allahabad High Court-3 is of the view that the purpose of Order 39, rule 2A is to enforce the order of injunction and that this provision permits the Court to execute the injunction order; the purpose is not to punish the man but to see that the order is obeyed and the wrong done by disobedience of the order is remedied and the status quo ante is brought into effect.

The High Court observed that this view finds support from the observations of the Supreme Court,4 wherein the latter held that the proceedings are in substance designed to effect enforcement of or to execute the order and a parallel was drawn between the provisions of Order 21, rule 32 and of Order 39, rule 2(iii), which is similar to Order 39, rule 2A.

1. Surendra Nath v. Sinclair Dry, AIR 1950 All 285 (286), para. 4 (Mallik, D.J.) (Application for notice of contempt held, no deliberate disobedience. As order was vacated, it would not be proper to issue notice).

2. Manoharlal v. Preen Shankar, AIR 196 All 231, dissented from in Govinda v. Chakradhar, AIR 1971 Ori 10, para. 2.

3. Sitaram v. Ganesh Dass, AIR 1973 All 449.

4. State of Bihar v. Sonabati Kumar, AIR 1961 SA 4221.

9.5.5. In contrast with the first view, the following High Courts hold such punishment to be permissible:

(1) Gujarat1 and

(2) Orissa."2-3

1. Thakorelal v. Chandulal, AIR 1967 Guj 124 (125, 126), para. 2.

2. Govinda v. Chakradhar, AIR 1971 Ori 10 (11), para. 2 (R.N. Misra, J.) (Punishment upheld, though injunction had been dissolved).

3. Kisohre Chandra v. Puri Municipality, AIR 1988 Ori 184.

9.5.6. In the Orissa case of 1971, it was pointed out that what the court was concerned with, was not the ultimate decision, but whether, on the date of the impugned act, the injunction had been violated.

9.5.7. The matter has not reached the Supreme Court. There are dicta in a Privy Council case to the effect that an injunction must be obeyed while in force, even if it is subsequently discharged because the 'plaintiff failed'.1 But the case did not specifically involve the question whether breach of an injunction can be punished after the injunction has been vacated.

1. Eastern Trust v. Mackenzie Mann & Co., AIR 1915 PC 106 (2) 110.

Conflicting Judicial Decisions pertaining to the Code of Civil Procedure Back

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