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Cites 3 docs
Papanna vs Nagachari And Others on 20 February, 1996
The Code Of Criminal Procedure, 1973
Kochupennu Ambujakshi And Ors. vs Veluthakunju Vasu Channar And ... on 1 September, 1992

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Karnataka High Court
C. Doddasiddaiah And Ors. vs D. Siddaiah And Ors. on 30 January, 1997
Equivalent citations: ILR 1997 KAR 900, 1997 (2) KarLJ 407
Author: H.N. Narayan
Bench: H Narayan

ORDER H.N. Narayan, J

1. The question that arises for consideration in this revision is whether the Civil Courts are within their powers in giving police assistance to implement the interlocutory orders of the Court. The facts in brief which are relevant for the purpose of appreciating the rival contentions are:-

An ad-interim order of injunction has been granted by the Trial Court restraining the defendants from preventing the plaintiff's right to enjoy their 1/3rd share in using the water of the Well situated in the suit schedule land. This order had infact been passed by the Vacation Judge, Tumkur, further directing transmission of the records to the Jurisdictional Court. Thereafter, the defendants entered appearance through their Advocate and filed their written statement and objections to I.A.I. and also filed an application under Order 39 Rule 4 of CPC praying to vacate the ex-parte order of temporary injunction. Before the interlocutory applications were heard, the plaintiffs hastened to file another application under Section 151 of CPC requesting the Court to issue a direction to the P.S.I., Pattanayakanahalli to implement the order passed by the Court. The Learned Munsiff had readily obliged the plaintiffs and directed the PSI, Pattanayakanahalli to implement the temporary injunction order passed by the Vacation Court and to take legal action against them in the event of dis-obedience. The legality of the order and jurisdiction of the Court below in passing such an order is questioned in this revision.

2. Sri Shekar Shetty, learned Counsel for the petitioners contended that the Trial Court is not right in directing the police to implement the adinterim order of temporary injunction as the aggrieved person can have recourse to the provisions of Order 39 Rule 2(a) of CPC to initiate contempt against the defendants who commit disobedience of the order. He finds support to this proposition from the Decision rendered by the Hon'ble GOVINDA BHAT, C.J. (as he then was) in the case reported in NARASIMHAPPA v. HANUMANTHAPPA 1976(2) KLJ SN 40,. The proposition laid down in the said case is as follows:-

"If there is an order of temporary injunction in favour of the plaintiff and if the defendants violate the order of injunction, there is appropriate provision in the Code for taking action against the persons violating the order of the Court. Hence, the Court is not right in directing the police to implement the order of temporary injunction. The police are not the authorities to enforce the order of the Court."

3. However, there is a short deviation from this view in the latest decision of this Court rendered by my learned brother Justice P. KRISHNAMOORTHY in PAPANNA v. NAGACHARI wherein he has held as follows:-

"When the Court has prima facie considered the matter and has granted a temporary injunction in favour of the plaintiff after hearing the defendant, the Court has to enforce the same and the contention of the defendant that he is in possession, cannot be accepted at this stage. If the Court had no power to implement its own orders, then there is no purpose in the Courts passing orders in matters coming before them. The remedy under Order 39 Rule 2(a) is not exhaustive and Court can pass appropriate orders to see that its orders are enforced. In necessary cases, even the police can be directed to enforce the orders of the Court."

4. A further digression is found in a decision rendered by the Kerala High Court in KOCHUPENNU AMBUJAKSHl AND ORS. v. VELUTHAKUNJU VASU CHANNAR AND OTHERS . That case has virtually decided the question having regard to all the circumstances involving the grant of ad-interim order of injunction and its effect. At paragraph 15 of the Judgment, it is observed as follows:-

"A question arises whether the assistance of the police can be requested for to enforce an ad-interim order of injunction. It has to be made dear that such an order is only an ex-parte order passed by the Court on satisfaction that the purpose of the injunction order would be defeated in case notice is directed to be issued to the opposite party. The position is different in the case of a final order passed in an injunction petition. As observed by Viswanatha lyer, J in George Mirante's case (supra) it would be premature and dangerous to enforce the ex-parte order of injunction when its continuance is opposed. Such orders are issued on the basis of the averments contained in the plaint and affidavit of the plaintiff. The true picture emerges only alter hearing both sides. It is for these reasons that was held that it is imperative that police should not be allowed to intervene or interfere at this stage in matters of possession which entail civil disputes, especially when the matter is one at the interlocutory stage of proceedings."

5. I fully agree with the view expressed in KOCHUPENNU AMBUJAKSHI's case. It is true that a party against whom an ex-parte ad-interim order is passed by the Court has to obey it. Disobedience of the order of temporary injunction calls for action under Order 39 Rule 2(a) CPC. Many a time parties prefer to enforce the ad-interim orders to their advantage and to the disadvantage of the defendants before the defendants actually enter appearance and putforth their defence. In order to avoid such an unhappy circumstance, the Courts must be on their guard refrain themselves from issuing direction to the police to implement its ex-parte orders. The submission of Sri Shekhar Shetty that in case of violation of an ad-interim order of the Court, the defendant is liable for action under the provisions of Cr.P.C. is no doubt true but it is difficult to accept this submission with regard to the provisions of Order 39 Rule 2(a) CPC which is rather cumbersome and not the only way of taking action for disobedience of the order. Times have changed where interference and suitable directions have to be issued by the Court to implement its order either by the police or other executive officers. Otherwise, the orders of Civil Courts become only the orders in paper in the absence of enforcing authority. I am fully aware that the Courts have no machinery of its own to implement such orders and therefore it is quite natural that the Court has to give direction to the police or to the executive officials concerned to implement the orders of the Court.

6. However, as pointed out in KOCHUPENNU AMBUJAKSHI's case, the Court can issue such a direction only after deciding the question of grant of injunction and after hearing the otherside as the true picture emerges only after hearing both the sides therefore, the Courts must be slow to implement the ex-parte orders through the help of police especially when the matter is at the interlocutory stage. In my opinion, there is no bar as such for the Court to implement its orders which is passed after hearing both the parties. I therefore fully share the view expressed by the Kerala High Court in KOCHUPENNU AMBUJAKSHI's case. It may be pointed out that the Courts are not helpless to implement their orders. But that does not mean that it gives a stick in the hands of the Trial Court to beat the helpless people by directing the police officers not only to implement the exparte orders of the Court but further directing them to take legal action against the defendant which amounts virtually enforcing coersive action. Such an action is not justified.

7. The Trial Court, in this case has just done this and nothing more, virtually empowering the police officer to take any action he likes in case of dis-obedience. Such a blanket order of the police officers cannot be allowed to be enforced. However, it is clarified that it is not a permission for the defendant to violate the orders of the Court. It is therefore reasonable under these circumstances to direct the parties to maintain status-quo till the disposal of this application.

8. It is the further grievance of the Learned Counsel for the petitioners that their application to vacate the order of temporary injunction has not so far been considered by the Trial Court for no reason. It is true that the Trial Courts, for unexplained reasons sometimes are not in a position to dispose of the I.As. as expeditiously as possible. But in cases like this, it is the duty of the Courts to dispose of the matter as expeditiously as possible and he must make sincere endeavour to dispose of the interlocutory applications at the earliest. The Trial Court appeared to have not adverted its attention and endeavour itself in disposing of the application at an early date. The Trial Court is now directed to dispose of the pending applications as expeditiously as possible but not later than 4 weeks from the date of this order.

9. Revision stands disposed of in the above terms.