Tag Archives: Injunction

Interim Mandatory Injunction

In Dorab Cawasji Warden v. Coomi Sorab Warden, (1990) 2 SCC 117, it was held as under:

        “The relief of interlocutory mandatory injunctions are thus granted generally to preserve or restore the status quo of the last non-contested status which preceded the pending controversy until the final hearing when full relief may be granted or to compel the undoing of those acts that have been illegally done or to the restoration of that which was wrongfully taken from the party complaining. But since the granting of such an injunction to a party who fails or would fail to establish his right at the trial may cause great injustice or irreparable harm to the party against whom it was granted or alternatively not granting of it to a party who succeeds or would succeed may equally cause great injustice or irreparable harm, courts have evolved certain guidelines. These guidelines are:

  • The plaintiff has a strong case for trial. That is, it shall be of a higher standard than a prima facie case that is normally required for a prohibitory injunction.
  • It is necessary to prevent irreparable or serious injury which normally cannot be compensated in terms of money.
  • The balance of convenience is in favour of the one seeking such relief.

Being essentially an equitable relief the grant or refusal of an interlocutory mandatory injunction shall ultimately rest in the sound judicial discretion of the court to be exercised in the light of the facts and circumstances in each case. Though the above guidelines are neither exhaustive nor complete or absolute rules, and there may be exceptional circumstances needing action, applying them as prerequisite for the grant or refusal of such injunctions would be a sound exercise of a judicial discretion.”

It is well established that an interim mandatory injunction is not a remedy that is easily granted. It is an order that is passed only in circumstances which are clear and the prima facie material clearly justify a finding that the status quo has been altered by one of the parties to the litigation and the interests of justice demanded that the status quo ante be restored by way of an interim mandatory injunction. Samir Narain Bhojwani v. Aurora Properties and Investments, (2018) 17 SCC 203.

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Anti-Suit Injunctions

Anti-suit injunctions are meant to restrain a party to a suit/proceeding from instituting or prosecuting a case in another court, including a foreign court. Simply put, an anti-suit injunction is a judicial order restraining one party from prosecuting a case in another court outside its jurisdiction. The principles governing grant of injunction are common to that of granting anti-suit injunction. The cases of injunction are basically governed by the doctrine of equity.

      It is a well settled law that the courts in India have power to issue anti-suit injunction to a party over whom it has personal jurisdiction, in an appropriate case. However, before passing the order of anti-suit injunction, courts should be very cautious and careful, and it should be granted sparingly and not as a matter of routine as such orders involve a court impinging on the jurisdiction of another court, which is not entertained very easily specially when it restrains the parties from instituting or continuing a case in a Foreign Court.

      In Modi Entertainment Network v. W.S.G. Cricket P.T.E. Ltd., (2003) 4 SCC 341, it was held that the courts in India like courts in England are courts of law and equity. The principles governing the grant of anti-suit injunction being essentially an equitable relief; the courts in India have the powers to issue anti-suit injunction to a party over whom it has personal jurisdiction in an appropriate case; this is because the courts of equity exercise jurisdiction in personam; this power has to be exercised sparingly where such an injunction is sought and if not granted, it would amount to the defeat of ends of justice and injustice would be perpetuated.

      In Vivek Rai Gupta v. Niyati Gupta, Civil Appeal No. 1123 of 2006, decided on 10.02.2016, it was held as under:

      “If the execution proceedings are filed by the respondent-wife for executing the aforesaid decree dated 18.09.2012 passed by the Court of Common Pleas. Cuyahoga Country, Ohio, U.S.A. against any other movable/immovable property in India it would be open to the appellant-husband to resist the said execution petition on any grounds available to him in law taking the position that such a decree is not executable.”

      Further, in Harmeeta Singh v. Rajat Taneja, 2003 (67) DRJ 58, the Delhi High Court considering the fact that the parties have lived together for a very short time in the United States of America had granted anti-suit injunction.

      In Y. Narasimha Rao v. Y. Venkata Lakshmi, (1991) 3 SCC 451, it was laid down as under:

      “From the aforesaid discussion the following rule can be deuced for recognizing a foreign matrimonial judgment in the country. The jurisdiction assumed by the foreign court as well as the grounds on which the relief is granted must be in accordance with the matrimonial law under which the parties are married. The exceptions to this rule may be as follows: (i) where the matrimonial action is filed in the forum where the respondent is domiciled or habitually and permanently resides and the relief is granted on a ground available in the matrimonial law under which the parties are married; (ii) where the respondent voluntarily and effectively submits to the jurisdiction of the forum as discussed above and contests the claim which is based on a ground available under the matrimonial law under which the parties are married; (iii) where the respondent consents to the grant of the relief although the jurisdiction of the forum is not in accordance with the provisions of the matrimonial law of the parties.” Dinesh Singh Thakur v. Sonal Thakur, 2018 (5) AWC 4487.

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Injunction To Restrain Encashment of a Bank Guarantee – Principles of

In Himadri Chemicals Industries Ltd. v. Coal Tar Refining Company, (2007) 8 SCC 110, the Hon’ble Apex Court has crystallized the principles which should be followed in the matter of injunction to restrain encashment of a Bank Guarantee or a letter of credit and it was held as under:

       “(1) While dealing with an application for injunction in the course of commercial dealings, and when an unconditional bank guarantee or letter of credit is given or accepted, the beneficiary is entitled to realize such a bank guarantee or a letter of credit in terms thereof irrespective of any pending disputes relating to the terms of the contract.

       (2) the bank giving such guarantee is bound to honour it as per the terms irrespective of any dispute raised by its customer.

       (3) The courts should be slow in granting an order of injunction to restrain the realization of a Bank Guarantee or a Letter of Credit.

       (4) Since a Bank Guarantee or a Letter of Credit is an independent and a separate contract and is absolute in nature, the existence of any dispute between the parties to the contract is not a ground for issuing an order of injunction to restrain enforcement of Bank Guarantees or Letters of Credit.

       (5) Fraud of an egregious nature which would vitiate the very foundation of such a Bank Guarantee or Letter of Credit and the beneficiary seeks to take advantage of the situation.

       (6) Allowing encashment of an unconditional Bank Guarantee or a Letter of Credit would result in irretrievable harm or injustice to one of the parties concerned.”

       In Adani Agri Fresh Ltd. v. Mahaboob Sharif and Others, (2016) 14 SCC 517, it was held that bank guarantee is an independent contract between bank and the beneficiary thereof. Bank is always obliged to honour its guarantees as long as it is an unconditional and irrevocable one. The dispute between the beneficiary and the party at whose instance bank has given guarantee is immaterial and of no consequence.

       In Mahatma Gandhi Sahakra Sakkare Karkhane v. National Heavy Engineering Corporation Ltd., (2007) 6 SCC 470, it was held that if bank guarantee is an unconditional and irrevocable one, it is not open to the bank to raise any objection whatsoever to pay the amounts under the guarantee. The person in whose favour guarantee is furnished by the bank cannot be prevented by way of an injunction in enforcing the guarantee in terms of the agreement entered between the parties has not been fulfilled. M/s Drake & Skull Water Energy India Pvt. Ltd. v. Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd., 2008 (128) ALR 843.

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Bank Guarantee – Invocation of

In U.P. State Sugar Corporation v. Sumac International Ltd., (1997) 1 SCC 568 it was stated that the law relating to bank guarantees is well settled. When on the course of commercial dealings an unconditional bank guarantee is given or accepted, beneficiary is entitled to realize such a bank guarantee in terms thereof irrespective of any pending disputes. Bank giving such a guarantee is bound to honour it as per its terms irrespective of any dispute raised by its customer. Any other view would frustrate and defeat the very purpose of such unconditional bank guarantee furnished by the party concerned. It was also observed that when an injunction is sought, Court should be slow in granting an injunction to restrain the realization of such a bank guarantee. There are two exceptions recognized, (1) a fraud in connection with such a bank guarantee and (2) where allowing the encashment of an unconditional bank guarantee would result in irretrievable harm or injustice to one of the parties concerned.
In Dwarikesh Sugar Industries v. Prem Heavy Engineering Works (P) Ltd., (1997) 6 SCC 450, it was held as under:
“If the bank could not in law avoid the payment, as the demand had been made in terms of the bank guarantee, then the Court ought not to have refused an injunction which had the effect of restraining the bank from fulfilling its contractual obligation in terms of the bank guarantee. An injunction of the court ought not to be an instrument which is used in nullifying the terms of a contract, agreement or undertaking which is lawfully enforceable.”
In Himadri Chemicals Industries Ltd. v. Coal Tar Refining Company¸ (2007) 8 SCC 110, the principles to be followed in the matter of injunction to restrain encashment of a Bank Guarantee or a Letter of Credit were laid down as under:
“(1) While dealing with an application for injunction in the course of commercial dealings and when an unconditional bank guarantee or Letter of Credit is given or accepted, the Beneficiary is entitled to realize such a Bank Guarantee or a Letter of Credit in terms thereof irrespective of any pending disputes relating to the terms of the Contract.
(2) The Bank giving such guarantee is bound to honour it as per its terms irrespective of any dispute raised by its customer.
(3) The Courts should be slow in granting an order of injunction to restrain the realization of a Bank Guarantee or a Letter of Credit.
(4) Since a Bank Guarantee or a Letter of Credit is an independent and a separate contract and is absolute in nature, the existence of any dispute between the partries to the contract is not a ground for issuing an order of injunction to restrain enforcement of Bank Guarantees or Letters of Credit.
(5) Fraud of an egregious nature which would vitiate the very foundation of such a Bank Guarantee or Letter of Credit and the beneficiary seeks to take advantage of the situation.
(6) Allowing encashment of an unconditional Bank Guarantee or a Letter of Credit would result in irretrievable harm or injustice to one of the parties concerned.”
In Adani Agri Fresh Ltd. v. Mahaboob Sharif and Others, 2016 (114) ALR 871, it was held that bank guarantee is an independent contract between the bank and the beneficiary thereof. Bank is always obliged to honour its guarantee as long as it is an unconditional and irrevocable one. The dispute between the beneficiary and the party at whose instance bank has given guarantee is immaterial and of no consequence. Drake and Scull Water and Energy India Pvt. Ltd. v. Paschimanchal Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd., 2018 (128) ALR 843.

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Doctrine of Laches vis-à-vis Doctrine of Acquiescence

It is now a well settled principle of Jurisprudence that a right not exercised for a long time is non-existent. Even when there is no limitation period prescribed by any statute relating to certain proceedings, in such cases courts have coined the doctrine of laches and delays as well as doctrine of acquiescence and non-suited the litigants who approached the Court belatedly without any justifiable explanation for bringing the action after unreasonable delay. Doctrine of laches is in fact an application of maxim of equity “delay defeats equities”.

The principle is applied in those cases where discretionary orders of the court are claimed, such as specific performance, permanent or temporary injunction, appointment of Receiver etc. These principles are also applied in the writ petition filed under Article 32 and 226 of the Constitution of India. In such cases, courts can still refuse relief where the delay on the petitioner’s part has prejudiced the respondent even though the petitioner might have come to court within the period prescribed by the Limitation Act.

Likewise, if a party having a right stands by and sees another acting in a manner inconsistent with that right and makes no objection while the act is in progress, he cannot complain afterwards. This principle is based on the doctrine of acquiescence implying that in such a case the party who did not make any objection acquiesced into the alleged wrongful act of the other party and therefore, has no right to complain against the alleged wrong.

Thus, in those cases where period of limitation is prescribed within which the action is to be brought before the court, if the action is not brought within that prescribed period, the aggrieved party loses remedy and cannot enforce his legal right after the period of limitation is over. Likewise, in other cases even where no limitation is prescribed, but for a long period the aggrieved party does not approach the machinery provided under the law for redressal of his grievance, it can be presumed that relief can be denied on the ground of unexplained delay and laches and/or on the presumption that such person has waived his right or acquiesced into the act of the other. As mentioned above, these principles as part of equity are based on principles relatable to sound public policy that if a person does not exercise his right for a long time then such a right is non-existent. Prabhakar v. Joint Director, Sericulture Department, (2015) 15 SCC 1.

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