Can a Cultivating tenant be granted the Right to revision in a suit for Permanent Injunction?

By Aashima Kakkar

What is an injunction?

The term “injunction” comes from English law and is derived from the French word “injungere,” which means “to join.” An injunction is a Court order compelling a person to perform or refrain from performing a legally required act, the failure to do so resulting in a breach of good faith and conscience.

The purpose of an injunction is to restore the rights of a party whose rights have been violated. It is granted when a party has no other remedy that will provide them with monetary or compensatory damages. When granting an injunction, the principles of equity and natural justice are applied.

An injunction is a legal process in which a person is required to try to perform or refrain from performing a specific act or wrongful act.

The purpose of an injunction is to restore a celebrations rights that have been violated. It is based on natural justice and equality principles.

Lord Halsbury’s definition of injunction, Injunction is a judicial process whereby a party seeks to refrain someone from doing something or seeks a direction from a court to direct a person to perform a certain act.”[1] 


If a person is demolishing a building on which you may have claims, you may ask the competent court to order that such person not demolish the building until the claim for the building is resolved and a judgement is rendered in his favour.

Types of Injunctions

In general, there are two sorts of injunctions under Section 36 of the Specific Relief Act, 1963 along with the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908:

  • Temporary Injunction
  • Perpetual/Permanent Injunction

Both the kinds of injunctions are discussed below.

Temporary Injunction

Temporary injunctions, as the name suggests, are the injunctions that are given for a selected period of your time or until the court gives further order regarding the matter in concern or while the matter is still going on.

Basically, it is a temporary relief rather than a permanent relief. It is very useful in cases of illegal possession as it helps the owner get relief from the tenant or any other illegal owner who has taken undue advantage of him.

The Specific Relief Act, 1963, provides the law relating to injunction in the Indian legal system. Permanent and temporary injunctions are the two types of injunctions available.

“Temporary Injunctions are those that are to continue until a specified time, or until the further order of the court, and they may be granted at any stage of a suit,” states Section 37 of the Specific Relief Act of 1963. Order XXXIX of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, (hereinafter as CPC) lays out the procedure for obtaining a temporary injunction.

However, because an injunction is discretionary equitable relief, it cannot be granted when equally effective relief is available through any other standard mode or procedure.

Provisions of temporary injunctions under CPC

  • Section 94: This section allows the court to hold supplemental proceedings in order to keep the ends of justice from being defeated. A court may grant a temporary injunction and, in the event of disobedience, commit the person responsible to civil prison and order that his property be attached and sold, according to Section 94(c). The Court has the authority under Section 94(e) of the Code to make interlocutory orders that it deems just and convenient.
  • Section 95: If the Court determines that there were insufficient grounds for the injunction to be granted, or if the plaintiff loses the case, the court may award reasonable compensation to the defendant on his application for such compensation.
  • Order XXXIX
    • Rule 1: It specifies the circumstances in which a court may issue a temporary injunction. Any property in dispute in a suit is in danger of being wasted, damaged, or alienated by any party to the suit, or is wrongfully sold in execution of a decree, or the defendant threatens, or intends to remove or dispose of his property with the intent of defrauding his creditors, or the defendant threatens to dispossess the plaintiff or otherwise injure the plaintiff in relation to any disputed property.
    • Rule 2: It states that an interim injunction may be granted to prevent the defendant from breaching the contract or causing any other harm to the plaintiff.
    • Rule 3: states that before granting an injunction to the plaintiff, the court must send a notice of application to the opposing party. However, if the court believes that the delay will defeat the injunction’s purpose, it may refuse to provide the notice.
    • Rule 4: It allows for the cancellation of a temporary injunction that has already been issued.
    • Rule 5: It states that an injunction against a corporation binds not only the corporation, but also all its members and officers whose personal actions the injunction seeks to restrain.

Case law:

The Hon’ble Apex Court held in Agricultural Produce Market Committee Case[2] that “a temporary injunction can only be granted if the person seeking injunction has a concluded right, capable of being enforced by way of injunction.”

Through a series of decisions, including the landmark judgement in Gujarat Bottling Co. Ltd. Case[3], the Hon’ble Apex Court has held that when considering an application for a temporary injunction, the Court must follow certain guidelines, some of which are briefly stated below:

  • The applicant for a temporary restraining order must establish a prima facie case in his favour. The Court will not look into the merits of the case for this purpose, instead focusing on the basic facts that show the applicant has a prima facie case to contest. Following that, the applicant must show that the allegations / averments made in the application for a temporary injunction are plausible.
  • The court will also look into the applicant’s conduct, which should be done even before the application for setting aside an order is filed under Order XXXIX Rule 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
  • The court must consider the balance of convenience, or the comparative loss suffered by the applicant and respondent if the order is not granted.
  • The court will first consider the extent of the loss that would be suffered by the applicant if the order were not granted, as well as whether the loss is recoupable through monetary compensation, i.e. payment of costs. The court will then look at the loss that respondent will suffer if the order is upheld, and determine which loss is more severe and irreversible. The party who stands to lose the most is said to have the balance of convenience on his side, and the court will either grant or deny the ordnance.
  • If the court orders it, the court can also ask the party to deposit compensation security or give an undertaking to pay the compensation.
  • It should be understood that in temporary injunction relief cannot be sought for a right that will arise in the future. Similarly, an injunction to prevent a party from filing a lawsuit cannot be obtained.

The following are the salient features of a prima facie case, as stated by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the Seema Arshad Zaheer Case[4]:

“The discretion of the court is exercised to grant a temporary injunction only when the following requirements are made out by the plaintiff: (i) existence of a prima facie case as pleaded, necessitating protection of the plaintiff’s rights by issue of a temporary injunction; (ii) when the need for protection of the plaintiff’s rights is compared with or weighed against the need for protection of the defendant’s rights or likely infringement of the defendant’s rights, the balance of convenience tilting in favour of the plaintiff; and (iii) clear possibility of irreparable injury being caused to the plaintiff if the temporary injunction is not granted. In addition, temporary injunction being an equitable relief, the discretion to grant such relief will be exercised only when the plaintiff’s conduct is free from blame and he approaches the court with clean hands.”

However, the Hon’ble Supreme Court held in Best Sellers Retail India (P) Ltd. Case[5] that a prima facie case is insufficient to grant an injunction, and that:

“Yet, the settled principle of law is that even where prima facie case is in favour of the plaintiff, the Court would refuse temporary injunction if the injury suffered by the plaintiff on account of refusal of temporary injunction was not irreparable.”

Permanent injunction or perpetual injunction

The court can issue a permanent injunction by issuing a decree at the hearing and based on the merits of the case. Once such a decree is issued, the defendant is permanently barred from asserting a right or committing an act that would be in violation of the plaintiff’s rights.

Conditions for granting of permanent injunction

Permanent injunctions can be granted on the following conditions:

  • To the plaintiff in a suit to prevent the breach of an obligation owed to him, whether implicit or explicit. When such an obligation arises from a contract, however, the court must follow the rules set forth in Chapter II of the Act. A person may claim relief in respect of a contract by pleading in his defence any of the grounds available to him under any law relating to contracts, according to Section 9 of Chapter II.
  • In a case where the plaintiff infringes or threatens to infringe on the plaintiff’s right to, or enjoyment of, property, the court may grant a permanent injunction if:
    • the defendant is the plaintiff’s trustee of the property
    • there is no standard for determining the actual damage caused, or likely to be caused, by the invasion
    • the invasion is such that monetary compensation would not be adequate
    • the invasion is such that the plaintiff’s right to, or enjoyment of his property.

Case law

The case of Jujhar Singh v. Giani Talok Singh[6] in which a son sought a permanent injunction to prevent his father, the Karta of the Hindu Undivided Family (HUF), from selling the HUF property, was dismissed. It could not be maintained because the son, who was also a coparcener, had the option of contesting the sale and having it set aside in court after the sale was completed.

Granting the injunction requested, on the other hand, would allow the son to use the injunction to prevent the father from selling the property, even if he is forced to do so due to legal requirements.

Where, in Cotton Corporation of India v. United Industrial Bank[7], an injunction was sought to prevent the defendants from filing a winding-up petition under the Companies Act, 1956 or the Banking Regulation Act, 1949, the court dismissed the petition because it was not competent to grant a temporary injunction restraining a person from instituting a proceeding under the Companies Act, 1956 or the Banking Regulation Act, 1949.

If a perpetual injunction for the subject matter of the case cannot be granted under Section 41(b) of the act, the Court held that an ipso facto temporary injunction could not be granted.

What jurisdiction do trial Courts have?

Trial courts have basic jurisdiction to handle civil, criminal, equity, and probate cases. States may have different civil and criminal and family divisions and should have separate probate or surrogate courts.

Both the state and the central governments have trial courts where people bring their dispute before they can go to any kind of appeals court or supreme court. In a trial court, either the judge or a jury will determine who wins.

The trial is an organised process where the facts of a case are presented to a jury, and they determine if the defendant is guilty or not guilty of the charge offered. During trial, the prosecutor uses witnesses and evidence to show to the jury that the defendant committed the crime(s).

The jurisdiction of trial court in cases of injunction can be seen in the case of Mahadeo Savlaram Shelke and Ors. v. Puna Municipal Corporation and Anr.[8] where it was observed:

“It would thus be clear that in a suit for perpetual injunction, the court should enquire on affidavit evidence and other material placed before the court to find strong prima facie case and balance of convenience in favour of granting injunction otherwise irreparable damage or damage would ensue to the plaintiff. The court should also find whether the plaintiff would adequately be compensated by damages if injunction is not granted. It is common experience that injunction normally is asked for and granted to prevent the public authorities or the respondents to proceed with execution of or implementing scheme of public utility or granted contracts for execution thereof.

Public interest is, therefore, one of the material and relevant considerations in either exercising or refusing to grant ad interim injunction. While exercising the discretionary power, the court should also adopt the procedure of calling upon the plaintiff to file a bond to the satisfaction of the court that in the event of his failing in the suit to obtain the relief asked for in the plaint, he would adequately compensate the defendant for the loss ensued due to the order of injunction granted in p favour of the plaintiff.

Even otherwise the court while exercising its equity jurisdiction in granting injunction has also jurisdiction and power to grant adequate compensation to mitigate the damages caused to the defendant by grant of injunction restraining the defendant to proceed with the execution of the work etc., which is retrained by an order of injunction made by the court.

The pecuniary award of damages is consequential to the adjudication of the dispute and the result therein is incidental to the determination of the case by the court. The pecuniary jurisdiction of the court of first instance should not impede nor be a bar to award damages beyond it pecuniary jurisdiction.

In this behalf, the grant or refusal of damages is not founded upon the original cause of action but the /consequences of the adjudication by the conduct of the parties, the court gets inherent jurisdiction in doing ex debito justitiae mitigating the damage suffered by the defendant by the act of the court in granting injunction restraining the defendant from proceeding with the action complained of in the suit It is common knowledge that injunction is invariably sought for in laying the suit in a court of lowest pecuniary jurisdiction even when the claims are much larger than the pecuniary jurisdiction of the court of first instance, may be, for diverse reasons.

Therefore, the pecuniary jurisdiction is not and should not stand an impediment for the court of first instance in determining damages as the part of the adjudication and pass a decree in that behalf without relegating the parties to a further suit for damages.

This procedure would act as a check on abuse of the process of the court and adequately compensate the damages or injury suffered by the defendant by act of court at the behest of the plaintiff.”

Power of trial court for revision

Revision literally means to “see again,” to look at something from a fresh, reproving perspective. It is an ongoing process of reviewing the paper: reviewing your evidence, refining your purpose, reorganizing your presentation, reviving stale prose.

Revision is often filed in court by the aggrieved party of any judgement gone by the subordinate court where no appeal lies. Revision is discretionary and regulatory power of the court, it does not warrant any statutory right to the aggrieved party, unlike appeal.

The application for revision is often filed by any angry party once the case is obvious, as long as there’s no appeal against the case presently. The supreme court may then plan to alter the case if the right cause is discovered like extra-judicial activity or illegal and erroneous procedure practised by the subordinate Court. The Supreme Court can also exercise revisional jurisdiction suo moto under the Code of Civil Procedure.

Case Law:

The revision petition in the case of S. Muthu Narayanan V. Paulraj Naicker[9], was dismissed and the previous order was confirmed because the revision petitioner had no right to challenge the decree’s executability.

Only a person who is the actual owner of the property can obtain a permanent injunction in a suit filed under Section 38 of the Specific Relief Act. The first respondent-plaintiff bears the burden of proving that he was the actual and physical owner of the property on the date of suit.

In Karuppanna Gounder v. Ammal Appan[10] and Veeramalai Muthiriar v. E. Srinivas Muthiriar[11], it was held that when the suit is for a bare injunction and the primary relief of declaration of status as cultivating tenant is not sought, the Civil Court’s jurisdiction is not taken away.

However, as previously stated, the most important factor to consider in this case is determining the plaintiff’s status as a cultivating tenant. Even in cases where serious disputes arise, such as when a cultivating tenant’s status is denied, suits are frequently filed using the simple device of filing suits for a bare permanent injunction under Section 27(c) of the Tamil Nadu Court Fees and Suits Valuation Act.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for suits to be filed claiming cultivating tenant status based solely on the plaintiff’s statement without any supporting evidence. Serious doubts about the suit’s maintainability are not raised when the status is denied at the time of filing the written statement.

The parties immediately begin the trial. Civil Courts should be wary of cases in which the defendants deny the tenancy and lawsuits are filed under the guise of a Bare Suit for Permanent Injunction.


To answer the initial question, it can be stated that no a cultivating tenant cannot be granted the right to revision in a case of grant of permanent injunction.

The same was answered in the case of Ramaswamy Raja and Anr. V. Ellappa Gounder[12] where the Madras High Court had correctly stated that even though the cultivating tenant cannot be evicted from the land or holding after the landlord accepts the rent, but after the refusal of grant of an injunction, the right to revision is not with the tenant.

  1. Injunctions under CPC and Arbitration available at:
  2. Agricultural Produce Market Committee Vs. Girdharbhai Ramjibhai Chhaniyara – AIR 1997 SC 2674
  3. Gujarat Bottling Co. Ltd. Vs. Coca Cola Co. – AIR 1995 SC 2372
  4. Seema Arshad Zaheer & Ors. Vs, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Ors. – (2006) 5 Scale 263
  5. Best Sellers Retail India (P) Ltd. vs. Aditya Nirla Nuvo Ltd. – (2012) 6 SCC 792
  6. Jujhar Singh v. Giani Talok Singh AIR 1987 PH 34
  7. Cotton Corporation of India vs. United Industrial Bank 1983 AIR 1272, 1983 SCR (3) 962
  8. Mahadeo Savlaram Shelke and Ors. v. Puna Municipal Corporation and Anr. (1995) 97 BOMLR 273, 1995 1 SCR 543
  9. S. Muthu Narayanan V. Paulraj Naicker Civil Revision Petition No. 885 Of 2013 & M.P.(Md) No. 1 Of 2013
  10. Karuppanna Gounder v. Ammal Appan (1983) 101 MADRAS LW 194
  11. Veeramalai Muthiriar v. E. Srinivas Muthiriar AIR 1985 Mad 128
  12. Ramaswamy Raja and Anr. V. Ellappa Gounder (1960) 2 MLJ 555

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