What are “Injunctions” granted by a Subordinate Court?


Aaryan Dhar

What is an Injunction?

An injunction is an equal redress in the form of a judicial order to induce a person to do or withdraw from performing certain actions. That is a judicial order that prohibits one of the parties to an equity claim from doing or allowing someone under his jurisdiction to do anything that is unfair to the other side. An injunction expressly prohibits a certain form of conduct. It is a solution that has its roots in English equity courts.

It has historically been used where a wrong cannot be easily remedied by a monetary reward, as with most equal solutions. Injunctions are used to restore someone’s rights after they have been abused. Courts do, however, consider the rights of non-parties before determining whether or not to issue an injunction (that is, the public interest).

Courts pay particular attention to issues of justice and good faith when determining whether or not to grant an injunction and what its reach should be. Injunctions, for example, are susceptible to equitable defences such as laches and unclean hands.

The rule of injunctions in India is primarily regulated by Order XXXIX and sections 36 and 42 of the Specific Relief Act. In addition, Section 94(c) of the Civil Procedure Code (hereinafter as the Code) provides for the grant of a provisional injunction.

It has also been identified that in just cases, there is no bar to issuing injunctions or supplemental orders under Section 151 of the Civil Procedure Code for injunction enforcement. The later provision of inherent powers broadens the spectrum of injunctions granted by federal courts.

Refusal of an Injunction

In subsections (a) to (j) of Section 41 of the Specific Relief Act of 1963, numerous contingencies exist in which the injunction cannot be issued.

Situations when an injunction cannot be issued under Section 41 of the Act:

  • to prohibit any individual from pursuing a judicial action where it is appropriate to avoid a multiplicity of proceedings
  • to prevent any person from instituting or prosecuting any proceeding in a Court that is not subordinate to the one seeking the injunction
  • to prevent any person from making an application to any legislative body
  • to prevent any person from initiating or prosecuting any criminal proceedings
  • to avoid the breach of a contract whose performance will not be specifically enforced
  • to prevent an act that is not reasonably certain would be a nuisance
  • to prevent a contempt of court
  • where, except in cases of breach of confidence, reasonably effective redress may be sought by some other joint method of litigation
  • when the plaintiff’s or his agent’s actions disentitles him to the assistance of the Court
  • when the plaintiff has no personal interest in the matter.

In normal parlance, the Court would consider the nature of the right being infringed, whether restitution would be an insufficient solution for its relief, whether there is no criterion for measuring the actual harm inflicted by such intrusion, if the plaintiff would have had an effective remedy in respect of such invasion, and whether the plaintiff would have been guaranteed. The aspect of comparative hardship is also important.

Inherit Powers of the Court to grant an Injunction under section 151 of the Code

Section 151 of the code reads that – “Nothing in this code shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent powers of the court to make such orders as may be necessary for the ends of the justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the court.”

Thus, the inherit powers of the judiciary under section 151 of the Code can be better explained through the case of K.K. Velusamy v. N. Palanisamy[1]:


The respondent sued for specific performance of a contract he and the claimant had signed into for a total of rupees 2,40,000. The respondent had already given a sum of rupees 1,60,000 advance, and the plaintiff had promised to sign the sale deed until the remaining funds were received within three months.

As a result, the respondent waited for the execution at the Sub-office, Registrar’s but the appellant did not appear. Since the respondent is a money lender, the appellant claimed that a loan of um rupees 150,000 was taken from him in place of blank signed papers signed by the appellant.

The appellant presented a compact disc with call records e. remotely transmitted testimony between the appellant, the respondent, and three other people involved in the litigation. These tapes were used to demonstrate that the selling deal was only made as a guarantee for the loan.

The claimant fought the argument that these call recordings were made with the help of mimicry artists and three people interested in the case.

The trial court refused to accept the testimony on the grounds that both sides had previously submitted their evidence and that the motion for inclusion of further evidence would simply prolong the proceedings. The High Court held the same role.


Section 151 of the Code is not a substantive clause that gives courts some authority or jurisdiction. It simply acknowledges that any court has the discretionary power to do what is right and reverse what is wrong, that is, to do whatever is required to protect the ends of justice and avoid misuse of its operation.

Since the Code’s requirements are not exhaustive, Section 151 acknowledges and confirms that if the Code does not explicitly or indirectly include a specific procedural aspect, the inherent power will be exercised to deal with that circumstance or aspect if the ends of justice so demand. The need to exert that control on the facts and circumstances is coextensive with the breadth of such force.

Since there is no legal framework to contend with the procedural condition, the court will practice its inherent power with caution, since the exercise of power is dependent on the court’s judgment and expertise, as well as the facts and circumstances of each case. The lack of an explicit clause in the Code, as well as the acknowledgment and preservation of a court’s inherent authority, should not be construed as a license to grant any relief.

Only when it is genuinely appropriate, when there is no clause in the Code regulating the case, when the applicant’s bona fides cannot be questioned, and where such procedure is to satisfy the administration of justice and to avoid misuse of court procedure, can the power under Section 151 be exercised with caution and consideration.

Since we understand that the judiciary/the courts have certain inherit powers to intervene in certain cases under section 151 of the code, the same can also be granted when an injunction is to be refused or is to be granted.

The issue of whether the Judiciary could grant a provisional injunction under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 because the case did not fall under the scope of Order XXXIX Rule 1 and 2 of the Code caused a divide in the judiciary. Nevertheless, in the case of Manmohanlal Vs. Seth Hiralal [2], the Supreme Court ruled that the Court has the requisite power and authority under Section 151 of the CPC to grant an injunction in cases that do not come under Order XXXIX Rule 1 and 2; that being said, the authority should be practiced with caution.

Under Section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure, police security can be ordered for the purposes of enforcing an injunction warrant. However, the Court cannot require police security based on an ad-interim ex-parte order, and only final orders under Order XXXIX Rule 1, 2 can be executed with police help. It is not proper to give Police assistance without first providing the suspect the ability to raise his objections.


The bottom line is that an injunction is a tool which the judiciary must exercise with utmost car. It is an instrument to rectify any wrong activity by denying an individual to do a particular act or by inducing a person to perform a certain act in lieu of justice being served.

Similarly, an injunction can be refused to be granted by a court of law where the particular case is going on, or by a subordinate court exercising it inherit powers under section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908. The court’s having an inherit power, delegated power or an authority can strike down an injunction being granted by another court if it results in obstruction of justice or any other such causes which proves to be detrimental to the case at hand.

  1. K.K. Velusamy v. N. Palanisamy, (2011) 11 SCC 275
  2. Manmohanlal Vs. Seth Hiralal A.I.R.1962 Supreme Court 527


  • Section 94(c) of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908
  • section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908
  • Section 41 of the Specific Relief Act of 1963

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