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While granting an interim injunction the Commercial Court can impose conditions on the Plaintiff to protect the Defendant: High Court of Karnataka

While granting an interim injunction on an application filed under Order 39 Rule 1 and 2 CPC, the Commercial Court can impose conditions on the Plaintiff while granting an order of injunction so as to protect Defendant in the event of Plaintiff not succeeding. This was held in WHOLCOM TRADING PRIVATE LIMITED v. SRI. V. PRASAD [COMAP. No.56 OF 2021] in the High Court of Karnataka by the division bench consisting of CHIEF JUSTICE MR. ABHAY S. OKA, and  MR. JUSTICE SURAJ GOVINDARAJ.

Facts are an application under Order 39 Rule 1 and 2 had been filed seeking for an order of temporary injunction restraining the defendants, the trial court granted the same but imposed certain conditions. Aggrieved by the same that Plaintiff has filed an appeal seeking to set aside the conditions imposed in the order.

The counsel for the Appellant submitted that balance of convenience lied in favor of the Plaintiff thus it was not permissible for the trial court to impose the conditions so imposed by the trial Court. The imposition of the condition of payment of rentals every month without being able to make use of the said premises would cause grave and irreparable harm to Plaintiff.

The counsel appearing for the respondent submitted that Plaintiff, if so interested, can always take possession of the property and make payment of the due amounts. Defendant has complied with all the obligations and has put up construction by investing huge amounts of money, the only manner in which the interest of Defendant can be safeguarded is by way of conditions imposed by the trial Court.

The Court also made reference to the judgment of Apex court in Wander Ltd. And Another –v- Antox India P.Ltd, wherein the court observed that “The Court, at this stage, acts on certain well-settled principles of administration of this form of interlocutory remedy which is both temporary and discretionary. The object of the interlocutory injunction, it is stated is to protect the Plaintiff against injury by violation of his rights for which he could not adequately be compensated in damages recoverable in the action if the uncertainty were resolved in his favor at the trial. The need for such protection must be weighed against the corresponding need of Defendant to be protected against injury resulting from his having been prevented from exercising his own legal rights for which he could not be adequately compensated. The Court must weigh one need against another and determine where the “balance of convenience lies”

The Court also made reference to the judgement of Apex court in M/s Gujarat Pottling Co.Ltd. & Others –v- The Coca Cola & Co. & Others, wherein it was held that “The object of the interlocutory injunction is to protect the Plaintiff against injury by violation of his right for which he could not be adequately compensated in damages recoverable in the action if the uncertainty were resolved in his favor at the trial. The need for such protection has, however, to be weighed against the corresponding need of Defendant to be protected against injury resulting from his having been prevented from exercising his own legal rights for which he could not be adequately compensated. The Court must weigh one need against another and determine where the “balance of convenience”

Considering the precedents and the facts of the case the court held that, it is the bounden duty of any Court of law to consider the comparable damage, loss or injury that may be caused both to the Plaintiff and/or the Defendant and it would be the duty of the Court to protect the Defendant from any losses which may be caused on the Plaintiff failing in the suit, such losses being caused on account of the injunction issued on an application being made by such a plaintiff. The court allowed the appeal altering certain conditions, whilst upholding others imposed by the trial court.

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