Supreme Court Sets Aside Injunction Order As Parties Claiming Right Over Subject Properties Had Not Been Impleaded As Defendants
A two-judge Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice BV Nagarathna has set aside an injunction order granted with respect to the properties in which the Appellants (proposed Defendants) are claiming right, title, or interest since the same was passed without giving them an opportunity of being heard. An application for impleading the Appellants as Defendants was pending before the trial court while it passed the injunction.
The Court also held, "No injunction could have been granted against them without impleading them as defendants and thereafter without giving them an opportunity of being heard."
Senior Advocate Mr. Shri K.V. Vishwanathan appeared for the Appellants while Advocate Mr. Saurabh Kansal appeared for the Respondents (1, 20 & 23) during the proceedings before the Court.
An appeal was preferred by the third party to the suit against the impugned judgment of Karnataka High Court which had modified the interim injunction granted by the XIV Additional City Civil Judge, Bengaluru, and restricted the injunction against alienation to the extent of 1/7th share in the total plaint schedule properties till disposal of the case.
In this case, the original Plaintiffs had sought an ex-parte interim injunction with respect to the suit schedule properties. The Trial Court had refused to grant the same in favor of the Plaintiffs and held that some of suit schedule properties were owned by the firms/trusts/companies which entities were not made parties to the suit.
The Appellants contended before the Supreme Court that some of the suit properties for which the injunction was granted by the High Court, they had right, title or interest on the basis of the development agreements. It was also argued that they were not made parties to the suit.
It was further pleaded that the Plaintiffs had filed applications to implead the Appellants as parties to the suit contending inter alia that the Appellants were proper and necessary parties to the suit.
The Apex Court observed, "Before granting any injunction with respect to the properties in which the appellants herein (proposed defendants) are claiming right, title or interest on the basis of the development agreements or otherwise they ought to have been given an opportunity of being heard."
"No injunction could have been granted against them without impleading them as defendants and thereafter without giving them an opportunity of being heard," the Bench opined.
The Court held, "The impugned common judgment and order passed by the High Court granting injunction with respect to 1/7th share in the total plaint schedule properties which has been passed without giving an opportunity of being heard to the appellants and without impleading them as party defendants in the suit by the learned trial Court, is unsustainable and deserves to be quashed and set aside."
The Court quashed the injunction order in so far as it relates to the properties in which the Appellants before the Court are claiming interest in.
Additionally, the Court held that the Trial Court would first decide and dispose of the applications filed by the Plaintiffs to implead the Appellants as part-Defendants after giving them an opportunity of being heard. If the proposed Defendants are impleaded as party Defendants, the Trial Court would consider interim injunction application afresh with respect to suit schedule properties.
In the light of these observations, the Court allowed the Appeal.