IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL No.5655 OF 2007
Ayan Chatterjee ….Appellant(s)
Future Technology Foundation
Inc. & Ors. …Respondent(s)
J U D G M E N T
Abhay Manohar Sapre, J.
1) This appeal is filed by defendant No.2 against the final judgment and
order dated 21.07.2005 passed by the High Court of Calcutta in F.M.A.T. No.
1335 of 2005 whereby the High Court dismissed the appeal filed by the
appellant herein against the order dated 06.04.2005 passed by the Civil
Judge(Sr.Div.), IXth Court at Alipore in T.S. No.3 of 2005.
2) We need not burden the order by setting out the facts in detail
except to the extent necessary to appreciate the short controversy involved
in the appeal.
3) The appellant is defendant No.2 whereas respondent No. 1 is the
plaintiff, respondent No. 2 is defendant No. 1 and respondent No. 3 is
defendant No. 3 in the Civil Suit out of which this appeal arises.
4) Respondent No. 1 has filed a Civil Suit being Title Suit No. 3 of
2005 in the Court of IXth Civil Judge (Senior Division), Alipore against
the appellant and respondent Nos. 2 and 3. The suit is for a declaration
that respondent No. 1 was and continues to be a tenant under respondent No.
2 in relation to the suit property. Respondent No. 1 has also prayed for
grant of permanent injunction restraining respondent No. 2 and the
appellant, their servants and the agents from interfering with peaceful
possession of respondent No. 1 in the suit property. A further prayer is
made that the appellant be also restrained from operating the Bank Account
of respondent No. 1 bearing current account No.0029-136274-050 with
respondent No. 3.
5) During the pendency of the suit, respondent No. 1, in order to
protect their rights, which are subject matter of the civil suit, filed an
application under Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 read with Section 151 of the Code
of Civil Procedure, 1908(hereinafter referred to as “the Code”) and sought
temporary injunction against the defendants (appellant, respondent Nos. 2
and 3) restraining them from interfering in respondent No. 1’s possession
over the suit property etc.
6) Respondent No. 2 and the appellant, who were the contesting defendant
Nos. 1 and 2 respectively filed their reply and opposed the prayer for
grant of temporary injunction made by respondent No.1.
7) The Trial Court, by order dated 6.4.2005, while disposing of the
injunction application directed the parties to maintain status-quo over the
suit property. It recorded a finding that the plaintiff is prima facie
found to be in possession of the suit property and that defendant No. 2
could not prove his possession prima facie over the suit property.
8) Felt aggrieved, defendant Nos. 1 and 2 filed separate Misc. Appeals
before the High Court whereas the plaintiff also filed Misc. Appeal against
the aforesaid order of the Trial Court. The High Court, by impugned
judgment, dismissed the appeals filed by defendant Nos. 1 and 2 whereas
allowed in part the appeal filed by the plaintiff and accordingly modified
the order of the Trial Court to the effect that the special officer be
appointed to take possession of the suit property which would remain in his
possession till the disposal of the Suit. It was also directed that this
direction would be subject to the result of the Civil Suit.
9) While disposing of the three appeals, the High Court also directed
the Trial Court to decide the Civil Suit on or before 31.12.2005 on merits.
The High Court then also invoked powers under Section 340 of the Code of
Criminal Procedure, 1973 (in short, “Cr.P.C.) and directed the Registrar
General of the High Court to lodge a complaint against the appellant and
respondent No. 2 for their prosecution for having allegedly committed
offence punishable under Section 196 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 by
fabricating some documents filed by them in the suit to secure the orders
in their favour. The directions read as under:
“After careful scrutiny of the Xerox copies of the two agreements
and the receipt granted by defendant No.1 in favour of the defendant no.2
for Rs.72000/-, we are prima facie convinced that those are fabricated ones
and were relied upon by the defendant nos.1 and 2 with the object of
defrauding the Court with an eye to obtain favourable order in their favour
and as such, they have prima facie committed an offence under Section 196
of the Indian Penal Code; it is, therefore, expedient in the interest of
justice that an enquiry should be made to ascertain whether those documents
included in the paper book between pages 107 and 123 are really fabricated
ones. We accordingly in exercise of our power conferred under Section 340
of the Code of Criminal Procedure direct the learned Registrar General of
this Court to lodge a complaint before the appropriate court against the
defendant nos. 1 and 2 alleging offence under Section 196 of the Indian
Penal Code on the aforesaid facts.”
10) Felt aggrieved, defendant No. 2 has filed this appeal by way of
special leave before this Court.
11) On 05.12.2005, this Court issued notice to the respondents only qua
direction given by the High Court to the Registrar General of the High
Court to lodge a complaint under Section 340 of the Crl.P.C. During the
pendency of the S.L.P., this Court stayed the implementation of the
impugned directions. In other words, this Court dismissed the special leave
petition insofar as it relates to the main controversy decided by the High
Court in relation to the grant of injunction and confined this appeal to
examine the legality and correctness of the impugned directions quoted
12) Even on second call, none appeared for the appellant. Mr. D.N.Ray
appeared for respondent No. 1.
13) In the interest of justice, we permitted the appellant to submit the
written submissions within three days. The appellant has filed the written
14) Having perused the record of the case, the written submissions filed
by the appellant and on hearing the submissions of learned counsel for
respondent No. 1, we are inclined to dispose of the appeal with
observations made infra.
15) In our considered opinion, having regard to the nature of controversy
involved in the pending Civil Suit and the one which has traveled to this
Court out of interlocutory proceedings, it would be in the interest of all
the parties that the Civil Suit out of which this appeal arises itself is
disposed of on its merits in accordance with law uninfluenced by any of the
observations made by the Trial Court and the High Court while deciding the
injunction application which is the subject matter of this appeal.
16) In our considered view, even otherwise, the findings recorded while
deciding interlocutory proceedings such as the one in this case (injunction
proceedings) are prima facie in nature and their effect remains confined to
the disposal of the interlocutory proceedings only. Such findings, in our
view, do not, in any manner, affect and come in the way of disposal of the
Civil Suit on merits which is decided on the basis of the pleadings and
evidence adduced by the parties in the suit.
17) It is for this reason, we are of the view that since the parties are
yet to adduce the evidence on merits in support of their respective stand
taken in the pleadings in the Civil Suit, it would be in the interest of
all the parties concerned, that they adduce evidence so that the Trial
Court is able to decide the Civil Suit on merits in accordance with law.
Needless to say, the Trial Court would decide the suit uninfluenced by any
of the findings recorded and observations made by the Trial Court in its
order dated 06.04.2005 and also by the High Court in the impugned order.
18) Depending upon the outcome of the suit, appropriate directions, as
the case may be, can always be given including the one given by the High
Court, if occasion so arises and if need be. We, therefore, at this stage,
refrain from making any observation in the order.
19) Let the Civil Suit be decided by the Trial Court, as directed above,
within one year as an outer limit strictly in accordance with law. Till
then, the interim order dated 05.12.2005 of this Court would remain in
operation so also the impugned order passed by the High Court which this
Court has affirmed in relation to the grant of injunction regarding
preservation of suit property.
20) Parties to appear before the Trial Court on 02.05.2017 and produce
the copy of this order to enable the Trial Court to proceed with the trial
of the suit. Since none had appeared for the appellant before this
Court for prosecuting the appeal, the Trial Court shall issue notice to all
the parties (if nobody appears on 02.05.2017 on behalf of the parties) in
the suit for their appearance on the date to be fixed by the Trial Court
for proceedings further in the trial, as directed above.
21) In view of foregoing discussion, the appeal stands accordingly
[ABHAY MANOHAR SAPRE]
April 18, 2017