suit for Declaration of title and injunction – or.39, rule 1 and 2 interim injunction pending suit – district judge refused to give interrim injunciton – high court granted status quo –
Apex court held that
The Writ Petition under Article 227 challenging the orders passed by Civil Courts refusing to grant
interim injunction under Order XXXIX, Rules 1 and 2 of the CPC could very well be maintainable, -.
The Learned Single Judge granted an order of status quo with respect to the construction of the Electricity Sub-station even though the Plaintiffs/Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 herein had failed to produce any documentary evidence whatsoever to establish their title to the suit property.
The Additional District Judge in the earlier round of litigation, in Title Appeal No. 20/1999 vide Judgment dated 29.08.2005 had categorically held that late Smt. Shyal Devi, the mother of Respondents No. 1 to 3 and the predecessor in title, had failed to establish her title to the suit property. The said finding has admittedly not been challenged by Respondent Nos. 1 to 3. The said finding has attained finality.
In this view of the matter, the Respondents failed to make out a prima facie case, which would have justified the grant of an interim injunction.
Furthermore, the Plaintiffs/Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 also failed to establish that the Electricity Sub-station was being constructed on their land. The Respondents No. 1 to 3 failed to describe the specific area which was in their alleged possession over which the Electricity Sub-station was being constructed.
The balance of convenience lies entirely in favour of the Appellant – The General Manager, Jharkhand State Electricity Board – since the entire Electricity Sub-station has been fully constructed, and is now at the stage of being energised for supply of electricity inter alia to four feeders viz. Bhuiyadih (BHU), Baridih (BRD), Vidyapatinagar (VPN). It is estimated to provide electricity to approximately 1 lakh people.
The Board is statutorily empowered under Section 67 of the Electricity Act, 2003 to undertake all actions necessary for transmission or supply of electricity, subject to the procedure under the Electricity Act, 2003.
Respondent Nos. 1 to 3 have failed to produce any evidence of their possession over the vacant land, no undue hardship or prejudice would be caused to them, in the event the Appellant – The General Manager, Jharkhand State Electricity Board is permitted to proceed with the energisation of the Electricity sub-station.
In the event that Respondents No. 1 to 3 are able to establish their title and possession to any part of the property utilised for the Electricity Sub-station, they would be entitled to compensation for any damage, detriment or inconvenience caused, in accordance with S. 67(3) of the Electricity Act, 2003, and/or any other law for the time being in force.
The Electricity Sub-station is complete in all respects and ready to be energised, as per the documentary evidence placed before the Court.
The overriding public interest of providing electricity to the local populace would far outweigh the alleged interest of Respondent Nos.1 to 3.
In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, the decision of the Civil Judge (Junior Division – I) and the District Judge in refusing to grant a Temporary Injunction in Title Suit , was justified, and is restored.
In view of the aforesaid reasons, the Civil Appeals are allowed, and the impugned Judgment dated May 19, 2005 passed by the Learned Single Judge of the Jharkhand High Court in Writ Petition No. 2081 of 2015 is hereby set aside.
The impugned Judgment ordering the maintenance of status quo with respect to the Suit property till the final disposal of the Title Suit No. 45/2015 stands vacated.
The findings given in this judgment are prima facie in nature given at the interim stage, and will not influence the trial of the case.