Thursday, 16 July 2015

Whether litigant can disobey interlocutory order if he is of opinion that it is wrongly passed?

 As has been held in Arathi Bandi a violation of an interim or an interlocutory order passed by a court of competent jurisdiction ought to be viewed strictly if the rule of law is to be maintained. No litigant can be permitted to defy or decline adherence to an interim or an interlocutory order of a court merely because he or she is of the opinion that that order is incorrect - that has to be judged by a superior court or by another court having jurisdiction to do so. It is in this context that the observations of this court in Sarita Sharma and Ruchi Majoo have to be appreciated. If as a general principle, the violation of an interim or an interlocutory order is not viewed seriously, it will have widespread deleterious effects on the authority of courts to implement their interim or interlocutory orders or compel their adherence. Extrapolating this to the courts in our country, it is common knowledge that in cases of matrimonial differences in our country, quite often more than one Family Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter in issue. In such a situation, can a litigant say that he or she will obey the interim or interlocutory order of a particular Family Court and not that of another? Similarly, can one Family Court hold that an interim or an interlocutory order of another Family Court on the same subject matter may be ignored in the best interests and welfare of the child? We think not. An interim or an interlocutory is precisely what it is - interim or interlocutory - and is always subject to modification or vacation by the court that passes that interim or interlocutory order. There is no finality attached to an interim or an interlocutory order. We may add a word of caution here - merely because a parent has violated an order of a foreign court does not mean that that parent should be penalized for it. The conduct of the parent may certainly be taken into account for passing a final order, but that ought not to have a penalizing result.

Supreme Court of India

Surya Vadanan vs State Of Tamilnadu & Ors on 27 February, 2015

Bench: Madan B. Lokur, Uday Umesh Lalit
Read full judgment here;click here

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