Sunday, 5 March 2017

How to prove breach of injunction order?

 A proceeding under Order XXXIX. Rule 2A, C.P.C., initiated on the ground of disobedience or breach of injunction order, is in the nature of a criminal proceeding as the person against whom such proceeding is initiated is liable to be detained in prison if it is found that he had committed breach of injunction order. Since a punishment is imposed and a person is sent to Jail, the principle on which these proceedings are decided are entirely different. Here the principle of criminal law will apply and the plaintiff will have to establish beyond any shadow of doubt that the defendants had committed disobedience or breach of the injunction order even though he had full knowledge of the same. The burden of proving its case in such cases lies entirely on the plaintiff. The principle on which a civil suit is decided are different as here decision on the issues arising out of pleadings is taken on the basis of preponderance of evidence. Therefore, a common judgment and order deciding the main suit as well as application under Order XXXIX, Rule 2A. C.P.C. will not be proper. In my opinion, the order passed by learned Munsif on 11.12.1989 holding the defendants guilty in Misc. Case No. 67 of 1987 and directing them to be detained in civil prison is liable to be set aside on this ground alone.
Citation : AIR 1998 All 228
IN THE HIGH COURT OF ALLAHABAD
C.M.W.P. No. 682 of 1990
Decided On: 06.02.1998
 Gyan Chand Jain and others 
Vs.
 XIIIth Addl. District and Sessions Judge, Agra and others
Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
G.P. Mathur, J.


1. This petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India has been filed for quashing the order dated 11.12.1989 of Munsif, Firozabad in Misc. Case No. 67 of 1988 and also the appellate order dated 22.1.1990 of XIIIth Additional District Judge. Agra in Misc. Appeal No. 253 of 1989. With the consent of the parties, the writ petition is disposed of finally at the admission stage.
2. Ram Babu Jain (original respondent No. 3 in the writ petition) filed O.S. No. 227 of 1985 against the petitioners Gyan Chand Jain, Umesh Chand Jain and Padam Chand Jain for injunction restraining the respondents from interfering in their possession in any manner over the ground floor of house No. 35 or causing any damage or throwing any dirty article therein. The case of the plaintiff, in brief, is that the petitioners (defendants) were the owner-landlords of house No. 35 and he was a tenant thereof in the ground floor. The plaintiff had been paying rent to the defendants regularly but they wanted to evict him forcibly and in an unlawful manner and with that end in view, they were causing damage to the property and throwing dirty articles in the tenanted portion. The plaintiff moved an injunction application 7C on which the learned Munsif passed ex parte injunction order on 4.11.1985 directing the defendants to maintain status quo on the spot, not to demolish any portion of the property and not to interfere in the plaintiffs possession except in accordance with law. While passing this order, the learned Munsif fixed 3.12.1985 for appearance of the defendants and the injunction order was directed to be operative till that date. It appears that this injunction order was extended on 3.12.1985. The plaintiff moved an application sometime in the year 1987 under Order XXXIX, Rule 2A, C.P.C. alleging that the defendants had demolished a portion of the roof and the drainage pipe and thereby committed breach of the injunction order. This application was registered as Misc. Case No. 67 of 1987. The plaintiff moved two other similar applications under Order XXXIX, Rule 2A. C.P.C. alleging that the defendants had committed breach of the Injunction order and they were registered as Misc. Case No. 68 of 1987 and Misc. Case No. 6 of 1989. After recording the evidence adduced by the parties, the learned Munsif decreed the suit and passed a decree for injunction against the defendants. He also held the defendants guilty under Order XXXIX, Rule 2A, C.P.C. in Misc. Case No. 67 of 1987 and directed that each of the defendants be detained in civil prison for a period of one month. Similarly in Misc. Case No. 68 of 1987, each of the defendants were ordered to be detained in civil prison for a period of two months and in Misc. Case No. 6 of 1989 each of the defendants were directed to be detained for a period of three months. Aggrieved by the aforesaid order dated 11.12.19891 of the learned Munsif, the defendants filed a regular First Appeal under Section 96, C.P.C. and three Misc. Appeals under Order XLII1. Rule 1 (r), C.P.C. The Misc. Appeal against the order of learned Munsif passed in Misc. Case No. 67 of 1987 which was registered as Misc. Civil Appeal No. 253 of 1989 was dismissed on 22.1.1990 which is the subject-matter of challenge in the present writ petition. The other two Misc. Appeals which were preferred against the order of learned Munsif passed in Misc. Case No. 68 of 1987 and Misc. Case No. 6 of 1989 were allowed and the order directing the defendants to be detained in civil prison for a period of two months and three months respectively was set aside.
3. 1 have heard Sri G. R, Jain for the petitioners, Sri S. Harkauli for the contesting-respondents and have examined the record.
4. Sri Jain, learned counsel, for the petitioners has submitted that the procedure adopted by the learned Munsif in deciding the suit as well as the Misc. cases under Order XXXIX, Rule 2A, C.P.C. by one composite order is illegal and therefore, the order directing the defendants to be detained in the civil prison is liable to be set aside. The judgment of the learned Munsif dated 11.12.1989 shows that he decided the main Suit being O.S. No. 227 of 1985 as well as three Misc. cases namely 67/87. 68/87 and 6 of 1989 by one composite order. The controversies raised in the Suit and that in the Misc. cases registered on the basis of the applications moved by the plaintiff under Order XXXIX. Rule 2A. C.P.C. is entirely different. The question for determination in the Suit was as to whether the plaintiff Ram Babu Jain was entitled to a decree for injunction in his favour on the ground that he was a tenant of ground floor of house No. 35, while the question for determination in Misc. Case No. 67 of 1987 was whether the defendants had committed disobedience of an injunction order granted under Order XXXIX, Rule (1) or (2). C.P.C. or breach of any of the terms on which the injunction was granted or the order was made. The controversy raised in the two proceedings though with regard to the same property was not identical. According to the plaintiff, the ex parte injunction order dated 4.11.1985 was to remain in operation till 19.12.1985 as the same had been extended upto the said date by the order dated 3.12.1985 but the defendants broke a portion of the roof and the drainage pipe on 14.12.1985. It may be noticed that the defendants are themselves the owners of the property and were residing on the first floor. The question to be considered in this case was whether the defendants had knowledge of the ex parts injunction order and whether they deliberately committed disobedience of the injunction order. The plaintiff did not lead any evidence in Misc. Case No. 67 of 1987. The judgment of the lower appellate court shows that some application was moved wherein a prayer was made that all the three Misc. cases should be heard along with the main suit and this application was allowed on 5.1.1988. In my opinion, the mere fact that an order was passed to hear the Misc. cases along with the main suit would not mean that the Misc. Cases should be decided on the basis of the evidence which had been recorded in the main Suit and by the same order. A proceeding under Order XXXIX. Rule 2A, C.P.C., initiated on the ground of disobedience or breach of injunction order, is in the nature of a criminal proceeding as the person against whom such proceeding is initiated is liable to be detained in prison if it is found that he had committed breach of injunction order. Since a punishment is imposed and a person is sent to Jail, the principle on which these proceedings are decided are entirely different. Here the principle of criminal law will apply and the plaintiff will have to establish beyond any shadow of doubt that the defendants had committed disobedience or breach of the injunction order even though he had full knowledge of the same. The burden of proving its case in such cases lies entirely on the plaintiff. The principle on which a civil suit is decided are different as here decision on the issues arising out of pleadings is taken on the basis of preponderance of evidence. Therefore, a common judgment and order deciding the main suit as well as application under Order XXXIX, Rule 2A. C.P.C. will not be proper. In my opinion, the order passed by learned Munsif on 11.12.1989 holding the defendants guilty in Misc. Case No. 67 of 1987 and directing them to be detained in civil prison is liable to be set aside on this ground alone.
5. For the reasons mentioned above, the writ petition is allowed and the orders dated 11.12.1989 of the learned Munsif passed in Misc. Case No. 67 of 1987 and also the Order dated 22.1.1990 of XIIIth Additional District Judge in Misc. Appeal No. 253 of 1989 are quashed. Parties shall bear their own costs.
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