Saturday, 18 July 2020

Supreme Court: Court should not pass the order of status-quo if the plaintiff fails to make out prima facie case

In view of the above, the trial Court
rightly dismissed the application, as at present
no evidence with regard to purchase of first
floor over the suit property in dispute was
produced by the appellant/plaintiff. In view of
this, judgments referred by counsel for the
appellant are not applicable at this stage”
In our opinion, the High Court committed manifest
error in directing the parties to maintain status quo
despite the fact that no prima facie case was made out by
the plaintiffs for grant of such relief.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO. 2737 OF 2020

POOJA MITTAL Vs   RAKESH KUMAR

Dated: July 14, 2020

O R D E R
Leave granted.
Heard learned counsel for the parties.
This appeal takes exception to the judgment and order
dated 13.12.2019 in C.R. No. 7861 of 2019 passed by the
High Court of Punjab & Haryana at Chandigarh. The High
Court while disposing the revision application filed by
respondent No.1 against concurrent view taken by the
Trial Court and First Appellate Court rejecting interim
relief application of the plaintiffs (respondents),
directed the parties to maintain status quo with regard
to the suit property.

The High Court, however, did not advert to the
finding of fact recorded by the Trial Court and the First
Appellate Court in favour the appellant(s). The First
Appellate Court in paragraph 9 of the judgment, which was
subject matter of the revision, observed thus:
“9. Admittedly, the plaintiff and his
predecessor-in-interest purchased single storey
of the shop and it has not bee pleaded by the
plaintiff that the construction available on
first floor, over the suit property, was raised
by the plaintiff after purchase of suit
property. Photograph submitted by the plaintiff
establishes the existence of construction on the
rear side of first floor of the property in
dispute and in view of the observations of the
learned trial court the said construction
consists of store and room running from West to
East, over and above not only the shop of the
plaintiff, but also on the shop of defendants
and this means that the same was constructed by
one person. Further there is no staircase for
approaching the first floor of the property in
dispute, as per sale deed dated 04.06.1993,
purchased by predecessor-in-interest of
plaintiff. Predecessor-in-interest of defendants
purchased one shop having two stores in rear
side on the first floor and in the Western side
of the said shop, has been shown as gali four
feet, owned by Moti Lal and it has been stated
that gali is owned by Ram Kumar Mittal,
predecessor-in-interest of defendants. It was
also stated that in Eastern side there is one
staircase, which is joint one, but with whom the
said staircase was, it has not been mentioned,
whereas in the sale deed, through which
predecessor-in-interest of plaintiff purchased
the shop, the fact regarding the staircase has
not been mentioned. Other documents with regard
to valuation etc, prepared on 10.08.2011 and

03.09.2013, also depicts that the suit property
is owned by the defendants/their predecessor-ininterest.
In view of the above, the trial Court
rightly dismissed the application, as at present
no evidence with regard to purchase of first
floor over the suit property in dispute was
produced by the appellant/plaintiff. In view of
this, judgments referred by counsel for the
appellant are not applicable at this stage”
In our opinion, the High Court committed manifest
error in directing the parties to maintain status quo
despite the fact that no prima facie case was made out by
the plaintiffs for grant of such relief.
As the suit is still pending between the parties, we
refrain from making any further observation lest it would
affect the plea available to the concerned parties before
the Trial Court in the pending suit.
Suffice it to observe that the impugned order
directing the parties to maintain status quo cannot be
sustained in the fact situation of the present case. The
same is set aside. However, at the same time, it is made
clear that any action/step taken by the appellant(s) in
respect of the suit property will be subject to the
outcome of the suit pending before the Trial Court.
Considering the nature of dispute involved, we direct

the Trial Court to expedite the hearing of the suit and
dispose of the same, preferably before March, 2021.
All contentions available to the parties are left
open.
The Civil Appeal is disposed of accordingly.
Pending applications, if any, stand disposed of.
…...................J
(A.M. KHANWILKAR)
…...................J
(DINESH MAHESHWARI)
…...................J
(SANJIV KHANNA)
New Delhi
July 14, 2020

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