India: Law Of Injunction: Temporary Injunction

Last Updated: 13 August 2013
Article by Puneet Garg

Most Read Contributor in India, September 2016

Under India Legal System, the law relating to injunction has been provided in the Specific Relief Act, 1963. Injunction is categorized in two form i.e. Permanent Injunction and Temporary Injunction. Section 37 of Specific Relief Act, 1963 provides that "temporary Injunction are such as are to continue until a specified time, or until the further order of the court, and they may be granted at any stage of a suit." The procedure for seeking temporary injunction has been provided under Order XXXIX of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. However, an injunction being discretionary equitable relief cannot be granted when equally efficacious relief is obtainable in any other usual mode or proceeding.

In Agricultural Produce Market Committee Case1, the Hon'ble Apex Court has held that "a temporary injunction can be granted only if the person seeking injunction has a concluded right, capable of being enforced by way of injunction."

The Hon'ble Apex Court through catena of judgments like landmark judgment in Gujarat Bottling Co. Ltd. Case2, held that the Court needs to follow certain guidelines while considering an application for grant of temporary injunction, some of which are briefly stated hereunder:

  • The applicant seeking relief of temporary injunction shall have to establish a prima facie case in his favour. For this purpose, the Court will not examine the merits of the case rather only the basic facts on which it is established that the applicant has a prima facie case to contest. Thereafter the applicant also has to establish that the allegations / averments made in the application on which the temporary injunction is sought are plausible.
  • The court will also examine the conduct of the applicant and such conduct needs to be examined even at the stage where the application for setting aside an order under Order XXXIX Rule 4 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 is filed.
  • The court has to examine the balance of convenience i.e. the balance of comparative loss caused to the applicant and the respondent in the case of not passing the order.
  • The court will first of all will examine what is the extent of loss that would be caused to the applicant if the order is not passed and also whether it is reparable by monetary compensation i.e. by payment of cost. Then it will examine the loss suffered by respondent if the order is passed and thereupon it has to see which loss will be greater and irreparable. The party who would suffer greater loss would be said to be having balance of convenience in his favour and accordingly, the court will pass or refuse to pass the order.
  • The court has the power also to ask the party to deposit security for compensation or to give an undertaking for the payment of the compensation, if ordered.

It is to be understood that relief of temporary injunction cannot be sought for some right which would arise in future. Similarly, an injunction cannot be obtained to restrain a party from filing a suit. In Seema Arshad Zaheer Case3, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has indicated the salient features of prima facie case as under:

"The discretion of the court is exercised to grant a temporary injunction only when the following requirements are made out by the plaintiff: (i) existence of a prima facie case as pleaded, necessitating protection of the plaintiff's rights by issue of a temporary injunction; (ii) when the need for protection of the plaintiff's rights is compared with or weighed against the need for protection of the defendant's rights or likely infringement of the defendant's rights, the balance of convenience tilting in favour of the plaintiff; and (iii) clear possibility of irreparable injury being caused to the plaintiff if the temporary injunction is not granted. In addition, temporary injunction being an equitable relief, the discretion to grant such relief will be exercised only when the plaintiff's conduct is free from blame and he approaches the court with clean hands."

However, in Best Sellers Retail India (P) Ltd. Case4, the Hon'ble Supreme Court observed that prima facie case alone is not sufficient to grant injunction and held that:

"Yet, the settled principle of law is that even where prima facie case is in favour of the plaintiff, the Court will refuse temporary injunction if the injury suffered by the plaintiff on account of refusal of temporary injunction was not irreparable."

Order XXXIX Rule 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 provides for ex-parte temporary injunction in the cases of extreme urgency. However, Rule 3 does not stipulate a separate application for ex-parte injunction rather such an application should be a part of an application for a bi-parte temporary injunction and in such application an urgency shall be shown by the applicant so as to warrant the passing of an ex-parte injunction/order. However, such an order has to be temporary. The essential safeguards in this regard are briefly stated as under:

  • The matter should be urgent and overwhelming.
  • The other elements for the grant of temporary injunction order as explained in the Gujarat Bottling case shall be existing.
  • The court shall record reasons for the grant of exparte order.
  • It is the duty of the applicant to serve a notice to the other party after the order has been passed and such notice shall be coupled with a copy of the application, the plaint, the affidavit and any other document which were filed in support of the application. Upon serving such notice, the applicant shall on the same day of the order or on the next day file an affidavit of his having served such a notice.
  • Under Order XXXIX Rule 3A of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, it is a mandate for the Court that after passing such an ex-parte order, it shall continue with the bi-parte proceedings and shall dispose of the application within 30 days. However, the said 30 days period is not the upper limit for ex-parte orders i.e. the ex-parte order will not get automatically vacated upon the lapse of 30 days rather it can further be extended beyond 30 days in extreme cases.

The Hon'ble Supreme Court in Morgan Stanley Case5, inter alia observed the under mentioned guidelines for grant of temporary injunction besides others:

  • Where irreparable or extremely serious injury will be caused to the applicant, ex-parte order can be passed;
  • The court shall examine the time when the plaintiff got notice of the act complained;
  • If the plaintiff has acquiesced to the conduct of the respondent then ex-parte temporary injunction shall not be passed;
  • The applicant shall be acting in utmost good faith; and
  • Such an order shall be for a temporary period.


In view of the aforesaid, it can be concluded that grant of temporary injunction cannot be claimed by the party as a matter of right nor can be denied by the Court arbitrarily. However, the discretion to be exercised by the Court is guided by the principles mentioned hereinabove and depends on the facts and circumstances of each case. The party seeking relief not only has to establish prima facie case but also the irreparable loss that would be caused in case of denial to grant relief and that the balance of convenience lies in his favour. Thus rational behind the provision of Order XXXIX of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 as laid down by Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case of M. Gurudas and Ors.6, can be summarized as "While considering an application for injunction, the Court would pass an order thereupon having regard to prima facie, balance of convenience and irreparable injury".


1 Agricultural Produce Market Committee Vs. Girdharbhai Ramjibhai Chhaniyara – AIR 1997 SC 2674

2 Gujarat Bottling Co. Ltd. Vs. Coca Cola Co. – AIR 1995 SC 2372

3 Seema Arshad Zaheer & Ors. Vs, Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai & Ors. – (2006) 5 Scale 263

4 Best Sellers Retail India (P) Ltd. vs. Aditya Nirla Nuvo Ltd. – (2012 ) 6 SCC 792

5 Morgan Stanley Mutual Fund Vs. Kartick Das – (1994) 4 SCC 225

6 M. Gurudas and Ors. Vs. Rasaranjan and Ors. – AIR 2006 SC 3275

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.