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Case Analysis of Ajay Mohan v. H. N. Rai

 CASE ANALYSIS OF AJAY MOHAN V. H.N. RAI

Significance:

This case law corroborates the statement that says that the interim application which has the same relief sought in a previous interim application and rejected by the Court, then the previous interim order of the Court operates as the Res Judicata.

Facts:

The appellants are said to have become owners of the suit land by reason of a deed of gift, which is said to have been executed by Mrs. Tara Sarup on 30th March, 1968 in favor of the first appellant. Indisputably, the respondents claim their right, title on the land in suit in terms of an agreement of sale purported to have been executed by the appellants herein in their favor on 23rd October, 1969. The appellants’ contends that the sale agreement is a forged document and the Plaintiff/Appellant 1 being minor on the date of execution of the agreement, the same is void in law. The respondents contended that out of the amount of consideration mentioned in the said agreement, namely, Rs. 90,000, a sum of Rs. 80,000 has already been paid and they were put in possession there over in part-performance thereof, as envisaged under Section 53-A of the Transfer of Property Act. Various proceedings appear to have initiated before the Revenue Courts in regard to inclusion of the name of the respondents in the revenue records. It is further accepted that the first appellant herein had executed three deeds of assignment in favor of the second appellant herein on or about 29th July, 1991.  A suit was filed by the appellants before the City Civil Court, Bombay in 2006 claiming, inter alia, for a decree for permanent injunction restraining the respondents from creating any right in or over the suit land on the basis of revenue entries as also for a decree for permanent injunction restraining them from interfering with their possession and occupation thereupon. The onus was upon the plaintiffs to get the said documents cancelled and treated as null and void. Such a prayer having not been made, mere relief for injunction prayed for by the plaintiffs cannot give rise to existence of prima facie case for grant of relief at the interlocutory stage. Later, they filed an interim application for amendment of the plaint along with imposing injunction on defendants until the delivery of the decree. The second interim application was dismissed stating that it violates the principle of res judicata by the city civil judge but allowed to the extent of amendment of the plaint. The plaintiffs moved to the High Court challenging the interim order.

Issue in the original suit:

Whether the possession had been delivered to them in part-performance of agreement of sale.

Issue in the appeal:

Whether the doctrine of res judicata applies for the interim application seeking the injunction on the defendants.

Petitioners’/Appellants’ Arguments:

  1. That proving the sale agreement was fraudulent was unnecessary as the original copy of the agreement was missing.

  2. That there was an amendment in the prayer and hence the second interim application cannot be dismissed by applying res judicata.

Defendant’s/Respondent’s Arguments:

  1. That even though opportunity was provided to the appellants to amend the plaint, they didn’t claim that the defendant’s doesn’t possess any right over the property.

  2. That since the second interim application has the same subject matter with that of the first interim application which was rejected, has to be dismissed to that extent by applying the doctrine of res judicata.

Interpretation:

While passing an interim order of injunction under Order 39, Rules 1 and 2 CPC, the court is required three basic principles, namely, (a) prima facie case, (b) balance of convenience and inconvenience, and (c) irreparable loss and injury. While granting injunction must also take into consideration the conduct of the parties, Makers Development Services (P) Ltd. v. M. Visvesvaraya Industrial Research & Development Centre. Even though an opportunity was given to the appellants they didn’t prove the sale agreement was fraudulent as the onus of proof shifts to them after the defendants proved that there was a sale agreement between them. Since, they have made no trials but sought the similar relief again; the doctrine of res judicata applies. Only because a further prayer had been made in the suit upon amending the plaint, the same by itself didn’t bring about a situational change warranting application of mind afresh by the learned judge, City Civil Court.

Judgment:

The appeal is dismissed with costs stating that the impugned judgment doesn’t suffer from any infirmity.


Case Analysis of Ajay Mohan v. H. N. Rai by Velanati Jyothirmai @ Lex Cliq


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