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Supreme Court: In Established Possession, Injunction Can Be Obtained Even by Trespasser

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CASE NAME: A. Subramanian vs. R. Pannerselvam [Civil Appeal No. 9472 of 2010]

Facts of the Case

In this case, Plaintiff, R. Pannerselvam filed a suit for permanent injunction in the Court of District Munsif, Nammakal. This suit was filed to prohibit the defendant from disturbing the peaceful possession and enjoyment of the subject property in the suit. The suit property was situated at Kalappanaickenpatti Village. According to Plaintiff, the suit property belonged to Dhasai Nadu who went to Sri Lanka and died there. Later in 1981, her son came to India and entrusted that property to Ghani Sahib which was later on purchased by the plaintiff. Plaintiff further said that both the Defendants attempted to disturb the peaceful enjoyment and possession of the suit property.

On the other hand, the Defendants said that the registered sale deed of the plaintiff was in itself a forged document and the alleged legal heirs’ descendants of Dhasi Naidu were fictional characters only. Additionally, the suit property in the present case is itself in question. After perusing the relevant facts and evidence, the Trial Court held that the Plaintiff had the right over the property and decreed the suit. This judgment was appealed and the First Appellate Court set aside the decree because Plaintiff had failed to prove the title. Whereas, in the second appeal, the High Court upheld the judgment of the Trial Court.

Pleadings in the Court

Many contentions were made by the learned counsel on behalf of the Appellant. Among all, the main contention was that the bare permanent injunction could not be sought by the Plaintiffs/Respondents without seeking prayer for the declaration. It was further contended that merely because the Defendants were unable to prove their title and contention, the Court cannot decree the suit of the property. They also contended that the registered sale deed dated 16.07.2001 was found to be forged and invalid, based on which the Plaintiff had claimed the right to the suit property.

Learned Counsel on behalf of the Respondent refuted the contentions made by the Appellant. They contended that Plaintiff had successfully proved his possession as well as the title by the registered sale deed.

Court’s observation

After taking into consideration the pleadings of the parties, the bench found that the Appellant had filed a suit for recovery of possession and declaration of the suit property earlier. Later, during the cross-examination, Defendant admitted that after the purchase of property, Plaintiff himself demolished the construction of the property. Taking this into consideration, the Court observed that:

“The High Court was also right in its view that it is a common principle of law that even a trespasser, who is in established possession of the property, could obtain an injunction. However, the matter would be different, if the plaintiff himself elaborates in the plaint about title dispute and fails to make a prayer for declaration of the title along with injunction relief. The High Court has rightly observed that a bare perusal of the plaint would demonstrate that the plaintiff has not narrated anything about the title dispute….The High court has rightly observed that the principle that plaintiff cannot seek for a bare permanent injunction without seeking prayer for declaration does not apply to the facts of the present case.”

Court’s Judgement

The Supreme Court in its judgment upheld the decision passed by the High Court and said that “We do not find any error in the view of the High Court that it was not necessary to enter into the validity of Exhibits A-1 and A-2”. The Court further held that the injunction suit filed by the Plaintiff should be decreed in the following words: “the suit for injunction filed by the plaintiff deserved to be decreed based on admitted and established possession of the plaintiff. We, thus, do not find any error in the judgment of the High Court allowing the second appeal filed by the plaintiff by setting 22 aside from the judgment of the First Appellate Court and restoring that of the trial Court.”

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