Read Order: Sukhmeet Kaur & Another v. Harjinder Singh & Others

Monika Rahar

Chandigarh, April 22, 2022: While dealing with a revision petition assailing the correctness of a Trial Court order allowing an Order 1 Rule 10 CPC application of the applicant for being impleaded as a defendant in a property suit where he had possession of the said property as an owner, the Punjab and Haryana High court has held that the parties having any right, title or interest in the disputed property are the necessary parties even for the purpose of granting/refusing the relief of injunction in a suit.

Further, the Bench of Justice Meenakshi I. Mehta held in repsect of the present case, “when [case at hand] tested on the touch-stone of these observations, the impugned order passed by the trial Court qua impleading the applicant as the defendant in the Civil Suit, has to be held to be perfectly legal.”

Bereft of unnecessary details, the facts leading to the filing of this petition were that the plaintiffs filed a Civil Suit against three defendants for seeking a decree for permanent injunction to restrain the first and the second defendants from interfering in their lawful and peaceful possession over the suit properties. 

It was averred in the suit that the third defendant (deceased) was the father of first plaintiff and the second and third defendants and that he had inducted them (plaintiffs) as the permanent licensees in the said properties and the first two defendants even after having no concern with the said properties, threatened to dispossess them (plaintiffs) from these properties forcibly and illegally. 

In their written-statement, the first two defendants asserted that their mother Resham Kaur had purchased the property from one Avtar Singh and sold it to the first defendant (her husband) and handed over its possession to them. And, the first defendant further sold the said property to Harjinder Singh and since then, he was in possession thereof as its owner. 

The above-named vendee (Harjinder Singh) moved an application Order 1 Rule 10 CPC for being impleaded as the defendant in the Civil Suit, while claiming himself to be in possession over this property as its owner by virtue of the said sale deed and the same was allowed by the Trial Court vide the impugned order. Hence, the present petition was filed. 

The counsel for the petitioners-plaintiffs contended that the plaintiffs filed the Civil Suit for seeking the relief of permanent injunction against the first two defendants only and they, being the dominus litis, had every right to seek such relief against anyone as they deemed appropriate and they could not be compelled to implead any third person as the defendant in the Suit. 

While showing its disagreement with the case of the petitioner, the Court opined that the applicant claimed his possession over the property detailed in Head Note ‘B’ of the plaint as its owner, on the basis of the sale deed executed by the first defendant in his favour. It being so, the Court observed that the adjudication of the dispute/controversy between the plaintiffs and the first two defendants qua the right, title or interest in this property, would directly affect the rights of the applicant, who claimed to have stepped into the shoes of vendor(first defendant), in respect of the same. 

In these circumstances, the Court held that the applicant would be a necessary party to the said Civil Suit. 

Further, the Court made reference to the decision of the Supreme Court in Acqua Borewell Pvt. Ltd. Vs. Swayam Prabha & Others wherein it was held that where the trial Court has dismissed the injunction application and refused injunction by observing that some of the properties were evidently owned by the Firms/Trusts/Companies which had not been made parties to the suit, the impugned common judgment and order passed by the High Court granting injunction with respect to 1/7th share in the total plaint schedule properties which had been passed without giving an opportunity of being heard to the appellants and without impleading them as party-defendants in the Suit by the learned trial Court, was unsustainable and deserved to be quashed and set aside.

Drawing inference from this decision, the High Court opined that  the parties having any right, title or interest in the disputed property are the necessary parties even for the purpose of granting/refusing the relief of injunction in a Suit. 

When tested (the present case) on the touch-stone of these observations, the impugned order passed by the trial Court qua impleading the applicant as the defendant in the Civil Suit, was found by the Court to be perfectly legal. 

As a sequel to the fore-going discussion, the Court found the impugned order to be not suffering from any illegality, infirmity, irregularity or perversity so as to call for any interference by the High Court. 

Resultantly, the present revision petition was dismissed. 

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