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‘Status Quo’ Orders Not to be Passed When Prima Facie Case is Not Made Out: SC

The Supreme Court recently set aside a Punjab and Haryana High Court order in a revision petition which directed parties in a civil suit to maintain ‘status quo’ despite the fact that no prima facie case was made out by the plaintiffs for grant of such relief. In this case, the plaintiff sought an interim injunction against construction by a defendant in a building which he claimed to be his own. The Trial Court dismissed the application under Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The court made a factual finding that the suit property was owned by the defendants and that the plaintiff produced no evidence with regard to purchase of first floor over the suit property in dispute. The First Appellate Court dismissed the appeal. While disposing of the revision petition against these concurrent orders, the High court, in its judgment, narrated the facts and contentions made by the parties. It did not make any findings of its own, but disposed of the Revision Petition observing thus: “Since the suit is itself at initial stage and rights of the parties are yet to be determined by the trial Court with reference to the evidence to be led by them, therefore, in my considered opinion, it would be just and appropriate to direct both the parties to maintain status quo as regards construction as it exists today.”

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