The cardinal principles regarding the grant of temporary injunctions are well known. It is not a violation of every legal right which justifies the grant of an injunctive remedy. A party seeking such a relief may be precluded by reason of his own conduct from resorting to this remedy.

There must be, some equitable ground for interference by injunction such as,

  • a necessity of preventing irreparable mischief, or,
  • in cases when the injury apprehended is of a character as cannot be adequately compensated by damages, or,
  • is one which must occasion constantly recurring grievance which necessitates preventive remedy in order to put an end to repeated perpetration of wrongs.

The supreme court has expressly said that, this power has to be exercised sparingly and cautiously and only after thoughtful deliberation and with a full conviction on the part of the Court of its urgency and necessity.

When Courts issue injunctions?

 Courts issue injunctions where the right which is sought to be protected is clear and unquestioned, and not, where the right is doubtful and there is no emergency, and further, where the injury threatened is positive and substantial and is irremediable otherwise. It is also an important rule that the conduct of the parties seeking injunction must not be tainted with unfairness or sharp practice.

The object of Injunctions

The principal function of an injunction is to furnish preventive relief against irremediable mischief. An injury is deemed to be irreparable and the mischief is said to be irremediable, when, having regard to the nature of the act and from the circumstances relating to the threatened harm, the apprehended damage cannot be adequately compensated with money. An Injunctive relief must not be granted when it is prone to operate contrary to the real justice of the case.

And finally, an injunctive relief is available to those who show reasonable alertness in asking for equitable protection, and not to those who sleep over their rights.

General Principles governing the grant of temporary injunctions

The general principles governing grant of temporary injunctions and of perpetual injunctions are analogous and well settled-

  • Courts, when issuing permanent or temporary injunctions, must act in a careful and conservative manner and grant the relief only in situations which so clearly call for it as to make its refusal work real and serious hardship and injustice.
  • If the Court is satisfied that the circumstances of the case do not entitle the grant of a perpetual injunction, a temporary injunction has perforce to be refused.
  • One of the prerequisites to the granting of an injunction is that the party seeking relief must establish the right that he claims. If a right is being asserted which is not justiciable, no Injunctive relief can be given either temporarily or perpetually.
  • An act which does not give rise to a cause of action cannot be restrained or its perpetration prevented. The applicant must at least make out a prima facie case, showing that the grant of the final relief sought is within the competence of the Court.
  • Where breach of a contract has furnished a cause of action for the suit, the Court will not grant the relief prayed for, if it is a contract of which specific performance cannot be allowed.
  • In contracts of service, the Courts do not, as a rule, grant injunctive relief, principally for the reason that it is considered invidious to keep persons tied to each other in business relations when the tie has become odious and, further, that it is undesirable to turn a contract of service into a status of servitude.


Union of India v. Bakshi Amrik Singh, 1962