The Supreme Court has observed that principle of molding of relief could at best be resorted to at the time of consideration of final relief in the main suit and not at an interlocutory stage.
The Apex Court in the matter of Samir Narain Bhojwani vs. Aurora Properties and Investments [Civil Appeal No. 7079 of 2018 (Arising out of SLP (Civil) No.18465/2018)], decided on 24.08.2018 observed that a mandatory order at an interlocutory stage can be granted only to restore the status quo and not to establish a new set of things differing from the state which existed at the date when the suit was instituted.
In the instant case, the single judge of the High court, at an interlocutory stage of a suit, directed the defendant to hand over keys and possession of eight flats to the plaintiff along with 16 parking spaces, recording that he had molded the reliefs originally sought by the plaintiff in the changed circumstances of the case and in order to shorten the litigation and do complete justice.
The Bench observed that the High Court had committed fundamental error in applying the principle of molding of relief, which could at best be resorted to at the time of consideration of final relief in the main suit and not at an interlocutory stage.
Also, that there is a marked distinction between molding of relief and granting mandatory relief at an interlocutory stage.
The Bench by referring to the judgment in Dorab Cawasji Warden Vs. Coomi Sorab Warden, stated and observed that interlocutory mandatory injunction is passed only in circumstances which are clear and the prima facie material clearly justify a finding that the status quo has been altered by one of the parties to the litigation and the interests of justice demanded that the status quo ante be restored by way of an interim mandatory injunction.
The bench then set aside the order observing that the High court committed a manifest error and exceeded its jurisdiction in granting interlocutory mandatory injunction.