The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that a plaintiff could not claim the relief of specific performance of agreement in the suit filed for permanent injunction.
This was held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the matter Sucha Singh Sodhi Through LRs v. Baldev Raj Walia & Anr., SLP (C) No. 13256 of 2014 on 13.04.2018.
Plaintiff had filed a suit for injunction against the defendant, however the same was withdrawn with the leave of the Court with the liberty to file fresh suit, which enabled the Plaintiff to file a fresh suit, i.e. suit for specific performance against the Defendants. The trial court rejected this suit for specific performance as being hit by Order II Rule 2 and the same was affirmed by the appellate court. The Hon’ble Apex Court had to determine whether such a relief under specific performance can be claimed where there had already been a suit for injunction between the same parties.
The Hon’ble Supreme Court held that the cause of action to the suit for injunction and cause of action in the suit for specific performance of agreement are independent and they cannot be interchangeably used. The cause of action in case of the suit for injunction arose when the possession of the Plaintiff was disturbed on when he was dispossessed of the subject property and the cause of action arose in case of suit for specific performance when the Defendant refused to honor the conditions of the agreement entered into between the parties.
The limitation to such a suit for injunction is three years from the date of obstruction caused by the defendant to the plaintiff as per Part VII Articles 85, 86 and 87 of the Limitation Act whereas the period of limitation in case of a suit for specific performance of a document is three years as per Part II Article 54 of the Limitation Act. Therefore, it was held that, both reliefs claimed, i.e. permanent injunction and specific performance of an agreement, are not identical and the causes of action to sue are separate. The Hon’ble Court held that it was not possible to claim both reliefs under one cause of action, therefore the suit for specific performance was sent back for adjudication on merits to the trial court.