Suits for Declaration and Permanent Injunction
In Pakistani law, suits for declaration and permanent injunction are common remedies sought in civil litigation. These suits typically involve the plaintiff asking the court to recognize a legal right or status and to issue an order preventing the defendant from acting in a way that infringes on this right or status. The chances of success for these suits largely depend on the merits of the case, the evidence presented, and the proper application of legal provisions and precedents.
Such suits are generally governed by the Specific Relief Act, 1877 and the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, alongside various provincial statutes such as the Punjab Land Revenue Act, 1967, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Land Revenue Act, 1967, when property disputes are involved.The types of cases where suits for declaration and permanent injunction appear are typically related to property disputes, inheritance issues, contract disputes, and other matters where legal rights need to be established or protected.
The success of a suit for declaration and permanent injunction typically hinges on several factors:
- The ability of the plaintiff to discharge the onus of proving their claim.
- The existence and interpretation of entries in official records such as the record of rights and periodical records, as seen in CLC 708.
- Compliance with procedural requirements, such as those for a representative suit in CLC 320.
- The interpretation of provisions related to the acquisition of proprietary rights and the restrictions on variations of entries in official records, as demonstrated in PLD 564.
The courts often look for clear, cogent evidence that supports the claim for ownership or rights, as well as adherence to procedural requirements. Moreover, they assess whether the actions were taken within the bounds of the law and if due process was followed in transactions or changes to official records.
You can read about enforceability of Personal Service Contracts via Specific Performance at the link below
Key takeaways for the successful filing and outcome of such suits include:
- Ensuring that the suit is filed within the prescribed period of limitation, as per the Limitation Act, 1908.
- Providing robust evidence to support the claims made in the suit.
- Clearly establishing the rights and interests in the property or subject matter of the suit.
- Ensuring all procedural requirements are met, including the proper parties being named and served.
- Demonstrating compliance with all relevant statutory provisions that govern the subject matter of the suit.
The type of cases where suits for declaration and permanent injunction appear include disputes over property ownership, rights of easement, inheritance issues, and contractual obligations.
A good strategy to get a suit for declaration and permanent injunction dismissed could involve:
- Contesting the factual basis of the plaintiff’s claim by providing strong counter-evidence.
- Highlighting any procedural deficiencies or non-compliance with the necessary legal requirements in the plaintiff’s suit.
- Raising the defence of limitation if the suit is not filed within the time frame prescribed by law.
- Challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter if there is a specific forum designated for such disputes.
From various case citations , it is clear that the Pakistani courts examine a number of factors when deciding suits for declaration and permanent injunction:
- Prima Facie Case: The plaintiff must establish a prima facie case, showing a high probability that they hold the right or status claimed. A lack of evidence or failure to plead material facts, as seen in the case of the Supreme Court Employees Co-operative Housing Society (2022 SCMR 366), can lead to a dismissal of the application for injunction.
- Clean Hands Doctrine: The plaintiff must come to the court with ‘clean hands’, meaning they must be acting in good faith and not withholding information. Misrepresentation or concealment of facts can lead the court to deny relief, as was the case in the Supreme Court Employees Co-operative Housing Society (2022 SCMR 366) and the Mst. Hayat Bibi (2022 SCMR 13).
- Balance of Convenience: Courts will assess where the “balance of convenience” lies. If the injunction is not necessary to protect the plaintiff’s interests or is unduly burdensome to the defendant, it may be refused.
- Irreparable Harm: The plaintiff must demonstrate that without the injunction, they would suffer irreparable harm that could not be compensated by damages.
- Specific Relief Act and Civil Procedure Code: Provisions from the Specific Relief Act, 1877, and the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, are frequently applied in these suits. For instance, Section 56 of the Specific Relief Act, which precludes injunctions in cases where specific performance would not be granted, played a crucial role in the Supreme Court Employees Co-operative Housing Society (2022 SCMR 366).
- Evidence Quality: The quality and credibility of the evidence are critical. As illustrated in the case of Mushtaq Ul Aarifin (2022 SCMR 55), the court will compare the evidence of both parties and prefer one that is more substantive and credible.
- Legal Heirship and Ownership Claims: In cases involving inheritance or ownership claims, as in Mushtaq Ul Aarifin (2022 SCMR 55) and Mst. Hayat Bibi (2022 SCMR 13), the courts thoroughly examine the evidence of heirship or ownership before granting any declaratory or injunctive relief.
- Procedural Compliance: Courts are also vigilant about procedural compliance. As seen in Muhammad Sarfaraz (2022 PLD 43), the courts do not appreciate when rights are defeated on mere technicalities, and they strive to ensure justice is done by remanding cases for proper hearing if procedural irregularities are found.
- Limitation Act Compliance: Courts in Pakistan take the Limitation Act very seriously. If a suit is not filed within the prescribed time (e.g., six years for declaratory suits from the point the right to sue accrues), the suit is liable to be dismissed on the grounds of limitation, as seen in the case with citation 2023 MLD 588.
- Evidence Burden: The onus is on the plaintiffs to provide compelling evidence to support their claims. Mere assertions without evidence are not sufficient, as indicated in all the cited cases. The plaintiffs must provide solid proof to back their claims (2023 MLD 462).
- Best Evidence Rule: The courts expect parties to produce the best available evidence. Failure to do so can lead to an adverse presumption against the party withholding evidence (2023 MLD 462).
- Contradictory Testimonies: Consistency in witness testimonies is crucial. Discrepancies among witnesses can weaken a plaintiff’s case, as observed in the case with citation 2023 MLD 462.
- Documentation and Registration: Proper documentation and adherence to the Registration Act are vital. Unregistered agreements that are required by law to be registered are not given legal weight, affecting the outcome of suits for declaration related to property rights (2023 CLC 374).
- Jurisdictional Clarity: Understanding the appropriate jurisdiction is essential. Civil courts and revenue authorities have distinct roles, and suits must be filed accordingly (2023 PLD 98).
Timeliness of the Suit: In the case of Mst. Faheeman Begum (deceased) v. Islam-ud-Din (deceased) [2023 SCMR 1402 SUPREME-COURT], the suit was dismissed due to being “badly barred by time,” highlighting the importance of filing within the statutory period.
- Substantiation of Claims with Evidence: The cases show that courts require cogent evidence to substantiate the claims made in a suit. For example, in the case of Mst. Faheeman Begum, the respondents provided revenue records and witness testimony to prove the gift mutation.
- Legal Standing and Lack of Fraud: The appellant’s lack of legal standing and the absence of a challenge by the donor during her lifetime were crucial in the dismissal of the suit in the same case.
- Estoppel and Acceptance of Benefits: In the case of Allied Bank Limited v. Habib-ur-Rehman [2023 SCMR 1232 SUPREME-COURT], the respondent was estopped from challenging the legality of the new pension scheme after having received the benefits under it without objection.
- Presumption of Completeness in Transactions: The case of Pirzada Noor-ul-Basar v. Mst. Pakistan Bibi [2023 SCMR 1072 SUPREME-COURT] illustrates the presumption of completeness of transactions, especially concerning Nikah Nama and receipt of Ijjara (rent) by a Parda Nashin lady.
- Protection against Fraud and Exploitation: Pervaiz Akhtar v. Mst. Farida Bibi [2023 PLD 628 SUPREME-COURT] demonstrates protection for illiterate housewives/Pardanashin ladies against exploitation in property transactions.
- Preference of Unregistered Deeds with Possession: The case of Rehmat Wali Khan v. Ghulam Muhammad [2023 PLD 506 SUPREME-COURT] shows that unregistered sale deeds accompanied by possession can be preferred over registered ones.
- Proof of Oral Wills and Transfers: In Mst. Khan Bibi (widow) v. Bibi Rahima [2023 PLD 40 QUETTA-HIGH-COURT-BALOCHISTAN], the court dismissed the appeal because the oral will was not proved satisfactorily, emphasizing the need for direct evidence.
Views of the Courts on Such Suits:
Pakistani courts view suits for declaration and permanent injunction within the framework of procedural and substantive law. The courts stress the importance of timely filing, evidential clarity, procedural compliance, and the necessity for the parties to act in good faith. They often provide a strict scrutiny to ensure that the justice is substantive and not merely procedural.
Key Takeaways for Successful Filing:
- Timely Action: Ensure that the suit is filed within the prescribed limitation period.
- Substantial Evidence: Gather and present conclusive evidence, including documentary proof and reliable witness testimonies.
- Follow Procedural Law: Adhere strictly to procedural requirements concerning pleadings, document presentation, and other court procedures.
- Good Faith: Parties should act in good faith and not withhold the best evidence available to them.
- Correct Jurisdiction: File the suit in the correct jurisdiction, whether it be civil or revenue courts, as per the nature of the case.
Strategies for Dismissal of Such Suits:
- Highlighting Limitation Issues: If the suit is barred by limitation, this can be an effective ground for dismissal.
- Challenging Evidence: Questioning the quality, authenticity, and relevance of the plaintiff’s evidence can undermine their case.
- Pointing out Procedural Flaws: Identify any non-compliance with procedural rules by the plaintiff to argue for dismissal.
- Asserting Jurisdictional Errors: If the suit has been filed in the wrong jurisdiction, it can be challenged on those grounds.
- Demonstrating Bad Faith: If it can be shown that the plaintiff has acted in bad faith, such as by withholding evidence, this can be a ground for dismissal.
Review of Recent Case laws:
The legal principles involved in the recent cases cited below revolves around the maintainability of suits for declaration and permanent injunction and the complexities arising when these suits intersect with property laws, procedural laws, and the doctrine of res judicata.
In the case cited as 2022 YLR 2491, the critical legal principle is that a co-sharer in possession of joint property cannot change the nature of the property in their possession unless a partition takes place. The co-owner’s right to sell their share is unrestricted, which means that seeking a declaration in this context would not be maintainable. The strategy to get such a suit dismissed would be to establish that there is no legal basis to restrict a co-owner from selling their share and that the sale does not alter the nature of the property, thus making an injunction unnecessary.
Regarding the case cited as 2022 YLR 1536, the principle is that the bar of Order XXIII, Rule 1, CPC, applies to a suit instituted after the withdrawal/abandonment of a previous suit. However, this bar does not apply where a new suit is already pending before the withdrawal of the first. The strategy here would be to prove that the second suit was filed during the pendency of the first and that the first suit’s withdrawal does not affect the maintainability of the second.
The case cited as 2022 CLC 1703 underlines that a later suit for eviction and mandatory injunction can be maintained if it is proven that the claimant has a valid title, and the opponent’s possession has not been established by any title. To dismiss such a suit, the respondent must provide strong evidence of their title and possession, which disproves the claimant’s ownership assertions.
In the 2022 CLC 1529 case, the principle of proper service of summons is key. A suit can be dismissed if it is shown that the summons was not properly served, and the defendant did not have knowledge of the proceedings. The strategy would be to demonstrate that the service of summons did not meet legal requirements, thus invalidating any decrees passed in the absence of the defendant.
The 2022 MLD 929 case deals with the limitation period for filing a suit for declaration and permanent injunction. The key takeaway is that permission to file a fresh suit after withdrawal does not extend the limitation period. To dismiss such a suit, one would need to show that the suit was filed outside the statutory limitation period.
In 2022 CLC 908, the principle is that an agreement to sell cannot confer title without a registered deed, especially after the imposition of statutory requirements for registration. To get such a suit dismissed, the strategy would be to prove that the suit is based on an unregistered agreement to sell, which is not sufficient to transfer legal title.
The 2022 CLC 608 case illustrates that the principle of res judicata applies to orders that have attained finality and cannot be re-litigated. The strategy for dismissal here would be to prove that the matter has already been adjudicated and is thus barred by res judicata.
The 2022 PLD 521 case from the Sindh High Court highlights that a civil court’s jurisdiction to try suits is not barred unless there is a specific provision to that effect. The strategy to dismiss such a suit would involve showing an alternative remedy that bars the civil suit under specific rules or statutes.
Key takeaways for successful filing and outcomes include:
- Thoroughly establishing the onus of proof, as seen in the case of Safaidullah v. Gul Dad (2023 CLC 708), where the plaintiffs successfully proved incorrect entries in the revenue record.
- Complying with procedural requirements, as highlighted in Aurangzeb Jehangiri v. Tehsil Municipal Administration Mansehra (2023 CLC 320), where failure to comply with conditions for a representative suit led to the dismissal of the revision petition.
- Ensuring that any revisions or changes to records or transactions are legally sound and can withstand scrutiny, as in the case of Province of Punjab v. Waseem Arshad (2023 PLD 564).
- When challenging a document like a gift deed, as in Mst. Shahnaz Shafiq v. Mst. Gulnar Khalid (2023 YLR 1329), it is crucial to disprove its validity if obtained through fraud or other illegal means.
Strategies to get a Suit for Declaration and Permanent Injunction Dismissed can be observed from recent case law as follows:
2022 CLC 616 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
The success of Abdul Hakeem in proving his legal heirship through an on-spot inquiry and failure of the Revenue Authorities to provide a reasoned decision underscores the importance of procedural propriety and the strength of affirmative evidence in inheritance disputes. A strategy to dismiss a similar suit may involve a thorough examination of the inquiry process that led to the disputed mutation, challenging any procedural infirmities, and discrediting the evidence that supports the opponent’s claim of heirship.
2022 CLC 585 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
The decision against Aum Media Publisher, LLC reflects the court’s reluctance to grant injunctions where monetary compensation is adequate and where the claimant has not actively pursued their contractual rights. To dismiss a similar suit, one might argue that the plaintiff has alternative remedies, has failed to perform their own contractual obligations, or has delayed in seeking relief.
2022 YLRN 98 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
In the case of Muhammad Yasin, the acquittal in a criminal case for cheque dishonour due to a civil nature dispute suggests leveraging the principle that criminal courts should refrain from becoming entangled in civil disputes. Emphasising the civil nature of the underlying transaction and the existence of a pending civil suit may aid in the dismissal of a parallel claim for a declaration and permanent injunction.
2022 PCrLJ 1393 Islamabad:
Muhammad Tariq’s case indicates that courts may dismiss applications for criminal proceedings under Section 476 Cr.P.C. during the pendency of a civil suit where the issues overlap. To dismiss a concurrent suit for declaration and permanent injunction, one could argue that the civil court is the appropriate forum to resolve the matter, and any criminal proceedings should await the outcome of the civil suit.
2022 MLD 1540 High-Court-Azad-Kashmir:
The case of Javaid Iqbal demonstrates the weight given to historical documents and consistent possession. A strategy to get a suit dismissed may involve challenging the authenticity and relevance of old documents presented by the plaintiff and disputing their claim to continuous possession.
2022 YLR 1466 Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court:
Khush Murad’s successful challenge against the appellate court’s decision was based on concrete evidence of ownership and possession. To dismiss a suit for declaration and permanent injunction, one could focus on undermining the plaintiff’s evidence of title and possession and present incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
2022 YLR 518 Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Court:
Malik Afreen’s case shows the court’s hesitancy to grant injunctions based on doubtful documents. A strategy here could be to challenge the authenticity and legal standing of any documents or agreements the plaintiff relies upon.
2021 YLR 991 Supreme-Court-Azad-Kashmir:
The Azad Government of the State of Jammu and Kashmir case highlights the importance of statutory provisions governing land. Dismissing a similar suit might entail demonstrating the plaintiff’s failure to comply with statutory processes or highlighting government authority over land allocation.
2021 SCMR 483 Supreme-Court:
In Rana Munawar Khan’s case, the Supreme Court allowed the appeal due to non-payment of due charges by the purchaser. This suggests that emphasizing the plaintiff’s failure to fulfil their contractual or statutory obligations can be a key strategy in seeking dismissal.
2022 YLR 2188 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: The case highlights the importance of territorial jurisdiction in civil suits. A suit must be instituted where the defendants reside or the cause of action, wholly or in part, arises.
Strategy: In a similar case, if the suit was filed in a court lacking territorial jurisdiction, this could be a ground for seeking dismissal.
2022 YLR 1247 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: Suits that are barred by limitation cannot be revived on the basis of mere technicalities or personal reasons such as illness.
Strategy: Examine the timeline of events carefully. If a suit is brought outside the statutory limitation period, move to dismiss on these grounds.
2022 YLR 1081 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: The specifics of statutory provisions matter. If a boundary wall does not meet the criteria requiring approval, a suit for its demolition may be dismissed.
Strategy: If defending against an injunction regarding property, closely inspect whether the plaintiff’s claims actually align with statutory requirements.
2022 YLR 1017 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: Non-impleading necessary parties and not challenging the rights of bona fide purchasers can lead to the dismissal of a suit.
Strategy: Ensure that all necessary parties are included in the suit. If they are not, argue for dismissal based on this procedural oversight.
2022 MLD 874 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: Admissions made in cross-examinations and acknowledgment of receipt of payment can validate a transaction and lead to the dismissal of a suit for cancellation.
Strategy: When defending a suit for declaration, focus on extracting admissions during cross-examination that affirm the defendant’s claims.
2022 MLD 174 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: Limitation periods are strictly enforced, and a suit for declaration that is time-barred will be dismissed.
Strategy: Investigate the timeline of the plaintiff’s claim to ensure the suit is within the limitation period. If it is not, argue for dismissal on these grounds.
2022 CLC 1552 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: Proving a benami transaction requires demonstrating the source of consideration and the true intention behind the transaction.
Strategy: If a plaintiff cannot substantiate the source of funds or the intention behind a transaction, the defense can argue for dismissal on the basis of insufficient evidence.
2022 CLC 953 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: Suits can be restored if there is sufficient cause for non-appearance, especially when valuable rights are involved.
Strategy: If the plaintiff’s suit was dismissed for non-prosecution, they may seek restoration by demonstrating sufficient cause for their absence.
2022 CLC 692 Karachi-High-Court-Sindh:
Key Takeaway: A claim based on dubious title documents, especially when the land is classified as forest land by the government, will be dismissed.
Strategy: Challenge the plaintiff’s title documents and highlight any discrepancies or lack of authority to sell or gift the land in question.
(1) The type of cases where suits for declaration and permanent injunction appear in Pakistani law vary, including disputes over property transfers, pension schemes, and inheritance issues. The key to success lies in the timely and substantiated presentation of the suit, supported by evidence, and a clear demonstration of legal rights and interests. Conversely, to get such suits dismissed, one must effectively challenge the plaintiff’s claims and legal standing, and demonstrate that the plaintiff is barred by their own actions or by law from asserting the claim.
(2) In the context of Pakistani law, a suit for declaration and permanent injunction is typically filed to establish a party’s legal rights and to prevent the other party from committing an act that would infringe upon those rights. These types of suits often hinge on the precise facts and details of each case, as well as the proper application and adherence to procedural laws.
(3) The recent cases reviewed involve a variety of issues such as limitation, the burden of proof, withholding evidence, non-registration of documents, jurisdiction, and partition of property. Here’s an analysis of the key takeaways for successful filing and outcomes, the views of courts, and strategies to dismiss such suits:
(4) The chances of success in such suits depend on the careful preparation of the case, including the gathering of evidence, meeting legal requirements, and adhering to procedural norms. The courts evaluate these suits based on the merits of the case, the evidence presented, and the application of relevant laws and precedents. The strategy for dismissal similarly requires a meticulous approach to undermine the plaintiff’s claim on factual, legal, or procedural grounds.
(5) The chances of success for a suit for declaration and permanent injunction depend on several factors, including the quality of evidence, the legitimacy of the claim, adherence to procedural requirements, and the specific circumstances of each case. Pakistani courts routinely engage with provisions from the Land Revenue Act, the Civil Procedure Code, the Specific Relief Act, and in some cases, ordinances such as the Mental Health Ordinance. The courts look for clear, convincing evidence that supports the claim for ownership or entitlement and assess whether injunctions are necessary to prevent further harm or illegal actions.
(6) In summary, to get a suit for declaration and permanent injunction dismissed, one should focus on jurisdictional challenges, adherence to limitation periods, the necessity of including all parties, the strength of documentary evidence and admissions, and the compliance with statutory requirements. Each case you’ve provided illustrates a unique aspect of these principles. Furthermore one must carefully assess the nature of the property, the procedural history of the case, the proper service of process, the compliance with statutory requirements, and whether the issues have been previously adjudicated. Each case requires a tailored approach based on the specific facts and applicable legal principles. The key is to identify procedural missteps, statutory non-compliance, or substantive legal barriers to the suit’s success.
Injunctions and Stay Orders
An injunction is a judicial process whereby a party is required to do or refrain from doing a particular act. There are two main types of injunctions: prohibitory injunction and mandatory injunction. A prohibitory injunction prohibits a person from doing a particular act, while a mandatory injunction orders them to carry out a certain act.
When there is a claim for any legal right and legal character with respect to immovable property based on title deeds, one should file a suit for a declaration under Section 8 of the Specific Relief Act, 1877, for the recovery of immovable property. In the case of a claim for movable property, the suit may be filed under Section 10 of the Specific Relief Act, 1877.
There are three main kinds of injunctions:
- Permanent or Perpetual Injunction: This is regulated by Section 51 of the Specific Relief Act, 1877. It is issued in terms of a decree after proper hearing of the case and satisfaction of the court. The court may order to stop certain acts that are contrary to the rights of the plaintiff. Perpetual Injunctions have been discussed in detail at the link below:
According to Section 54 of the Specific Relief Act, 1877, a Permanent Injunction may be granted by the court on the following grounds:
- Contracts which may specifically be enforced.
- Contracts which cannot specifically be enforced.
- When the defendant invades or threatens to invade the plaintiff’s right to, or enjoyment of, property.
- Where the defendant is a trustee of the property for the plaintiff.
- Temporary or Interlocutory Injunction: This is regulated by the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, and is issued during the pendency of the case for a specified time or until further order of the court.
According to Order 39 Rules 1 & 2 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908, Temporary Injunction may be granted by the court on the following grounds:
- Where any disputed property in a suit is in danger of being wasted, damaged, or alienated by any party to the suit, or wrongfully sold in execution of a decree.
- Where the defendant threatens or intends to remove or dispose of his property with a view to defrauding his creditors.
- Where the defendant threatens to dispossess the plaintiff or otherwise cause injury to the plaintiff in relation to any disputed property in the suit.
- Where the defendant is about to commit a breach of contract or other injury of any kind.
- Where the court is of the opinion that the interest of justice so requires.
- Mandatory Injunction: This is regulated by Section 55 of the Specific Relief Act, 1877, when the performance of a contract is necessary, and the breach of trust or breach of an obligation is the object. In such cases, the court may grant a Mandatory Injunction for the prevention of the breach complained of.
In summary, the above-mentioned types of injunctions provide legal remedies to protect the rights of individuals and properties in various situations. If you have a legal matter involving a suit for declaration and permanent injunction, feel free to contact us at email@example.com for expert legal advice and guidance on the next steps of your case.
An older version of this article appears below:
Selected Cases on suit for declaration and permanent injunction
- ABDUL HAMEED KHAN and 2 others v. FATEH BIBI and 6 othersCitation: PLJ 2002 Lahore High Court 1626 Judge: ABDUL SHAKOOR PARACHA Result: Appeal dismissed. Summary: The case involved a suit for declaration and permanent injunction with an alternate relief of specific performance of an agreement to sell. The defendants produced a guardianship certificate showing that certain defendants were minors at the time of executing the agreement to sell. As minors, their mother was not appointed as their guardian, and no permission was obtained from the court to sell land owned by the minors. The court found that there was no valid agreement on behalf of the minors, and the alleged agreement to sell was void. The plaintiffs failed to prove the execution of the agreement, and the appeal was dismissed.
- ARSHAD ALI v. ADDITIONAL DISTRICT JUDGE, SHAKARGARH and othersCitation: PLJ 2002 Lahore High Court 1974 Judge: SYED JAMSHED ALI Result: Petition dismissed. Summary: The petitioner filed a suit for permanent injunction, and the trial court granted temporary injunction. However, the additional district judge reversed the decision on appeal. The High Court held that the trial court wrongly exercised discretion and ignored subsequent events. The revision petition was returned to the petitioner for presentation to the proper court, and the petition was dismissed.
- WAPDA through its CHAIRMAN, LAHORE and 2 others v. MAHBOOB ILAHICitation: PLJ 2002 Lahore High Court 163 Judge: CH. IJAZ AHMAD Result: Appeal allowed. Summary: The appeal involved a suit for mandatory injunction, which was dismissed by the trial court and the first appellate court. The High Court remanded the case in appeal, and the trial court decreed the suit for mandatory injunction. The order of the additional district judge seeking the return of the revision petition for presentation to the proper court was challenged in the High Court. The High Court held that it had the power to convert an appeal into a revision or constitutional petition in the interest of justice and fair play at any stage of proceedings. The appeal was accepted.
- Haji MUHAMMAD HUSSAIN and 4 others v. MUHAMMAD ABBAS (MINOR)Citation: PLJ 2002 Lahore High Court 173 Judge: TASSADUQ HUSSAIN JILANI Result: Revision dismissed. Summary: The case involved a suit for a permanent injunction, where the plaintiff sought protection of land owned by him as per registered deeds and revenue records. The High Court held that the suit for permanent injunction was maintainable as there was an apprehended danger to the plaintiff’s possession of the land.
- MUHAMMAD AZAM v. SAEE MUHAMMAD and anotherCitation: PLJ 2000 Supreme Court 485 Judges: ABDUR REHMAN KHAN, RASHID AZIZ KHAN, and IFTIKHAR MUHAMMAD CHAUDHRY Result: Leave granted. Summary: The petitioner sought leave to appeal, and the Supreme Court granted the leave to consider whether oral evidence could be preferred over documentary evidence under Article 103 of the Qanun-e-Shahadat Order, 1984. The Supreme Court also examined whether the revisional court had jurisdiction to reverse findings recorded by the appellate court while considering oral and documentary evidence in its true perspective.
- MUHAMMAD QASIM and 3 others v. ABDUL QADIRCitation: PLJ 2000 Quetta High Court 56 Judge: FAZAL-UR-REHMAN Result: Case remanded. Summary: The petitioner filed a suit for a declaration and permanent injunction, which was dismissed by the trial court. The High Court remanded the case in appeal, holding that the trial court had wrongly exercised its discretion and ignored subsequent events.
- EVACUEE TRUST PROPERTY BOARD v. UMAR DINCitation: PLJ 2000 Lahore High Court 732 Judge: MAULVI ANWAR-UL-HAQ Result: Petition dismissed. Summary: The Evacuee Trust Property Board interfered with the possession of the respondent. The respondent filed a suit for a permanent injunction, which was decreed by the trial court. The appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by the petitioner, and the High Court held that the judgment of the appellate court was in accordance with the law.
- MUMTAZ HUSSAIN v. FAIZ ULLAH and othersCitation: PLJ 2000 Lahore High Court 1362 Judge: CH. IJAZ AHMAD Result: Revision accepted. Summary: The petitioner filed a suit for a declaration of title based on an agreement to sell. The trial court dismissed the suit, but the appellate court decreed it. The High Court accepted the revision petition and remanded the case to the trial court to treat the permanent injunction suit as a suit for specific performance and allow the plaintiff to amend the plaint subject to payment of a specified amount.
A Suit for Declaration in Pakistan is a legal action brought before a court to seek a remedy where a specific matter or issue is to be officially declared by the court. Such suits can be filed in any court within Pakistan, as long as the subject matter falls within the jurisdiction of that court. One common instance of a Suit for Declaration is related to property disputes, where the court is asked to declare the rightful ownership of a certain property in favor of a particular individual or legal heirs.
For instance, when a person passes away, leaving behind a property, the legal heirs may file a Suit for Declaration in Pakistan to establish themselves as the rightful heirs and owners of the property. To succeed in such a case, the legal heirs must present evidence before the court to prove their entitlement to the property. Once the court issues a declaratory decree confirming their legal status as heirs, the property can be officially transferred into their names.
It is essential to note that no government department in Pakistan will transfer the property of a deceased person to the legal heirs unless a decree has been obtained through a Suit for Declaration, affirming the legal heirs’ rights to the property.
In situations where there is a dispute among the legal heirs, and one or more heirs are in possession of the property while denying others their rightful share, an individual can file a Suit for Declaration and Possession. This type of suit seeks both a declaratory decree and possession of the property, similar to other legal heirs.
Additionally, a Suit for Declaration and Permanent Injunction can be filed. In this case, the party not only seeks a declaration from the court but also requests a permanent injunction or a perpetual stay order to prevent any actions that may affect their rights over the property. Alternatively, a temporary injunction may be sought, which would be effective for a limited period, during which both parties present their evidence, and the court determines the truth and administers justice accordingly.
These suits often appear in cases involving land rights, ownership disputes, inheritance, and other property-related matters. A good strategy to get such a suit dismissed is to highlight procedural flaws, provide substantial evidence contradicting the plaintiff’s claims, or demonstrate a lack of legal standing or interest in the matter by the plaintiff.
For instance, in the case of Mst. Musarrat v. Muhammad Shafi (2023 MLD 175), the appellate court’s decision was overturned due to the lack of evidence proving the respondent’s claim to the property, and the suit was dismissed. Similarly, in Faisalabad Electric Supply Company v. Additional District Judge (2023 MLD 1255), the court found that the dispute fell outside the jurisdiction of the civil court, leading to the dismissal of the suit.
To dismiss a suit for declaration and permanent injunction, the defendant may:
- Challenge the accuracy and authenticity of the evidence presented.
- Point out the lack of compliance with procedural rules.
- Argue the existence of alternative remedies or forums for the dispute.
- Contest the plaintiff’s legal standing or capacity to file the suit.
- Prove that the suit is time-barred or beyond the period of limitation.
Specimen: Suit for Dismissal of Declaration and Permanent Injunction
IN THE COURT OF Mr. _________________ CIVIL JUDGE, ISLAMABAD
Civil Suit No…………/2012
Suit for Declaration and Permanent Injunction
Written (Defence) Statement on behalf of the Defendants No.1-3
- Neither the plaintiffs have nor the plaint discloses any cause of action against the answering defendants, hence this plaint is liable to be rejected under Order VII, Rule 11 CPC.
- Neither there is any contract, whatsoever, between the answering defendants [or even their predecessor-in-interest] and the plaintiffs of the present suit, nor the answering defendants are bound to fulfill any contractual obligation on their part. On this account alone, the plaint is liable to be rejected.
- The plaintiffs have not come to the Court with clean hands and their entire alleged claim is based on blackmailing the answering defendants.
- The suit of the plaintiffs is based on their imaginative fancy flights, far from realities, a bundle of mutually destructive assertions and thus an exercise in futility which is liable to be rejected forthwith.
- The suit is not maintainable in its present legal form.
- The plaintiffs are estopped by their conduct and words to pursue the matter against the answering defendants.
- The suit is false and frivolous and definitely based on personal and parochial considerations of the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs’ such conduct could be visualized from the factum that the predecessor-in-interest namely (Name Deleted) expired at the end of April, 2012, and that the plaintiffs hastened to file their suit based on forged documents and fabricated assertion.
- The contents of para No.1 of the plaint are vehemently denied. It is submitted that the suit house was transferred in the name of the late predecessor-in-interest of the answering defendants vide Transfer Letter dated (deleted) in the CDA record and this factum alone demolishes the malafide assertion of the plaintiffs that there was any alleged gift in their favour.
- In line with the foregoing paragraph, the contents of para No.2 are admitted as correct. The suit house was definitely transferred in a lawful manner in the name of the predecessor-in-interest of the answering defendants.
- The contents of para No.3, of course based on malafide concoctions of the plaintiffs, are vehemently denied. The predecessor-in-interest of the answering defendants never held out any promise to transfer even a single inch of the suit house to the plaintiffs. It is further submitted that Mr. (deleted) the original owner of the house was annoyed with the plaintiffs and their attorney namely (deleted) for they having prepared a forged document in May 1997 pertaining to suit house. Such conduct of the plaintiffs and their attorney demonstrate that they were definitely planning to grab the property of the answering defendants’ predecessor-in-interest since long. The illegal and malafide conduct of the plaintiffs and their attorney (deleted) for forging of documents and fabrications shall be vividly explained at the time of submission of evidence before the Court.
- The contents of para No.4 are vehemently denied. The predecessor-in-interests of the answering defendants neither acknowledged nor ever agreed to surrender any part of the suit house to the plaintiffs. The alleged agreement dated 17-05-2000 and the so-called Surrender Deed dated (deleted) are forged documents. The answering defendants are going to take all legal means, both civil and criminal, to get such documents annulled and make the responsible persons forging such documents answerable to law of the land. It is further submitted that the answering defendants never ever recognized or acknowledged the so-called self-asserted fabrications of 50% ownership of the suit house to the plaintiff.
- The contents of para No.5 are admitted as correct.
- It is once again reiterated that the claim of the plaintiffs on the suit is forged and frivolous one and not admitted at all.
- The contents of para No. 7 are legal and formal.
- Para No.8 is formal and legal.
- Para No.9 is formal and legal.
For what has been submitted above, it is, therefore, requested that the suit of the plaintiffs be dismissed with cost in favour of the answering defendant.
Any other relief which this hon’able Court deems fit and proper in the circumstances of the case be awarded to the answering defendants along with the cost of these proceedings.
Title: Suits for Declaration and Permanent Injunction: Case Summaries
- Citation: PLJ 2009 Peshawar High Court 18 Parties: Maulana MUHAMMAD IDREES (Appellant) vs. FAZAL SAID KHATTAK etc (Opponent) Judge: Syed Yahya Zahid Gillani Result: Petition accepted
Summary: The case pertains to a suit for declaration and permanent injunction. The defendant offered the plaintiff an oath, which the plaintiff accepted, as allowed under Article 163 of Qanun-e-Shahadat, 1984. However, the defendant challenged the decision, leading to the acceptance of the appeals and remanding of the suits for trial and decision on merits. The court concluded that the oath offered and taken by the plaintiff were in accordance with the offer made by the defendant, and the trial court had correctly recorded their statements.
- Citation: PLJ 2009 Cr.C 592 Parties: MUMTAZ HUSSAIN (Appellant) vs. Dr. NASIR KARIM and 2 others (Opponent) Judge: Arshad Noor Khan Result: Petition dismissed
Summary: The case revolves around a complaint dismissed by the trial court, wherein the defendant challenged the decision through a revision petition. The court found that the matter was pending adjudication in a civil court, involving a suit for injunction, declaration, and permanent injunction related to a disputed property. Until the civil court determines the titles of the parties, criminal proceedings under Act 2005 cannot be initiated.
- Citation: PLJ 2009 Lahore High Court 221 Parties: MUHAMMAD RAFIQUE (Appellant) vs. Mst. MUMTAZ AKHTAR alias ALLAH RAKHI & 2 others (Opponent) Judge: Ali Akbar Qureshi Result: Revision dismissed
Summary: The case involves a civil revision suit for declaration and permanent injunction. The court upheld the decision of the lower court that found the children of the plaintiff, born out of lawful wedlock, were legitimate and entitled to their inheritance. The court emphasized that children born within a lawful wedlock enjoy a presumption of legitimacy and are entitled to inheritance rights.
- Citation: PLJ 2008 Cr.C 123 Parties: LIAQAT ALI, etc (Appellant) vs. STATE (Opponent) Judge: Kh. Muhammad Sharif and Hasnat Ahmad Khan Result: Order accordingly
Summary: This criminal case involves a right of defense of property. The defendants, in possession of the disputed property, used their right of defense against the deceased, who was trying to dispossess them. The court found that the defendants’ defense version was more probable than the prosecution’s, leading to the order accordingly.
- Citation: PLJ 2008 Karachi High Court 138 Parties: PAK AMERICAN COMMERCIAL (PVT.) LTD. through Director (Appellant) vs. HUMAYOUN LATIF and 7 others (Opponent) Judge: Arshad Noor Khan Result: Plaintiff’s claim rejected
Summary: In this case, the plaintiff filed a suit for declaration, cancellation, damages, and permanent injunction against the defendants, a corporation. However, the court found that the plaintiff did not present the necessary resolution from its board of directors authorizing the filing of the suit, leading to the rejection of the claim.
- Citation: PLJ 2008 Peshawar High Court 208 Parties: Haji MUHAMMAD HUSSAIN and another (Appellant) vs. D.C.O., DIR UPPER and another (Opponent) Judge: Muhammad Raza Khan Result: Petition allowed
Summary: The case concerns a suit for permanent injunction related to noise pollution caused by stone crushing activities. The court remanded the case to the trial court for adjudication on merits, as the trial court did not properly consider the evidence regarding the noise issue.
- Citation: PLJ 2008 Supreme Court 985 Parties: SALEEM MALIK (Appellant) vs. PAKISTAN CRICKET BOARD (PCB) and 2 others (Opponent) Judge: Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi, Zia Perwez & Syed Zawwar Hussain Jafery Result: Appeal allowed
Summary: This case involves a suit for declaration and permanent injunction filed by a cricketer against the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). The court found that the suit cannot be rejected on defense plea or material supplied by the opposite party. The proper course was to frame an issue on the question raised and decide it on merits based on evidence.
- Citation: PLJ 2008 AJ&K Court 81 Parties: MUHAMMAD SIDDIQUE & 10 others (Appellant) vs. RAJ BEGUM (WIDOW) & 39 others (Opponent) Judge: Rafiullah Sultani Result: Appeal accepted
Summary: In this case, the appellants filed a suit for possession and permanent injunction. The court found that the suit filed by the respondents was hopelessly time-barred, and the respondents failed to establish their claims through evidence. The appeal was accepted, and the judgments and decrees of the courts below were set aside.
- Citation: PLJ 2007 Karachi High Court 26 Parties: KHURSHEED AHMED (Appellant) vs. FAYYAZ AHMAD and 7 others (Opponent) Judge: Gulzar Ahmad Result: Petitions disposed of
Summary: The case deals with the principle of res judicata. The court found that the suit filed by the appellant was hit by res judicata as there was already a decision on the matter in the district judge’s court. The appeal was disposed of accordingly.
- Citation: PLJ 2007 Peshawar High Court 88 Parties: SHAH WAZIR KHAN (Appellant) vs. TAHOOR-UL-ISLAM (Opponent) Judge: Ijaz-ul-Hassan Result: Revision dismissed
Summary: The case involves a suit for permanent injunction related to land possession. The court found that the trial court had correctly exercised its jurisdiction, and the evidence on record supported the trial court’s findings. The revision was dismissed.
- Citation: PLJ 2007 Peshawar High Court 198 Parties: ROOH-UL-AMIN etc (Appellant) vs. GUL AHMAD alias JAM KHAN and others (Opponent) Judge: Ijaz-ul-Hassan Result: Revision dismissed
Summary: In this case, the court dismissed the revision petition, upholding the trial court’s decision to dismiss the suit for declaration with a permanent injunction. The court found that the plaintiff’s claim was barred by time, and the trial court had appropriately determined the issue.
For successful filing and outcome of such suits, it is imperative that the plaintiff:
- Properly pleads all material facts.
- Presents credible and substantiated evidence.
- Follows the procedural requirements meticulously.
- Demonstrates a clear right or status that needs protection.
- Shows that an injunction is necessary to prevent irreparable harm.
To get a suit for declaration and permanent injunction dismissed, the strategy typically involves attacking the plaintiff’s case on various fronts:
- Challenging the sufficiency and credibility of the evidence.
- Demonstrating the plaintiff’s lack of clean hands.
- Showing that the balance of convenience is against granting an injunction.
- Proving that the plaintiff’s rights are not as clear as claimed, or that the harm can be compensated in monetary terms.
In conclusion, the successful filing and outcome of such suits in Pakistani law hinge upon the plaintiff’s ability to present a clear, legally supported claim, and compliance with all procedural norms. Conversely, to dismiss such a suit, the defendant must effectively challenge the plaintiff’s claims on procedural, evidential, or legal grounds.