Interim Orders

Interim Orders

What are interim orders?

Basically, the meaning of interim is something which is temporary or for the time being. While the term order has been defined under Section 2(14) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 which means the formal expression of any decision of a civil court which is not a decree. Therefore, interlocutory or interim orders may be defined as those orders which are passed by the court during pendency of the suits. Interlocutory order is another word for interim orders.

Such interim or interlocutory orders are of temporary nature. These temporary orders are required because it was felt by legislature that sometimes a court is required to grant such relief or pass such order as may be necessary to be passed. Then court can pass these temporary or interim orders on the pillars of justice and equity. At the same time, any abuse of process thereof, during the pendency of a proceeding is also mitigated. The rights of parties are protected in the interval between the commencement of the proceeding and final adjudication.

The court may pass interim orders in form of commissions and letter of requests which are also called incidental proceedings, arrest and attachment before judgement, temporary injunctions, interim sale of movable property, detention, preservation, inspection of suit property, putting a party in immediate possession of land or tenure, deposit of money in court, appointment of Receiver, deposit of claim amount by defendant and security for costs.

Issuance of commissions[1] is an incidental proceeding which may be exercised by the court either on application of the party or on its own motion. Commissions may be issued by the court for the purposes ranging from examining any person, or to make a local investigation, to examine or adjust accounts, to make a partition, to hold a scientific, technical, or expert investigation, to conduct sale of property which is subject to speedy and natural decay and which is the custody of the court pending the determination of suit and lastly to perform ministerial act. It is to be kept in mind that no other purpose may be spell-out form the interpretation of this act, thus, it is restrictive in nature.

Wherein the court is satisfied that the defendant is going to do any such act which includes absconding, delaying the suit, avoiding any process of suit, etc, or likely to make any attempt to defeat the execution of decree, then the plaintiff may make an application for the arrest of defendant. The court may pass an interim order for his arrest at any time even before the service of summons or after the institution of suit, or before the pronouncement of judgement and passing of decree.[2] While the court may order attachment before judgement to check any attempt of the defendant to defeat the realization of decree likely to be passed against him so that his property may be attached before the service of summons, institution of suit or before judgement and decree.[3]

A court may also pass an interlocutory order of injunction which means a prohibition or restriction which is temporary, resisting a party to suit from doing certain acts or is directed to do certain acts. It is done so, because the subject matter of suit must be protected until the judgement is passed. Therefore, an order of temporary injunction[4] maintains a status quo at the time of institution of suit in respect of disputed property s as to avoid any change in its position till the final adjudication.

An order to sale of movable property may also be made by court, though being called interim but having permanent effects. Such property must be subject matter of the suit or must have been attached before judgement in such suit. Any party to the suit may apply for this order by presentation of an application against another.[5]In fact, any party to suit may make apply to the court for detention, preservation or inspection of any property, whereby the court may make such orders relating to property which is the subject matter of the suit.[6]

A court may also make an interim decree in case where a party owes something to adverse such as land revenue to government or rent due to the proprietor, etc, and hence can put the party who has an immediate interest in such land or tenure, etc by passing an order of putting the party in immediate possession of that land or tenure.[7] If any party to the suit admits that he holds such money or other thing as a trustee for another party, the court may make an interim order of depositing such money in the court.[8]

Another case of interim order involves an appointment of receiver for the purpose of protection of property in dispute. Basically receiver is an impartial person who is appointed for the purposing of preserving the suit property until the suit is finally disposed. It is to be kept in mind that being a representative of a court, a receiver is empowered to collect and receive all the rents and profits of the property during the pendency of proceedings.

Another interlocutory order has an effect, if complied duly, of disposing the suit. Such is the deposit of claim amount by the defendant.[9] If the defendant after giving notice, deposits in court, such sum of money as he considers a satisfaction of full claim, such shall have two effects. Firstly, if the plaintiff claims that it is not the full amount, a suit for balance amount may be instituted or otherwise if the court is satisfied, it is a full claim, the court shall order plaintiff to pay the costs. Secondly, if the plaintiff accepts the amount deposited by the defendant satisfies is claim, the court shall pronounce a judgment accordingly followed by a decree.

Lastly, an interim order may also be passed by the court for the purpose to protect the interests of the defendant. Such orders of security for costs[10] are passed where there is a likelihood whereby a defendant is going to be deprived of the costs even when he succeeds in the suit, thereby, the court may direct the plaintiff to give security for payment of costs to the defendant.


[1] Section 75-78, Order XXVI

[2] Order XXXVIII Rule 1 to 4

[3] Order XXXVIII Rule 5, 7,9, 11-A and 12

[4] Order XXXIX, Section 95

[5] Order XXXIX, Rule 6 and 8

[6] Order XXXIX, Rule 7 and 8

[7] Order XXXIX, Rule 9

[8] Order XXXIX, Rule 10

[9] Order XXIV

[10] Order XXV

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