Inherent power of the court || Section 151|| CPC ||
The law has always been an essential part of society. It also existed when men were uncivilized and it still exists today when we have entered a very sophisticated world. The presence of law proves the existence of the court. The courts existed when there was no written statue on the fundamental principle to do justice and to peacefully settle the matter. Every court was established for the purpose of administering justice between the disputed parties, and therefore it must be deemed to possess all such powers as may be necessary to do them justice and to undo the wrong done. The duty of the court to do justice in all cases, whether provisioned or not, has the necessary power to do justice in the absence of express provision for the same. These powers are vested in the court but not prescribed in the code and those are the Inherent powers of the court. Section 151 of the CPC specifically conferred the inherent power to the court. The court is free to exercise these powers to reach the ends of justice or to prevent the abuse of the process of the court.
Meaning of Inherent power:-
The word “Inherent” is very wide in itself. It means existing and inseparable from something, a permanent attribute or quality, an essential element, something intrinsic, or essential, vested in or attached to a person or office as a right of privilege. Hence, inherent powers are such powers that are inalienable from courts and may be exercised by a court to do full and complete justice between the disputed parties before it.
What sec.151 says?:-
The section 151 of the Code says that ‘Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent powers of the court to make such orders as may be necessary for ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the court’. Hence, the inherent powers of the court are complimentary powers the court is free to exercise for the ends of justice or to prevent the abuse of the process of the court.
Reason for providing these powers:-
The reason behind the legislature to provide for the provisions protecting the inherent powers of the court is clear that the legislature in incapable to consider all the possible circumstances that may arise in future litigations. And in such unforeseen circumstances, the inherent powers by virtue of sec. 151 comes to the rescue the court, and to the legislature and such powers are exercised in absence of expressed powers by the code.
Ghuznavi v. Allahabad Bank Ltd:
Such inherent power can be exercised only where the court is satisfied that the provisions of the Code are not sufficient to meet the exigencies of the case.
Limitations to exercise the Inherent powers:-
The following are the limitation on the inherent power exercised by the court:-
1. These powers can be exercised only in the absence of an express provision in the code,
2. These powers can’t be exercised in conflict with express provisions in the code,
3. These can be exercised in exceptional cases,
4. While exercising the powers, the court has to follow the procedure by the legislature
5. Substantive rights of the parties shall not be taken away,
6. To restrain a party from taking proceedings in a court of law,
7. To direct an arbitrator to make an award afresh,
8. To set aside an order which was right at the time of its issuance.
Scope of the Inherent power under sec. 151 of the CPC:-
The provision contained in this section is merely an indication of the power of the court to make such orders as may be necessary for achieving the ends of justice, and also to prevent abuse of the process of the court and does not confer any power.
This power of the court is limited to the extent that it cannot be exercised if its exercise is inconsistently or in contradiction with the necessary implication conferred under the Code. Where there is an express provision exhaustively covering a particular topic, that gives rise to a necessary implication that prescribed by the said provision.
To advance the interest of justice:
In the case of M/s. Ram Chand &Sons Sugar Mills Pvt. Ltd. Barabanki (U.P.) V. Kanhayalal Bhargava, the appellant stated that during the pendency of the first suit, certain subsequent events had taken place due to which the first was not fruitful and in law, the said suit could not be kept pending and continued solely for the purpose of continuing an interim order made in the said suit. While examining the question the Supreme Court was to consider whether the court can take cognizance of a subsequent event to decide whether the pending suit should be disposed or not. The question arose was whether a defendant could make an application under section 151 CPC for dismissing the pending suit on the ground that the said suit has lost its cause of action. The court upheld the contention.
It cannot be expected that the legislator will be capable in forming of the code of Civil Procedure of Foreseeing every possible situation which may arise or make a detailed list of circumstances in which an existing provision may apply.
Book:- Civil Procedure Code (C.K. Takwani)