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Inherent Powers Of Court Under Code Of Civil Procedure 1908

The inherent power of the court is that which is inherent in a court by the very fact of its being empowered to exercise any jurisdiction at all so that it comes within the express sense of the law of within the consequences that may be gathered from it.

Scope: the Code of Civil Procedure is not exhaustive. Since laws are general rules, they cannot regulate for all time to come so as to make express provision against all inconveniences, which are infinite in number, and to foresee all cases that may possibly happen with a view to provisions for all contingencies and for all the times.

The purpose of the law is to secure the ends of justice. The laws are not ends in themselves but are only a means for securing justice. If the ordinary rules of procedure results in injustice in any case and there is no remedy, it is the duty of the court to over-ride those rules for achieving the ends of justice.

Hence the framers of the code of Civil Procedure provided section 151, giving:
Inherent powers can be used only if the ordinary rules of procedure result in injustice in any case and there is no other remedy, they can be broken for the ends of justice.

The inherent powers can be exercised where abuse of process of Court resulted from the mistake of the Court or by the officers of the court.

Object: the object of inherent power of the court is to do justice and to undo wrong in case of abuse of process of court fraud or misrepresentation by a party upon the court or where there is absence of rule of procedure in the circumstances of a particular cases.

Section- 151: savings of inherent powers of Court- 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 the ends of justice or to prevent abuse of the process of the court.

When Can A Court Exercise Inherent Powers?

In the following circumstances, and cases a Court can exercise its inherent powers:
  1. Section 151 does not confer a new power to the court, but makes a statutory recognition of inherent power of the court to do certain things ex debito justice. The inherent power can be involved only for the attainment of the ends of a substantial justice.
  2. Section 151 provides only an extra-ordinary procedure, and action under this section, it is not in any sense obligatory.
  3. Section 151 could only be involved where no other remedy is available. It does not confer any substantive right on parties but is only meant to get over the difficulties arising from rules of practice.
  4. To consolidate suits and appeals including appeal to his Majesty in council, now the Supreme court, even without the consent of the parties.
  5. To order joint trial of suits.
  6. To ascertain whether the proper parties are before it.
  7. To entertain the application of a third person to be made a party.
  8. To allow a defence in forma pauperis.
  9. To say the drawing up of the courtís own orders or to suspend their operation, it the necessities of justice so require.
  10. To apply the principles of res judicata to cases not falling under Section 11 C.P.C.
  11. To add a party.
  12. To punish summarily by imprisonment contempt of courts.
  13. To transpose parties.
  14. To refuse permission to a co-plaintiff to withdraw from a suit in a case when he does not ask permission to institute a fresh suit on the same cause of action or impose terms upon him.
  15. To stay proceedings to its own order in view of an intended appeal.
  16. To decide question of jurisdiction though a result of its inquiry it may turn out that the court has no jurisdiction over the suit.
  17. To restore a suit dismissed for default in cases not provided for by a rule 9 of order 9.
  18. To order a refund of court-fee paid by inadvertence.
  19. To stay a suit where it does not come within section 10 (Res subjudice).
  20. To grant temporary injunction where it does not fall under Order 39.
  21. To reconstruct its record where they are lost by accident; etc, etc.

When Cannot A Court Exercise Inherent Power?

  1. The object of Sec. 151 is to provide justice and to undo wrong in case of abuse of process of Court of fraud or misrepresentation by a party upon the court, or where there is absence of rule of procedure in the circumstances of a particular case. By involving the inherent powers, a court should not cause damage to this object
  2. The inherent powers cannot be involved where there is specific provision in the code.
  3. The code cannot exercise inherent power to grant interim relief which properly ought to be granted only by the decree after determination of the points in controversy.
  4. To compel parties to submit to medical examination or blood test.
  5. To appoint a commissioner to seize account-books in the possession of the plaintiff.
  6. To consider or review an order.
  7. To set aside an ex parte decree.
  8. To strike a defence.
  9. To restore suit dismissed for default for non-payment of court-fee under Rule 11(d) of Order 7.
  10. To refund court-fee on a review application when the review is granted on a ground other than mistake of law fact; etc. etc.

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