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
- 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.
- Section 151 provides only an extra-ordinary procedure, and action under
this section, it is not in any sense obligatory.
- 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.
- To consolidate suits and appeals including appeal to his Majesty in
council, now the Supreme court, even without the consent of the parties.
- To order joint trial of suits.
- To ascertain whether the proper parties are before it.
- To entertain the application of a third person to be made a party.
- To allow a defence in forma pauperis.
- To say the drawing up of the courtís own orders or to suspend their
operation, it the necessities of justice so require.
- To apply the principles of res judicata to cases not falling under Section 11
- To add a party.
- To punish summarily by imprisonment contempt of courts.
- To transpose parties.
- 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.
- To stay proceedings to its own order in view of an intended appeal.
- To decide question of jurisdiction though a result of its inquiry it may
turn out that the court has no jurisdiction over the suit.
- To restore a suit dismissed for default in cases not provided for by a
rule 9 of order 9.
- To order a refund of court-fee paid by inadvertence.
- To stay a suit where it does not come within section 10 (Res subjudice).
- To grant temporary injunction where it does not fall under Order 39.
- To reconstruct its record where they are lost by accident; etc, etc.
When Cannot A Court Exercise Inherent Power?
- 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
- The inherent powers cannot be involved where there is specific provision
in the code.
- 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.
- To compel parties to submit to medical examination or blood test.
- To appoint a commissioner to seize account-books in the possession of
- To consider or review an order.
- To set aside an ex parte decree.
- To strike a defence.
- To restore suit dismissed for default for non-payment of court-fee under
Rule 11(d) of Order 7.
- To refund court-fee on a review application when the review is granted
on a ground other than mistake of law fact; etc. etc.