Interim orders or interlocutory orders are those passed by a court during the pendacy of a suit which do not determine finally the substantive rights and liabilities of the parties, in respect of the subject matter or the rights in the suit.
1 Interim orders are supposed to assist the parties through the process of litigation.
2 They are also supposed to help in the administration and delivery of justice
3 And also for protection of the subject matter and the rights of parties.
There are various types of interim orders
1. Orders for a commission;
2. Arrest before judgment;
3. Attachment before judgment;
4. Temporary injunctions;
5. Appointment of receivers; and
6. Security for costs.
AN ORDER FOR A COMMISSION
An order for a commission is an interim and it is within a pending suit and the application is therefore by way of Chamber Summons. You can apply for an order for a commission for various reasons
a. Examination of witnesses
b. To make a local investigations;
c. To examine accounts;
d. To make up partitions;
e. To hold a scientific investigation;
Examination of Witnesses
Patni Case is a very good example where the lawyers asked for a commission to go to London and take the evidence there. The rule is that evidence is given at the trial orally but it is not always possible. The court has to give an order for one to take a commission. Where a person is very sick, one can take a commission to go and get the testimony of the witness from where they are. Suppose a witness is apprehensive about their safety? That harm could come to them if they appeared in court.
2. One can ask for a commission for a local investigation. Suppose the case is about a local property and there is an argument as to the market value, it would be hard for the court to appreciate exactly where the property is and so it is allowed that one can hire an independent valuer to assess the property. This is not in all cases it is only if the facts or circumstances of that case are peculiar and it makes it difficult to give evidence in court.
EXAMINATION OF ACCOUNTS
The court may also give a commission to examine accounts, suppose two people are fighting over a company and there is dispute as to the status of the accounts of the company and the courts needs that information on the status of the account in order to reach a decision. The normal process would be to put somebody in the company to cheque the status of how the accounts. But suppose it is difficult to put somebody on a witness stand to testify all that? One can ask for a commission to hire someone who can go to the company and
TO MAKE A PARTITION
An example is suppose 2 people are fighting over a specific property and the court has finally decided that the property should be divided in half and each person gets half a piece? The Court issue a commission for a surveyor to ensure that somebody goes to make that partition divides the property in half and present the draft documents in court.
Sometimes some of the testimony to be presented to court is of a scientific nature and cannot be tried in court. The court will issue for a commission for the case to be tried outside.
2. ARREST BEFORE JUDGMENT
Generally the rule is that a creditor having a claim against the debtor has first to obtain a decree before they can execute against the debtor. Normally they would execute by arresting the debtor or taking his property. But there are other special circumstances one may be able to apply for arrest of the person before judgment. For example if a person is planning to leave the jurisdiction of the court with the intent to abscond from liability and defeat justice, one can apply for an order of arrest before judgment.
3. ATTACHMENT BEFORE JUDGMENT
This is where the defendant is disposing of their property so that they can defeat realisation of a court decree where one has been awarded. In this case, you will make an application for an order for attachment before judgment. It does not that the order will automatically be granted. The court can order for the property to be attached if there is real danger of trying to circumvent justice. The court is usually cautious about granting this order because they are essentially taking away somebody’s property.