CIVIL, Difference

Distinction between two different expressions ‘incidental proceedings’ and ‘supplemental proceedings’

Supreme Court of India in Vareed Jacob vs Sosamma Geevarghese & Ors on 21 April, 2004


The Parliament consciously used two different expressions ‘incidental proceedings’ and ‘supplemental proceedings’ which obviously would carry two different meanings.

The expression ‘ancillary’ means aiding, auxiliary; subordinate; attendant upon; that which aids or promotes a proceeding regarded as the principal.

The expression ‘supplementary proceeding’ on the other hand, would mean a separate proceeding in an original action, in which the court where the action is pending is called upon to exercise its jurisdiction in the interest of justice.

The expression ‘incidental’ may mean differently in different contexts. While dealing with a procedural law, it may mean proceedings which are procedural in nature but when it is used in relation to an agreement or the delegated legislation, it may mean something more; but the distinction between an incidental proceeding and a supplemental proceeding being obvious cannot be ignored.

Incidental proceedings are, however, taken recourse to in aid of the ultimate decision of the suit which would mean that any order passed in terms thereof, subject to the rules prescribed therefor, would have a bearing on the merit of the matter. Any order passed in aid of the suit are ancillary powers. Whenever an order is passe by the Court in exercise of its ancillary power or in the incidental proceedings, the same may revive on revival of the suit. But so far as supplemental proceedings are concerned, the Court may have to pass a fresh order.

An order to furnish security to produce any property belonging to a defendant and to place the same at the disposal of the Court or order the attachment of any property as also grant of a temporary injunction or appointment of a receiver are supplemental in nature. The effect of such order may be felt even after decree is passed. An order of attachment passed under Order 38 of the Code of Civil Procedure would be operative even after the decree is passed. Such an order of attachment passed under Order 38 can be taken benefit of by the decree holder even after a decree is passed. An order of temporary injunction passed in a suit either may merge with a decree of permanent injunction or may have an effect even if a decree is passed, as, for example, for the purpose of determination as regard the status of the parties violating the order of injunction or the right of a transferee whom have purchased the property in disobedience of the order of injunction. The orders passed in supplemental proceedings may have to be treated distinctly as opposed to an order which is ancillary in nature or which has been passed in the incidental proceedings.