Justice S.V. Gangapurwala

Early Life and Education

Justice Sanjay Vijaykumar Gangapurwala was born on 24-05-1962, into a family of lawyers. He completed his schooling from Holy Cross Convent School and graduated in Commerce from Saraswati Bhuvan Education Society (SBES) College of Arts and Commerce, Aurangabad. Thereafter, he completed his LL. B from Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad.1

Did You know: Justice S.V. Gangapurwala secured 3rd position in order of merit in LL. B Examination.2


Soon after completing his LL. B, Justice S.V. Gangapurwala enrolled with the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa and started his practice in year 1985 at Aurangabad under the guidance of Late Advocate S.N. Loya. He also served as a counsel to several corporate entities including the Central Bank of India, the Bombay Mercantile Corporative Bank, Jalgaon Janata Sahakari Bank and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University. He also represented the Government before Justice Mane Commission, which enquired into lathi charge and use of force by Police.3 He also practiced as an Advocate in the Debt Recovery Tribunal. Additionally, he served as served as a lecturer in M.P Law College since 1991 until his elevation as Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court on 13-03-2010.4

From Advocacy to Judgeship

Justice S.V. Gangapurwala was elevated as Additional Judge of the Bombay High Court in 2010. Upon elevation of the then Chief Justice of Bombay High Court, Justice Dipankar Datta to the Supreme Court in December 2022, Justice SV Gangapurwala was appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.5

The Supreme Court Collegium on 19-04-2023, recommended appointment of Justice S.V. Gangapurwala as the Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.6 On 26-05-2023, President Droupadi Murmu appointed him as Chief Justice of Madras High Court7 and he assumed his new office as Chief Justice on 29-05-20238.

Did You Know: With the appointment of Justice S.V. Gangapurwala, Madras High Court got a Chief Justice after a long period of eight months.9

Latest Judgments

Manual Scavenging

[Safai Karamchari Andolan v. Union of India, 2024 SCC OnLine Mad 1045]

In a petition filed for seeking eradication of manual scavenging and rehabilitation of all scavengers to more dignified job opportunity within the State of Tamil Nadu, the Division Bench of SV Gangapurwala*, C.J. and Sathya Narayana Prasad, J. issued some guidelines to the authorities. Read more

“Manual scavenging is a bane on society that perpetuates the violation of human rights and dignity of marginalized communities”

“Courts are the bulwark of the Constitution and the laws. While the courts acknowledged the right of a human corpse for decent burial/cremation and right to sleep as fundamental rights, it is disheartening to note that the practice of manual scavenging, which is a dehumanizing practice, still subsists.”

TN Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 2010 – unconstitutional

[Mohmood Hussain v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2024 SCC OnLine Mad 955]

The Division Bench of Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, CJ., and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy*, J., held that the Tamil Nadu Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Amendment Act, 2010 (‘Amendment Act, 2010 ‘) is void in relation to the Waqf Act and hence ultra vires the Constitution. Read more

CBDT Circular giving differential treatment to new trust having provisional approval u/s. 80G- unconstitutional

[Sri Nrisimha Priya Charitable Trust v. Central Board of Direct taxes, 2024 SCC OnLine Mad 729]

In a writ petition seeking to declare Clause 5(ii) of the Circular by Central Board of Direct Taxes (‘CBDT’), as violative of the Constitution of India, the Division Bench of Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, C.J., and D.Bharatha Chakravarthy.J.*, held that the clause 5(ii) of Circular No.6 of 2023 of CBDT was illegitimate, arbitrary, and ultra vires to the Constitution of India. Read more

Third gender identity card for publishing of name and gender change in Gazette

[Sivakumar TD v. State of Tamil Nadu, 2024 SCC OnLine Mad 574]

Sanjay V. Gangapurwala*, C.J., and Sathya Narayana Prasad, J. said that only for publication of the change of name or gender, the identity card issued by the Social Welfare Department may not be necessary and shall not be insisted upon. However, to prove identity, the Government can ask for other authentic documents such as the Aadhar Card or other documents which are sufficient for the proof of identity. Read more

Constitutionality of Section 204 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code

[CA V. Venkata Sivakumar v. IBBI, 2024 SCC OnLine Mad 156]

Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, CJ. and D. Bharatha Chakravarth*, J. upheld the constitutional validity of the Regulation 23A of the IBBI (Model Byelaws and Governing Board of Insolvency Professional Agencies) Regulations, 2016. Further, it held that Section 204 of IBC is only an enabling provision and therefore, there is no constitutional infirmity in any of the provisions under Section 204 (a) (b) (c) (d) and (e) of IBC. Read more

TN Online Gaming Act applies only to games of chance and not games of skill

[All India Gaming Federation v. The State of Tamil Nadu, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 6973]

Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, CJ and P.D. Audikesavalu J held the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Online Gambling and Regulation of Online Games Act, 2022 can only apply to games of chance and not games of skill. Hence, the Act in its entirety, need not be held to be ultra vires. The Court also noted that the State is competent to legislate to the extent of prohibiting online gambling, i.e., games of chance. At the same time, it has got the authority to regulate online games of skill. Read more

“No person or a Company can claim a fundamental right to organize a game which is a “game of chance” or organize a service for betting on games of chance. Such trades or businesses are in the nature of gambling services and qualify as res extra commercium.”

No “Ex-Servicemen” benefits for liquor

[BSF-Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association of Tamil Nadu v. District Collector, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 6263]

In a petition sought by the BSF -Ex-Servicemen Welfare Association of Tamil Nadu (petitioner association), for treating them as ‘Ex-Servicemen’ for the benefits of purchase and consumption of liquor in the State of Tamil Nadu, the division bench of Sanjay V. Gangapurwala and P.D. Audikesavalu, JJ. held that it does not appear to be any infirmity in the impugned action of the State in declining to treat the members of petitioner association, who are retired personnel of the Border Security Force (‘BSF’), as Ex-Servicemen for the purpose of extending the benefit of exemption and concession granted in consumption of liquor in the State of Tamil Nadu. Read more

Madras HC sets aside appointment of Transport Commissioner as Appellate Authority under Petroleum Rules, 2002

[VBR Menon v. Additional Chief Secretary to Government, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 7893]

Petition filed to declare that the Transport Commissioner has no statutory jurisdiction to hear and decide the statutory appeals filed under Rule 154(2) of the Petroleum Rules, 2002 (‘Rules 2002’), Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, CJ. and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy, J. while setting aside the Government order appointing Transport Commissioner as the Appellate Authority, directed the State to notify the Appellate Authority in tune with the Rules of 2002 expeditiously within twelve weeks. Read More

Madras HC dismisses plea praying for dissolving National Commission for Scheduled Caste

[Madurai Mavatta Devendra Kula Velalar v. The Secretary, 2024 SCC OnLine Mad 161]

In a petition filed for directing the Secretary of the President of India to dissolve the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (‘NCSC’), Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, C.J. and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy, J. while dismissing the petition, said that if a person is aggrieved by any of the actions of the Commission, then, that action may be challenged. However, a blanket prayer for dissolving the Commission would not be in the interest of the members of the Scheduled Caste community. Read more

Reservation is not required to be provided while appointing Law Officers by Government

[Thol. Thirumaavalavan v. Principal Secretary, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 7756]

Sanjay V. Gangapurwala*, CJ. and D. Bharatha Chakravarthy, J. held that the reservation — vertical and/or horizontal is not required to be provided while appointing the Law Officers by the government. Read more

“It is the obligation and the duty of the government to protect the public interest to its optimum extent and in the best possible manner. This duty mandates the government to engage the most proficient, competent and capable persons to represent it, inter alia, the public interest. “

Explained | Madras HC verdict on PG medical admissions concerning grant of incentive marks to in-service candidates in open category

[Dr. Gurubaran v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 5399]

Regulation 9(4) of the Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 (‘Regulations, 2000’) was sought to be declares as ultra vires the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 and the Constitution of India insofar as it permits State Governments to provide incentives to in-service candidates participating in the Open Category of Post Graduate Medical Admission Counselling, the Division Bench of Sanjay V. Gangapurwala, C.J. and P.D. Audikesavalu, J. has held that the policy of providing incentive marks to the in-service candidates and adding the incentive marks for competing with the open category candidates is not barred by any statute, Rules or Regulations. Thus, the Regulation 9(4) of the Post Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 2000 and Government Order dated 07-11-2020 do not suffer from arbitrariness. Read more

“Arbitrariness certainly has no role in the society governed by rule of law. Arbitrariness is antithesis to the rule of law, justice, equity and fair-play and arbitrary action cannot be sustained.”

Other Notable Judgments

[Vijay v. Godavari Garments Ltd., 2010 SCC OnLine Bom 940]

Justice B.R. Gavai and S.V. Gangapurwala* laid down that a person shall not be removed from his position on grounds of unreasonableness and without affording due opportunity. Rule 8 sub-clause 20 of the Maharashtra Civil Services (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1979, mandates enquiry authority to question delinquent on circumstances appearing against him in evidence so that delinquent would get opportunity to explain such circumstances. Further, the Wednesbury Principle of unreasonableness was substituted by Doctrine of Proportionality, hence the punishment of removal from service was found too disproportionate and did not satisfy the test of proportionality.

[Anubha Srivastava Sahai v. National Testing Agency, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 1042]

In a Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’) seeking relaxation in Joint Entrance Examination (‘JEE Main’) 2023 eligibility criteria of class 12 qualifying marks being 65% for SC/ST and 75% for others, the Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala, ACJ and Sandeep V. Marne, J. refused to interfere with the policy decision of the government regarding methodology of conduct of JEE Main 2023 and the admission process. Read More

Did You Know: Did You Know: Justice S.V. Gangapurwala has an avid interest in Lawn Tennis and was a National Level player of the game. Moreover, Justice Gangapurwala represented his University six times and captained it twice in All India University Tournament.10

[Macleods Pharmaceuticals Ltd. v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 408]

In a petition filed by Macleods Pharmaceuticals Limited, challenging the order passed by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (‘IPAB’) directing deletion of registered trademark ‘OFLOMAC’ registered by Sun Pharmaceuticals for medicinal and pharmaceutical preparations falling in class-5 under the provisions of Section 57 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999, a division bench of S.V. Gangapurwala, ACJ., and Madhav J Jamdar, J., held that there is no patent error in the impugned decision and is in the interest of the general public as the mark concerns medicinal / pharmaceutical product. It is because confusion in the case of a non-medicinal or a non-pharmaceutical product may only cause economic loss to the person, but on the other hand, confusion in terms of medicinal or pharmaceutical products may have a disastrous effect on health. Read More

[All India Service Engineers Assn. v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 596]

The petitions were filed by All India Service Engineers Association, Aviation Industry Employees Guild, and Air Corporation Employees Union (‘Petitioner Unions) representing employees working in Air India Limited (AIL), Air India Engineering Services Limited, and Air India Airport Services Ltd (Respondent Companies) challenging the order dated 12-10-2022 wherein the Central Government declined to make a reference to Central Government Industrial Tribunal (CGIT) under section 10 of Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, inter alia holding that housing is not a term of employment and that therefore the demand cannot be considered as an industrial dispute. A Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala, ACJ., and Sandeep V Marne, J., did not interfere with the impugned order as the grievance regarding the alleged right to occupy the premises will be dependent on the terms and conditions of leave and license agreements and thus, open to be decided in appropriate proceedings. Read More

[Axis Trustee Services Ltd. v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 180]

In a petition filed challenging the communication dated 14-03-2020 under which the Administrator of the Yes Bank Ltd., informed the (Bombay Stock Exchange) BSE Limited and National Stock Exchange, of the decision to write off the Additional Tier 1 Debenture bonds, a division bench of S.V Gangapurwala* ACJ. and S M Modak, JJ., set aside the decision taken by the administrator appointed by the Reserve Bank of India, to write off Additional Tier 1 (AT-1) bonds because as per Clause 57 of the Information Memorandum along with the Final Reconstruction Scheme, the administrator could not have exercised his powers to write down bonds after reconstitution of the bank. Read More

[Naredco West Foundation v. Union of India, 2023 SCC OnLine Bom 239]

In a petition filed by the Maharashtra chapter of the National Real Estate Development Council (NAREDCO) being aggrieved by the inaction of Respondent 2-State Environment Impact Assessment Authority (SEIAA) in repeatedly deferring the proposals of members of Petitioner 1-Association for environmental clearance on the ground of receipt of the email dated 23-09-2022 from Registrar of National Green Tribunal (‘the NGT’) inviting the attention of SEIAA to the judgment and order dated 13-09-2022 passed by the NGT in Anil Tharthare v. State of Maharashtra (‘NGT Order’)11, a division bench of S.V Gangapurwala ACJ. and Sandeep V Marne, J., directed that the judgment and order dated 13-09-2022 by National Green Tribunal shall not be an impediment for SIEAA to decide various proposals submitted by members of Association (Petitioner 1) for grant of environmental clearances on its own merits. Read More

Did You Know: Justice S.V. Gangapurwala has been a State level Basketball player.12

[Hemant Gamanlal Mehta v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 4236]

In a petition filed by the son challenging the order passed by the Sub Divisional Officer, Eastern Suburbs, Mumbai Suburban District, Senior Citizens Welfare Tribunal directing them to pay Rs. 25,000/- monthly maintenance allowance to respondent 3-mother from August 2022 and vacate and hand over the possession of the said flat to Mother, a Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and R.N. Laddha, JJ., upheld the eviction order and modified the order regarding the maintenance amount. The modified order mentioned the maintenance to be paid at Rs. 10,000/- per month. Read More

[Swapnil Prakash Parab v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 2338]

In a case filed by Swapnil Prakash Parab (‘petitioner’) challenging rejection to the representation made before Bhabha Atomic Research Centre/BARC on the orders of the Supreme Court. The case relates to non-disclosure of pendency of criminal case in the candidate declaration form, a Division Bench of R N Laddha and S V Gangapurwala, JJ., upheld the rejection by respondent 2 in view of the sensitive nature of work conducted in BARC, a candidate interested in joining such a sensitive institution is expected to have a flawless character and integrity without blemishes. An individual with criminal antecedents will not fit in this category and hiding the same, questions his honesty and integrity that are the inherent requirements in public employment. Read More

[Pratap Prakash Jadhav v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 2232]

In a case filed by a student (‘petitioner’) seeking directions to State (‘respondent’) to conduct the Maharashtra Public Service Commission examination in English as well as Marathi language, a Division bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and R.N. Laddha, JJ. directed the respondents to ensure that the next examination to be held for Public Prosecutors must be conducted in English as well as Marathi language in line with the implementation of the policy of State Government of promoting the language of State i.e. Marathi. Read More

[Radhika J. Bhalerao v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 856]

The Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and Vinay Joshi, JJ., expressed that only because 83% of the property for the project is acquired, it would be egregious not to apply the provision of the statute for determination of compensation. Read More

[Ashruba Namdeo Kharmate v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 840]

Stating that in the democratic setup, the will of the majority is the rule, the Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and Shrikant D. Kulkarni, JJ., held that if the directly elected Sarpanch fails to call the meetings of the Panchayat or acts in a manner rendering the functioning of the Panchayat at a standstill, the member of the Panchayat would certainly get a right to move a motion of no confidence. Read More

[Balasaheb v. Union of India 2010 SCC OnLine Bom 727]

The Division Bench of P.V Hardas and S.V. Gangapurwala JJ., expounded the ratio that Courts should take into consideration the principle of equitable estoppel in order to supplement the ends of Justice in addition to the rigid rules of law, Ordinance and other Statues and held that Maharashtra Animals and Fisheries Science University would not have any authority to refrain the petitioners from appearing for final viva-voce examination when allowed to appear for the examination after 10 years and allowed to complete his internship.

[Bajaj Auto Ltd. v. Union of India, 2015 SCC OnLine Bom 8835]

In an appeal filed under Section 35-G of the Central Excise Act, 1944, against Order, whereby the Tribunal set aside the demand of service tax and penalty, S.V. Gangapurwala held that sub-Section 2 of Section 35L of the Act lays down that for the determination of any question having a relation to the rate of duty shall include the determination of taxability or exercisability of goods for the purpose of assessment. Furthermore, it was said that it would be clear that the issue would come within the scope of the terminology ‘rate of the duty’ for the purpose of assessment, therefore, appeal under Section 35G would not be maintainable.

[Krishna v. State of Maharashtra, 2018 SCC OnLine Bom 3036]

The Division Bench of S.V. Gangapurwala and S.M.Gavhane, JJ., held that so long as the proceedings under Section 88 of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960 were pending and had not concluded, the Registrar could have exercised the powers to withdraw the powers given to the authorised Officer but after the authorised Officer had concluded the proceedings under Section 88 and passed an order exonerating the petitioners, the Registrar thereafter is denuded of his power and could not have exercised said power again.

[Priya Kedar Gokhale v. State of Maharashtra, 2022 SCC OnLine Bom 11645]

The Division Bench of S.V Gangapurwala and Madhav J. Jamdar JJ., read down the rule of Maharashtra Unaided Private Professional Educational Institutions Rules, 2015 to provide relaxation or exemption for those candidates who are born in Maharashtra and whose parents are domicile of Maharashtra but due to circumstances such as the parents are in Service of the Government and Serving the Nation in Defence Force and due to Service conditions is deployed in various parts of the country could not complete their HSC or SCC from State of Maharashtra, the respondents shall consider such cases for admission through Maharashtra State quota.

1. Welcome Address to the Hon’ble Chief Justice Thiru. Sanjay Vijaykumar Gangapurwala.

2. CDJ Law Journal, Justice SV Gangapurwala.

3. Madras High Court to get Chief Justice after eight months — The Hindu.

4. CDJ Law Journal, Justice SV Gangapurwala.

5. Justice S V Gangapurwala appointed as Acting Chief Justice of Bombay High Court | Mumbai News, The Indian Express.

6. Supreme Court Collegium Recommendation.

7. Justice Sanjay Vijaykumar Gangapurwala appointed as Chief Justice of Madras High Court — India Today.

8. Madras High Court (tn.gov.in)

9. Madras High Court to get Chief Justice after eight months — The Hindu.

10. CDJ Law Journal, Justice SV Gangapurwala.

11. Appeal No. 22 of 2016.

12. Madras High Court (tn.gov.in)

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