Hot Off The PressNews

Bombay High Court: G.S. Patel, J., on 15-02-2020 noted a complaint filed by two Advocates – Umesh Vasant Mohite and Hetal Arvind Pandya wherein it was stated by the Advocates that,

An order has been passed by in the name of Justice G.S. Patel on 01-12-2019.

G.S. Patel Justice in the above regard states that,

“The entire document is a forgery and there is no such order. Several reasons for this One, the document purports to be an order in the High Court’s Ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiction ‘In Its Revenue and Property Division’. There is no such Division. It purports to be in a Commercial Succession Petition (L) No. 23520 of 2019. There is no such proceeding and there could be no such proceeding as a “Commercial Succession Petition”. There is no Testamentary Petition with a five-digit lodging number.”

“Entire formatting of the documents, including the fonts, line spacing, etc, is not in the manner in which I make my orders. There is no footer of the date and page number which is my invariable practice for the last several years.”

Further, he adds,

“Document purports to be made on 01-12-2019. That was a Sunday. No such order could have ever been made.”

“Since the offending document uses this very file nape ‘909- CARBPL1501-19-CuDOC’, it necessarily follows that though allegedly dated 1st December 2019, the offending document could have been generated or fabricated only after 23rd December 2019.”

It seems there are glaring indicators of this document being fabricated, forged and got up.

Purpose of this forgery is evident from paragraph 7 because it seeks to create rights in favour of the so-called petitioner.

He further observed that,

Satishchandra Goradia died just 15 days ago. This order was brought to the notice by the learned Advocates, Mr Umesh Vasant Mohite and Advocate Ms Hetal Arvind Pandya by Mr Parth Goradia, grand nephew (Satishchandra’s brother’s son’s son). Parth states that he obtained this document from his father, and that his father, in turn, obtained it from one Mr Ashok Vageriya.”

On enquiring with Chamber staff,  it was found that there is no Advocate Ashok Vageriya registered with an Advocate’s code in this Court’s System or records, nor is there a registered Clerk of any such person.

Justice Patel has asked the Registrar (Legal & Research) to take immediately:

  • Take appropriate proceedings including under Section 340(3)(a) and Section 195 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973
  • Write to Indian Bank and Bank of Baroda at their respective Head Offices mentioning the two term deposits.
  • Summon before himself Mr Ashok Vageriya and Mr Parth Goradia for an explanation as to this document.

Finally, Justice Patel highlighted that,

“…Such an order could never have been passed by me in any Succession Petition because testamentary matters were not even within my sitting assignment in December 2019.”

“There is no manner of doubt that the entire document is not only a forgery but a clumsy one.”

[Testamentary Complaint No. 1 of 2020, Order dated 15-02-2020]

Appointments & TransfersNews

The Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A Bobde, N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra and R.F. Nariman, JJ. resolves to recommend that Justice Ujjal Bhuyan, Judge, Gauhati High Court, be transferred, in the interest of better administration of justice, to Bombay High Court.


Collegium Resolution

[Notification dt. 28-08-2019]

Supreme Court of India

 

Appointments & TransfersNews

Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A. Bobde and N.V. Ramana, JJ., recommends the appointment of Justice A.S. Oka as Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court.

Mr Justice A.S. Oka is the senior-most Judge from Bombay High Court and is functioning in that High Court since his elevation. Having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium finds Mr Justice A.S. Oka suitable in all respects for being appointed as Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court. The Collegium resolves to recommend accordingly.

While making the above recommendation the Collegium is conscious of the fact that consequent upon the proposed appointment, there will be two Chief Justices from Bombay High Court which is the second largest High Court in the country with a sanctioned strength of 94 Judges.

[Dated: 08-04-2019]

Collegium Resolutions

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

President appoints the following 14 Additional Judges of the Bombay High Court as Permanent Judges:

  1. Sandeep Kashinath Shinde
  2. Rohit Baban Deo
  3. Bharati Harish Dangre
  4. Sarang Vijaykumar Kotwal
  5. Riyaz Iqbal Chagla
  6. Manish Pitale
  7. Sunil Kesharao Kotwal
  8. Arun Digambarrao Upadhye
  9. Mangesh Shivajirao Patil
  10. Arun Madhav Dhavale
  11. Prithviraj Keshavrao Chavan
  12. Murlidhar Ganpatrao Giratkar
  13. Viba Vasant Kankanwadi
  14. Sopan Mahadu Gavhane

[Notification dt. 05-04-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Appointments & TransfersNews

The Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S.A. Bobde, N.V. Ramana, Arun Mishra and R.F. Nariman JJ.  resolves to recommend that Mr Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, Chief Justice, Rajasthan High Court [PHC: Delhi], be transferred, in the interest of better administration of justice, to Bombay High Court.

[Dated: 28-03-2019]

Collegium Resolutions

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for appointment as Judges of Bombay High Court was made for 10 Advocates, namely:

1. Shri Avinash G. Gharote
2. Shri N.B. Suryawanshi
3. Shri Avinash S. Deshmukh
4. Ms. Manjari Dhanesh Shah
5. Shri J.R. Shah
6. Shri Madhav Jamdar
7. Shri Anil Kilor
8. Shri Abhay Kumar Ahuja
9. Shri Devidas Pangam
10. Shri Milind Narendra Jadhav

On the basis of interaction and having regard to all relevant factors, the Collegium is of the considered view that S/Shri (1) Avinash G. Gharote, (2) N.B. Suryawanshi, (3) Madhav Jamdar, (4) Anil Kilor, and (5) Milind Narendra Jadhav (mentioned at Sl. Nos. 1, 2, 6, 7 and 10 above) are suitable for being appointed as Judges of the Bombay High Court.

As regards S/Shri (1) Avinash S. Deshmukh, (2) Ms. Manjari Dhanesh Shah, (3) J.R. Shah, and (4) Devidas Pangam, (mentioned at
Sl. Nos. 3, 4, 5, and 9 above) having regard to all relevant factors and the material placed in the file, the Collegium is of the considered view that the proposal for their elevation deserves to be remitted to the Bombay High Court.

As regards Shri Abhay Kumar Ahuja (mentioned at Sl. No.8 above), consideration of the proposal for his elevation is deferred for being taken up on receipt of certain information from the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court. In view of the above, the Collegium resolves to recommend that S/Shri (1) Avinash G. Gharote, (2) N.B. Suryawanshi, (3) Madhav Jamdar, (4) Anil Kilor, and (5) Milind Narendra Jadhav, Advocates be appointed as Judges of the Bombay High Court. Their inter se seniority be fixed as per the existing practice.

Collegium Resolutions

Dated: 25-03-2019

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

Proposal for appointment of following 14 Additional Judges of the Bombay High Court, as Permanent Judges of that High Court:

1. Mr Justice Sandeep K. Shinde
2. Mr Justice Rohit Baban Deo
3. Mrs Justice Bharati H. Dangre
4. Mr Justice Sarang V. Kotwal
5. Mr Justice Riyaz I. Chagla
6. Mr Justice Manish Pitale
7. Mr Justice S.K. Kotwal
8. Mr Justice A.D. Upadhye
9. Mr Justice Mangesh S. Patil
10. Mr Justice A.M. Dhavale
11. Mr Justice P.K. Chavan
12. Mr Justice M.G. Giratkar
13. Mrs Justice V.V. Kankanwadi
14. Mr Justice S.M. Gavhane

The Committee constituted in terms of the Resolution dated 26th October, 2017 of the Supreme Court Collegium to assess the Judgments of the above-named recommendees, has submitted its report.

In view of the above, the Collegium comprising of Ranjan Gogoi, CJ and S. A Bobde and N.V. Ramana, JJ., resolved to recommend that Mr Justices (1) Sandeep K. Shinde, (2) Rohit Baban Deo, (3) Mrs. Bharati H. Dangre, (4) Sarang V. Kotwal, (5) Riyaz I. Chagla, (6) Manish Pitale, (7) S.K. Kotwal, (8) A.D. Upadhye, (9) Mangesh S. Patil, (10) A.M. Dhavale, (11) P.K. Chavan (12) M.G. Giratkar (13) Mrs. V.V. Kankanwadi and (14) S.M. Gavhane, Additional Judges be appointed as Permanent Judges of the Bombay High Court.

Collegium Resolutions

[Dated: 11-03-2019]

Supreme Court of India

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President, after consultation with the Chief Justice of India, has transferred Shri Justice Dama Seshadri Naidu (Judge of the Kerala High Court), as a Judge of the Bombay High Court and directed him to assume charge of his office in the Bombay High Court on or before 20-03-2019.

[Notification dt. 06-03-2019]

Ministry of Law and Justice

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Bench comprising of A.M. Sapre and Indu Malhotra, JJ., remanded the matter to Bombay High Court while stating that entire issue should necessarily be examined on the basis of facts and law.

In the present matter, the facts concerning the background of the case are that the appellant had filed a complaint against the respondents under the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act for violation of several provisions of the said Act in execution of one housing project and while allotting the flats purchased by the parties in the said housing project.

The issue in the present matter arose when the Metropolitan Magistrate had dismissed the complaint filed due to which the appellant had to approach the High Court by filing leave to appeal under Section 378(4)  CrPC, which was declined and further the appellant filed the present special leave to appeal in the Supreme Court.

Therefore, the main issue that arose was whether the High Court was justified in declining leave to file an appeal against the order of the Metropolitan Magistrate?

Hence, the Supreme Court, on the analysis and observance of the facts and submissions in the present case, concluded its decision by allowing the appeal dismissed by the High Court in order to question the legality and correctness of the order passed under Section 378(4) CrPC. The Apex Court in a very clear tone stated that the “High Court ought to have granted leave to the appellant to file criminal appeal and in consideration of the facts of the case and the High Court should have examined the entire issue on facts and law.”

High Court was requested to expedite the hearing of the appeal in lieu of the case being quite old. [Dahisar Saraswati Co-op. Housing Society Ltd. v. State of Maharashtra,2018 SCC OnLine SC 1926, decided on 12-10-2018]

Hot Off The PressNews

Supreme Court: Admitting the petition against the order giving relief to the directors of the companies struck off by the Registrar of Companies last year, Supreme Court stayed Bombay High Court’s order on the special leave petition filed by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

In accordance to the stated order of the Bombay High Court, the companies’ directors who had been disqualified by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) no longer stood to be disqualified as had been directed to the Registrar of Companies.

Further, if any other High Court had issued any such order as that of the Bombay High Court, then all of those similar orders would stand stayed in around 2000 cases.

It is pertinent to note that in September last year the Ministry of Corporate Affairs had disqualified more than 3 lakh directors of various companies that failed to file financial statements and annual returns for 3 consecutive years.

[Source: moneycontrol.com]

Appointments & TransfersNews

The President in exercise of the powers conferred by clause (1) of Article 217 of the Constitution of India, appointed  S/Shri Justices  (I) Prakash Deu Naik, (ii) Makarand Subhash Karnik, (iii) Smt. Swapna Sanjiv Joshi, (iv) Kishor Kalesh  Sonawane,  (v) Sangitrao  Shamrao  Patil and (vi) Kumari  Nutan D. Sardessai, Additional Judges of the Bombay High Court, to be Judges of the Bombay High Court with effect from the date they assume  charge of their offices.

Ministry   of Law  and  Justice

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Allowing petition filed by member of a political party challenging revocation of his arms license by the Police Commissioner, the Division Bench of Naresh H. Patil and Prakash D. Naik JJ. held that revocation of arms license for the security of public peace or for public safety under Sec. 17(3)(b) of the Arms Acts, 1959 requires more material than a mere registration of criminal case and cannot be exercised lightly in an arbitrary manner.

The counsel for the petition pleaded that there had been no incidence of misuse of the weapon and no criminal action against the petitioner had arisen in last ten years during the continuation of the license. The show-cause and the order for revocation erroneous and did not reflect subjective satisfaction. It was contended on behalf of the respondent authorities that the criminal records had been looked into when report was required for All India license to the petitioner and when the inquiry revealed a number of cases in the criminal record, the authorities issued a show-cause notice and subsequently revoked the license.

While passing the order, the Court examined  Sec. 13 and 17 of the Arms Act relating to grant and revocation of license and held that the Licensing authority can revoke a license under Sec 17(3)(b) on being subjectively satisfied that continuation of the license endangers public peace and security. However, in the present case, there had been no incidence of misuse of the weapon and the authorities lacked enough material to pass an order for revocation. The authority is required to record the circumstances under which the possession of arms license was contrary to provision of Section 17 of Arms Act, and mere registration of criminal case would not attract the provision. Therefore, the Court passed an order quashing the order of revocation by Commissioner of Police and the order passed in appeal by the Home Ministry of the State Government. The Court  also directed Commissioner of Police, Pune to consider whether any ground enumerated under Section 17(b) of the Arms Act, 1959 for cancelling the Arms licence granted to the petitioner still exists . In case no such circumstances exist, the Court directed to renew Petitioner’s arms license. [Ajay Jayawant Bhosale v. Commissioner of Police, Pune and State of Maharashtra 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 5019, decided on 15 July, 2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: While deciding an appeal against order of the Trial Court, imposing an injunction on feeding of birds resulting in nuisance, the single judge bench of R. M. Savant J., reiterated the principle that, a person cannot use his personal premises for causing nuisance to his neighbours and other residents and held that the order, did not call for any interference as it was based on well settled principle.

The plaintiffs and the defendants were the residents in an apartment of residential society in Mumbai. The defendants regularly fed birds from their balcony which resulted in nuisance on account of the filth created by the birds, affecting the plaintiffs along with other members of the society, and any attempt of resolving the issue amicably had failed. In the matter before the Trial Court, the defendants had questioned the jurisdiction of Court in deciding the matter under the Civil Procedure Code and the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1980 and had filed a writ petition for the same.

Having examined the photographs and correspondence put before the Court, it was held that the acts of the defendants formed a prima facie case of nuisance. The Court also observed that order of the trial court, for removable of the metal tray used for feeding the birds was incidental to the relief sought by the plaintiffs, Further, the delay in filing the suit had not created any right in favour of the defendants and there was nothing of record to question the conduct of the plaintiffs. It was held by the Court that the matter of jurisdiction would only be decided in the writ petition filed by the defendants. The order of the trial court, being based on well settled principles for granting temporary injunction, did not call for any interference, as the use of personal premises for causing nuisance cannot be permitted. Therefore, the appeal from the order was dismissed. [Jigeesha Thakore v. Dilip Sumanlal Shah, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 4785, decided on 12/07/2016a

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Making observations in the Writ Petition filed before the court, as to the conduct of accused and subsequent circumstances, which had fortified the facts of the First Information Report, the Division Bench of Naresh H. Patil and Prakash D. Naik JJ. declined the prayer for quashing of the FIR. The FIR in question was filed by Mehjaben Abbas Khan against Mohd. Faizan Amir Khan under Section 376 and 420 of the Penal Code, 1860. The petitioner who is the accused named in the FIR had sought to quash the FIR on grounds that the parties have amicably settled the dispute.

The facts of the case showed that the accused had induced the complainant to have physical relationship with a false promise of marriage while they lived together in a rented place in Mumbai. He had no intention of marrying her and had left for Uttar Pradesh, his native home, without her knowledge. Further, he even had refused to fulfill his promise of marriage to the complainant.

It was also noted that after the FIR was registered on 2.02.2016, the accused was not available for investigation and had been absconding. It was only after realizing that the FIR had been registered against him and the investigating machinery was looking for him, he came to Mumbai and purportedly solemnised the marriage on 29.04.2016. The Court even noted that the present petition had been filed just the following day i.e. on 30.04.2016 along with the affidavit by complainant giving consent for quashing the FIR.

The Court held that the approach of the accused had been suspicious and though the accused and complainant had solemnised the marriage, it is not inclined to quash the FIR. Upholding the decision of the Supreme Court in Gian Singh v. State of Punjab (2012) 10 SCC 303, the Court held that in respect of serious offences like murder, rape, dacoity etc. and other offences of moral turpitude, “the settlement between the offender and the victim can have no legal sanction at all.”. Therefore, having considered the factual aspects of the FIR and the law laid down by the Apex Court, the conduct of the accused and the subsequent events formed sufficient ground to decline the prayer made in the petition. Hence, the Court dismissed the petition with no order as to costs. [Mohammad Faizan Amir Khan v. State of Maharashtra, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 5020, Decided on: July 5, 2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court:  Providing major relief to the defendants in the case of infringement of registered trade mark and/or copyright as also passing-off, the Court held that there no similarity found upon the rival logos and also the rival logos are found to be absolutely different and/or distinct and/or dissimilar. Therefore, Plaintiff not held entitled to claim any relief on this ground.

 In the present case, the Plaintiff claimed injunctive reliefs on the basis of infringement of the Plaintiff’s registered trade marks, infringement of copyright and passing off, on the ground that the logo of the Defendant is deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s registered trade marks consisting of a distinctive logo.

The Plaintiffs who were represented by Dr. V.V. Tulzapurkar, Senior Advocate, contended that the Plaintiff ‘s logo is a well-known trade mark within the meaning of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 therefore, the Plaintiff is entitled to the reliefs of infringement not only in respect of goods falling in Classes in which the Plaintiff’s logo is registered, but also in respect of goods falling in other classes in respect of which the Defendant is using and/or is intending to use its impugned logo. On the other side, the Defendants who were represented by Mr. Rashmin Khandekar (Solomon & Roy) contended that for considering the question of infringement, it is necessary to consider whether the impugned logo of the Defendant is deceptively similar to the Plaintiff’s logo. The impugned logo of Defendant symbolizes water i.e. the industry in which the Defendant operates, the said being treatment of waste-water, and the same is completely different in comparison to the Plaintiff’s logo. The idea conveyed by the Defendant’s logo is the anti-thesis of the idea conveyed by the logo of the Plaintiff. In this case, even the idea conveyed by the rival logos is ex-facie entirely distinct and/or different. The Defendants further contended that Plaintiff is seeking a monopoly on a curve of virtually every shape and/or size and/or dimension and/or design and/or artistic work, which is clearly impermissible. The defendants while relying on Khoday Distilleries Ltd. vs. Scotch Whisky Association (2008) 10 SCC 723 said that it is trite law that to decide the question of deceptive similarity, the nature and kind of customer who is likely to buy, as also other surrounding circumstances, play an important factor.

After perusal of the arguments advanced by Plaintiff and Defendant, the Court in agreement with the Defendant’s submission said that such convoluted mode of comparison by the Plaintiff’s cannot be permitted. No average man with imperfect recollection is going to look at the ‘rotated’ mark of the Plaintiff and be led to believe that the inverted or reversed or mirror image of such ‘rotated’ logo is deceptively similar to the Defendant’s logo, so as to cause confusion. The Court further said that this is apparent from the naked eye itself that there is no question of any confusion and/or deception being caused on account of the use of the rival logos. In view thereof, the balance of convenience is in fact in favour of the Defendant and against the Plaintiff. [Reliance Industries Ltd v. Concord Enviro Systems Pvt. Ltd., 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 4557, decided on 30th June, 2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: The Court, consisting of V.M. Kanade and M.S. Sonak, JJ stayed the retrospective applicability of the Payment of Bonus (Amendment) Act, 2015, as provided by Section 1 sub-clause (2)  of the said Central Act, bearing in mind similar stays operative by the judgments of the Karnataka High Court (see post here), the Allahabad High Court (see post here) and Kerala High Court (see post here).  The Court decreed that no coercive steps would be taken to recover amounts due prior to 31st March 2016 from Petitioners Tech Mahindra, who were represented by Darius Khambatta, under instructions from Khaitan and Co. It must be noted that these amounts became formally due after change in Section 12 (calculation of  bonus with regard to certain employees), whereupon if salary or wage of employee exceeded Rs. 7000/- or the minimum wage for the scheduled employment, as fixed by the appropriate Government, the calculation is to be made as percentage of Rs. 7000/- or such minimum wage, whichever is higher.. The earlier threshold was set to Rs. 3500/-. [Tech Mahindra v. Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 4380, order dated 13-06-2015]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: In the present case, the Petitioner, an erstwhile teacher at KV Aurangabad Cantt. was subject to termination by the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sanghatan on charges of moral turpitude involving sexual misconduct with certain female students in the 4th Standard, against which he appealed to the Central Administrative Tribunal. The Writ Petition seeking to impugn the CAT’s decision dated 8th May 2013 was placed before a bench comprising of SS Shinde and VK Jadhav, JJ, who affirmed the termination order.

It was argued on the Petitioner’s behalf that principles of natural justice had been violated by not giving him opportunity to be heard at various stages of the enquiry instituted against him, that he had not been given access to the statements and complaints of the students, that the report was not fair etc. Article 81 B of the Education Code of Kendriya Vidyalaya was contended to be ultra vires to Article 14 of the Constitution on grounds of not tendering sufficient opportunity to the delinquent and of  providing arbitrary power to the Authority.

The Court refused to accept any of Petitioner’s contentions. Insofar as Article 81 B of the Education Code provides for an extension of Central Civil Services (Classification, Control and Appeal) Rules, 1965, it also empowers the Commissioner to terminate the services of an employee guilty of sexual misconduct, if, after a summary enquiry, his guilt is prima facie evident. This could be effected by three months’ pay in lieu of notice, for permanent employees, which was done in the instant case. The Court approvingly cited Avinash Nagra v. Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti (1997) 2 SCC 534, and noted that two safeguards are ensured under the rules devised, which are: the record of reasons for the decision to not proceed to a full enquiry under the rules and the mandate to post those reasons to the Chairman of KVS, i.e. Minister, Human Resources Development. The Court found that the facts showed that adequate opportunity had been given to the Petitioner to represent his side, and principles of natural justice had been followed.  [Gokul v Union of India, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 3549, decided on 7-06-2016]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: Hearing a writ petition, a bench comprising of B.R. Gavai and S.P. Joshi, JJ granted ad interim relief to the Petitioner seeking admission in post- graduate studies by clarifying that change in surname does not reflect change in caste. The Court found that the petitioner indeed possessed a ‘Validity Certificate’ showing his status as a member of the Scheduled Tribes, and the change of his name had been duly notified in the Government Gazette and thereby directed the respondents to consider the petitioner’s claim for admission from the reservation category. [Shantanu Hari Bhardwaj v. State of Maharashtra, 2016 SCC OnLine Bom 3863, decided on 23-05-16]