Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: P.S. Dinesh Kumar J dismissed the petition being devoid of merits.

The facts of the case are such that the petitioner, Devas Employees’ Mauritius Pvt. Ltd., a Company incorporated under the laws of Republic of Mauritius filed the instant  petition with prayers to declare Section 272(1)(e) of Companies Act, 2013 (‘the Act’ for short) as ultra vires Constitution of India; and to declare that the second proviso to Section 272(3) of the Act, must be read to be applicable to the petitions presented by persons falling under Section 272(1)(e) of the Act; and to issue a writ of certiorari quashing sanction order dated January 18, 2021 and consequently to quash all proceedings before NCLT.

Counsel for the petitioners Mr. Rajiv Nayyar and Mr. C.K. Nanda Kumar submitted that both Registrar of Companies and a ‘person authorized by the Central Government’ stand on the same footing. In the case of Registrar, before according sanction, Central Government is required to give an opportunity to the Company and the same is missing in the case of a ‘person authorized by Central Government.

Counsel for respondents Mr. Venkatraman, Mr. Saji P John, Mr. M.B Naragund and M.N. Kumar  that there is a classic distinction between the Registrar of Companies and a person authorized by the Central Government because Registrar is a regulator and stands on a different footing.

The Court observed that the Registrar falls in a different category as the powers and duties of the Registrar of Companies enumerated in Sections 77, 77(2), 78, 81, 83, 93, 137, 157, 206, 208, 209 and 248 of the Companies Act.

The Court relied on judgment K.B. Nagur v. UOI, (2012)4 SCC 483 wherein it was observed

“20. It is also a settled and deeply-rooted canon of constitutional jurisprudence, that in the process of constitutional adjudication, the courts ought not to pass decisions on questions of constitutionality unless such adjudication is unavoidable. In this sense, the courts have followed a policy of strict necessity in disposing of a constitutional issue. In dealing with the issues of constitutionality, the courts are slow to embark upon an unnecessary, wide or general enquiry and should confine their decision as far as may be reasonably practicable, within the narrow limits required on the facts of a case.”

The Court further relied on judgment Government of Andhra Pradesh v. P. Laxmi Devi, (2008) 4 SCC 720 wherein it was observed

“46. ………….. But before declaring the statute to be unconstitutional, the court must be absolutely sure that there can be no manner of doubt that it violates a provision of the Constitution. If two views are possible, one making the statute constitutional and the other making it unconstitutional, the former view must always be preferred. Also, the court must make every effort to uphold the constitutional validity of a statute, even if that requires giving a strained construction or narrowing down its scope vide Rt. Rev. Msgr. Mark Netto v. State of Kerala [(1979) 1 SCC 23 : AIR 1979 SC 83] SCC para 6 : AIR para 6. Also, it is none of the concern of the court whether the legislation I its opinion is wise or unwise.”

The Court observed that It is settled that when a provision of law is challenged, Courts are required to exercise restraint and be cautious in striking down a provision. It was further observed that one of the most profound tenets of Constitutionalism is presumption of Constitutionality assigned to each legislation enacted. Indubitably, Parliament has competence.

The Court held “The sanction accorded by the Central Government does not meet petitioner with any Civil consequence. Devas has not challenged the sanction order. Petitioner has failed to demonstrate infringement of any rights enshrined in Part-III of Constitution of India.”

The Court also held “Registrar and ‘a person authorized by the Central Government’ fall into different categories, it does not warrant reading down Section 272(3) of the Companies Act.”

In view of the above, petition was dismissed.

[Devas Employees Mauritius Private Limited v. Union of India, Writ Petition No.6191 OF 2021, decided on 28-04-2021]

Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

Due to the alarming upsurge in the Covid-19 cases in the NCT of Delhi, all Benches of Delhi High Court shall, with effect from 19-04-2021, take up extremely urgent matters filed in the year 2021 only.

It has been further ordered that the other pending routine/non-urgent matters and the matters filed/listed before this Court between 22-3-2020 and 31-12-2020 shall not be taken up by this Court and such matters shall be adjourned “en bloc” as per the dates already notified. In case of any extreme urgency, the request in the pending matters may be made on the already notified designated link.


In view of the alarming rise in the Covid-19 cases in the National Capital Territory of Delhi, all the Courts of Registrar and Joint Registrar (Judicial) shall take up only urgent cases through videoconferencing mode and all other matters be adjourned en bloc and information in this regard be uploaded on the website of this Court.


All the Judicial Officers of the District Courts in Delhi shall take up only urgent cases of their respective Courts, through videoconferencing mode. It is further ordered that all other matters listed before Delhi District Courts be adjourned en bloc by respective courts and information in this regard be uploaded on the website(s) of Delhi District Courts.


Delhi High Court

[Notifications dt. 19-04-2021]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: The Division Bench of Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Dr Yogendra Kumar Srivastava, JJ., a dispute relating to the election of the Matsya Jivi Sahakari Limited, a co-operative society, cannot be called in question under writ jurisdiction of the High Court in light of the U.P. Co-operative Societies Rules, 1968 and the U.P. Co-operative Societies Act, 1965.

The instant petition was filed to seek a direction to decide the petitioner’s claim with regard to election proceedings of a co-operative society namely Matsya Jivi Sahkari Limited.

Standing Counsel appearing for the State respondents drew the attention of this Court to the provisions under Section 70 of the Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Societies Act, 1965 and the proviso to sub-section (1) thereof and also to Rule 444-C (2) of the Uttar Pradesh Co-operative Societies Rules, 1968, to contend that once an election of a co-operative society has been held, the remedy available to the aggrieved party is by seeking a reference of the dispute to the Registrar.

Bench noted that the manner of settlement of disputes is provided under Chapter IX of the Act, 1965.

Further, Section 70 is in respect of disputes which may be referred to arbitration and in terms thereof, the disputes specified under sub-section (1) are to be referred to the Registrar for action in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules and no Court shall have jurisdiction to entertain any suit or other proceedings in respect of any such dispute.

In terms of Section 70 (1), a dispute relating to an election under the provisions of the Act or the rules made thereunder, shall not be referred to the Registrar until after the declaration of the result of such election.

Adding to the above, Court also explained that Sub-rule (1) of Rule 444-C provides that the election in a co-operative society shall not be called in question either by arbitration or otherwise except on the grounds specified under clause (a) and clause (b) under sub-rule (1).

In terms of sub-rule (2) a dispute relating to an election shall be referred by the aggrieved party within forty-five days of the declaration of the result.

In the instant case, elections of the co-operative society in question were already held and the results thereof were also declared.

In view of the aforesaid facts and situation, any complaint, grievance or dispute which is being sought to be raised with regard to the elections, is to be referred to the Registrar on an appropriate application by the aggrieved party.

High Court in light of the above discussion of provisions held that:

“Any grievance, complaint or dispute relating to the election proceedings of a co-operative society can be called in question on the grounds specified under sub-rule (1) of Rule 444-C by applying for a reference by making an appropriate application under Section 70 of the Act, 1965.”

Since the whole mechanism with regard to the settlement of disputes in regard to a co-operative society election has been provided, Court is not inclined to exercise extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India.

Hence, the petition was dismissed. [Matsya Jivi Sahkari v. State of U.P., 2020 SCC OnLine All 1505, decided on 16-12-2020]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Bombay High Court: A Division Bench of Dipankar Datta, CJ and G.S. Kulkarni, J., directs railways to allow Advocates to travel by local trains for physical hearings on an “experimental basis”.

Possibility as to whether lawyers who are appearing in the High Court before the Benches which are taking physical hearing, permission to travel by local trains to be discussed.

Advocate General, as well as Additional Solicitor General, had fairly consented to consider the said request on an experimental basis.

Advocate General after taking instructions has placed on record a brief note which would set out the arrangements that can be made for lawyers who are attending the physical hearing before the High Court.

Further, Additional Solicitor General has also taken instructions from the railways and would state that in principle, the railways are also agreeable for this arrangement to be set into motion as suggested on behalf of the State.

Bench stated that in view of the present situation Court can only consider the request in regard to the advocates and no one else.

Accordingly, the Court accepts the arrangement as suggested on behalf of the State and as agreed on behalf of the railways which would be in effect from 18-09-2020.

In view of the above, Court passed the following order:

  • Advocate concerned intends to physically appear before the Benches of this Court at its principal seat at Mumbai shall apply to the designated Registrar of the High Court seeking a day’s pass relating to the particular date only on which his/her matter is listed for hearing before one of the four Benches of this High Court.
  • The designated Registrar only after confirming the correctness of the claim so made in the application in terms of the present arrangement via email will issue a certification of the requirement for a particular day to the advocate concerned.
  • Upon receipt of such certification from the designated Registrar, the advocate concerned will approach the railway authorities to obtain appropriate pass/document for travel or ticket permitting him/her to avail the local train services, for the particular day for which travel permission is required.
  • Railway authorities after verifying the pass so issued will issue appropriate travel documents/tickets etc., as the case may be, permitting travel by local train services to the advocate for the particular day.

The above-stated arrangement will be available to the advocate only who satisfies all the above conditions.

Bench states that in case the certification issued by the Registrar is misused, it would be open for the Bar Council of Maharashtra and Goa to take appropriate actions.

All the proceedings adjourned to 06-08-2020. [Chirag Chanani v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 929, decided on 15-09-2020]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: Krishna S. Dixit, J. allowed the writ petition in part by quashing the previous order by the Joint Registrar and reassigning the matter to another Registrar.

In the present case, the petitioner who was the president of DCC Bank Shivamogga was disqualified from his presidentship by the Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies. Jayakumar Patil, counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, vehemently opposed this disqualification and submitted that the Joint Registrar took his decision based on a hasty inquiry which trigger the presumption of some ulterior motive. He further submitted that the petitioner was a popular president which resulted in his re-election ten times before his disqualification. Therefore, the petitioner expressed no faith in the Joint Registrar.

Advocate General, Prabhulinga Navadgi, appearing on behalf of the respondents contended that although the Joint Registrar could have refrained from deciding the matter, there cannot be any aspersions cast on him for his decision. Therefore, he suggested that taking into consideration the controversy surrounding the decision, a fresh proceeding should be constituted and be heard by any one of the four Joint Registrars registered in the memo.

The Court held that the interplay between justice and fairness needed the said matter to be put under inquiry again. Hence, the Court quashed the previous order of the Joint Registrar and placed the matter to be heard by the Joint Registrar, Chitradurg.[R.M. Manjunath Gowda v. State of Karnataka, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 1283, decided on 14-08-2020]