Monday, January 30, 2023

Written submissions are no substitute for oral submissions: Bombay High Court

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The Bombay High Court has held that mere filing of written submissions is not an alternative and is not always an alternative to oral submissions.

A single judge bench comprising of Justice C. V. Bhadang said while disposing off a plea where the petitioner a society registered under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, invoked under article 227 of the Constitution of India to challenge an order passed by the Minister for Cooperation, Marketing and Textiles by which the registration of the petitioner was cancelled in the year 2010.

Brief facts pertaining to the case are as follows: in August 2004, one of the residents of Jeevan Niwas Co-operative Housing Society Ltd filed an application before the Divisional Joint Registrar challenging the issuance of certificate of registration to the petitioner. On dismissal of said application, the complainant filed a revision before the Hon’ble Minister who closed the case for orders after which the complainant sought re-hearing of the case in which the Minister subsequently allowed the revision thereby, cancelling the registration of the petitioner.

The case of the petitioner is that they were not served with any notice prior to passing of the impugned order which is in breach of the principles of natural justice. The Counsel for the State pleaded that since the petitioners had already filed their written submissions so the question of violation of natural justice does not arise.

Speaking for the bench Justice C. V. Bhadang observed that once it is found that the Minister had not considered written submissions on the erroneous assumption that there are no written submissions filed, even the filing of the written submissions in this case cannot be said to be sufficient compliance of the principles of natural justice. Thus, the High Court remanded the matter to the Hon’ble Minister for deciding it afresh on its own merits and in accordance with law.

India Legal Bureau

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