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If the Court Had Been Informed of the Subsistence of the Injunction, The Court May Have Required the Parties To Have It Vacated Before Making a Positive Order: Madras High Court

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Facts of the case

The Petitioner had filed the Petition to review the Order dated 04.03.2021. In the Order passed, the elections of the office-bearers in the Thoothukudi Bar Association were directed upon noticing that there was no objection.

However, it was pointed out in C.R.P.(MD) No. 860 of 2017 by the review Petitioners that they obtained an Order on 19.04.2017 staying the election in the Thoothukudi Bar Association until further Orders.

Arguments before the Court

The Review Petitioners had submitted that C.R.P.(MD) No. 860 of 2017 was still pending and the Order staying the elections was still in operation.

On the Court’s suggestion, The Bar council submitted that the review petition would be allowed and the writ petition would be resurrected for it to be considered afresh. Also, in a recent writ petition, an Order had been passed on 17.04.2021 in W.P.(MD) No.4547 of 2021 for election in the Thoothukudi Bar Association should be conducted expeditiously. Thus, it was argued that in light of such Order, the Order impugned herein need not be reconsidered.

The Writ Petitioner contended that the objective of the petition was to perpetuate the illegal control of others over the assets and properties and affairs of the Thoothukudi Bar Association.

Court’s observation

The Court had observed that according to the Bar Council, upon exercise of ascertaining the names of genuine advocates completed, the Thoothukudi Bar Association must conduct its election. They also referred to the Order of Court where it was held that the situation which was prevailing in 2018 or there before no longer prevails. Thus, a fresh election to the Thoothukudi Bar Association was permitted.

The Court opined that the Petitioners had quite appropriately maintained that at the time that the impugned Order dated 04.03.2021 was passed, the fact that there was a subsisting injunction against the holding of election for the office-bearers of the Thoothukudi Bar Association should have been brought to the notice of the Court.

Court’s decision

The Court had held that whether unwittingly or otherwise, a material fact was suppressed from the Court. If the Court had been informed of the subsistence of the injunction, the Court may have required the parties to have it vacated before making a positive Order.

The review application was allowed and the Order dated 04.03.2021 was recalled. As a result W.P.(MD) No.4547 of 2021 stood revived and it would appear before the appropriate Bench in Madurai.

The Court also held that as submitted that given the Order passed on 17.04.2021, the election process had been continued and the process was expected to be completed by the next day. Thus, the steps taken under the Order dated April 17, 2021 need not be undone.

However, if it was ultimately found that the election in the Thoothukudi Bar Association could not have been held because of the subsisting injunction in C.R.P. (MD) No.860 of 2017, the steps taken might all be set aside.

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