Decided on October 01,2020

Kashmir Chamber Of Commerce Appellant
Zubair Mahajan Respondents


Ali Mohammad Magrey,J. - (1.)This appeal has been preferred against the order dated 02.09.2020 passed by the learned 4th Additional District Judge, Srinagar, in an application for grant of interim relief filed by the plaintiffs alongside the civil suit titled Zubair Mahajan & ors. v. Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industry and ors., bearing File No. 90/Misc., whereby the trial court has allowed the prayers for interim relief made by the plaintiffs. The operative portion of the order reads as under:
"66. Thus considering all pros and cons of the case, this court finds that the application filed by the plaintiffs for temporary injunction deserves to be allowed. Thus till the disposal of the suit, the operation of decisions taken by the defendant no. 2 to 7 / non-applicant no. 2 to 7 in the meeting held on 19.09.2019 whereby term of the defendant no. 2 to 7 was extended is kept in abeyance and also the defendants no. 2 to 7 are further restrained in using/operating the bank accounts having no. SB0005040100009440 and SB-0005040100041830 in the J and K Bank Branch Residency Road Srinagar either themselves or through their agents / employees in any manner till the final disposal of the suit. However only for purpose of the payment of salary of the staff / employees of the defendant no. 1, payment for purposes of electricity bills / telephone bills and rental charges, if obliged to be paid by the defendant no. 1, the defendant no. 7 is authorized to operate only one of the aforementioned bank accounts of the defendant no. 1 under his name and signature with due maintenance of each and every withdrawal to be so made by him and the monthly record of the same shall be furnished by him in this case before this court till any further / fresh order / direction to the contrary is passed by this court during the pendency of this suit. A copy of this order shall be provided by the defendant no.7 to the concerned bank for the compliance on their part. Nothing observed herein shall be taken as impacting the adjudication of the suit on merits but was meant to be only for the purpose of disposal of the application at hand."

(2.)Briefly put, the respondents herein, claiming to be active members of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce & Industries (KCC &I), a non-government public company, incorporated under the Indian Companies Act, registered with the Registrar of Companies, Srinagar, under Registration no.000041 dated 27.04.1937 with CIN no.U91110JK1937NPL00041, having its registered office at Residency Road, Srinagar, Kashmir, filed a suit for declaration and permanent mandatory injunction before the trial court against the appellants herein with the following prayers:
"31. It is, therefore, prayed in the above mentioned facts and circumstances that this Hon'ble court may be pleased to pass: A. A Decree in the nature of declaration in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants, declaring the decision dated 19.09.2019 taken by defendants 2 to 7 in the emergency meeting held in the office of defendant no.1 granting extension / continuation of the term against the posts of office bearers as illegal, null and void and against the provisions of the Constitution of the defendant no.1 and consequently declaring all the decisions taken by the defendants with effect from expiry of one year term on 29.09.2019 as illegal and non-est in the eyes of law.

B. A decree in the nature of permanent, prohibitory injunction in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants, restraining the defendant nos. 2 to 7 from taking any decision in respect of defendant no.1, claiming, projecting, acting, working and further continuing and holding the posts of office of KCC &I in the capacity of President, Sr. Vice President, Jr. Vice President, Secretary General, Joint Secretary General and Treasurer. Further restraining the defendants nos. 2 to 7 from dealing in any manner whatsoever with moveable and immoveable properties/assets including bank accounts and allied security either personally or through agents in any manner whatsoever.

C. A decree in the nature of mandatory injunction in favour of the plaintiffs and against the defendants, directing appointment of Election Committee for holding fresh elections of the office bearers of KCC &I in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of KCC &I.

D. A decree order or direction be issued against the defendants and a committee consisting of past Presidents be constituted in order to run the day to day affairs of the defendant no.1 till the time new elected body takes over with a further direction to them to scrutinize all the actions, accounts and related activities undertaken by defendants 2 to 7 from the date they completed their term of one year till date.

E. Pass any such order as this Hon'ble court deems proper in the circumstances of the case against the defendants and in favour of the plaintiffs."

(3.)It is seen that in terms of Article 12 of the Articles of Association of the Company, the administration of its affairs is vested in a body, called Committee, comprising of President, Senior Vice President, Junior Vice President, Secretary General, Joint Secretary and Treasurer as its office bearers. Clause (iii) of Article 12 provides that the term of the Committee shall be for a period of one year and the election to elect the Committee and office bearers shall be held by or before 30th September each year. Appellants 2 to 7 herein were elected as such officer bearers pursuant to the elections held in September, 2018. In July, 2019, a notice for the conduct of election to the 21- Member Executive Committee and consequently the election of office bearers of the Chamber for the year 2019-20 was issued. However, on account of certain political developments in the State on 05.08.2019 and the fall out thereof, the election was not held. Instead, on 19.09.2019, it appears, the Senior Vice President and Secretary General, elected pursuant to the 2018 election, alongwith some 14 other persons, claimed to be Executive Members, held a meeting and passed resolutions, inter alia, deferring the 85th Annual General Meeting and extending the term of Executive Committee and office bearers elected in September 2018 for one year from the date of expiry of its term till ending September, 2020. The case of the respondents- plaintiffs in their plaint is that this is not permitted by the Articles of Association of the Chamber and that the above decisions and the steps taken by the office bearers thereafter are all illegal. Hence they filed the suit seeking the reliefs quoted hereinabove.

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