Permission denied for Petitioner to be joined as party to the proceedings before the Charity Commission: Bombay High Court

On Friday, the 22nd of July, in the year 2022, The Bombay High Court denied a Petitioner permission to lead oral evidence in support of his application under Section 73A of the Maharashtra Public Trust Act. This judgment was proclaimed in the case of Sanket Janardan Bhase vs. The Assistant Charity Commissioner No. VII Greater Mumbai Region, Mumbai & Ors.( Writ Petition No. 6001 Of 2022) and the case was decided by The Honourable Mr. Justice Abhay Ahuja.


In this Petition, the Petitioner is challenging the order dated 8th April 2022 passed by the the Assistant Charity Commissioner, Mumbai denying him permission to lead oral evidence in support of his application under Section 73A of the Maharashtra Public Trust Act, 1950.

It is the belief of the Petitioner that he is a person having interest as defined under Section 2 (10) of the MPT Act and because of this interest, he wants to utilise the power under section 73A, and believes he ought to be joined as party to the proceedings before the Charity Commissioner. The proceedings before the Charity Commissioner relate to change report no. 1803/2011, with respect to the trust, Kokan Gyanpeeth, filed by the Respondent, Mr. Zulkarin Dabia, who is the reporting trustee. The Petitioner submits that the Respondent Mr. Zulkarin Dabia in the year 2011 filed an application for change report no. 1803/2011 before the Respondent No.1 who is Charity Commissioner for addition of his name as trustee, but till date no decision has been taken on the said change report. He refers to two orders of the Charity Commissioner in support of his contention that no regular election has been held in the trust for more than 20 years and that the management of the trust is not being conducted in accordance with the terms of the constitution of the trust. The petitioner is aggrieved that no new members have been allowed to become members nor trustees. Petitioner contends that the trust has become non-functional and defunct since the year 1994 as despite the constitution of the trust requiring a minimum of seven trustees but there are only two trustees who are Shishir Dharkar and Anupama Dharkar. The two trustees have been illegally and wrongfully operating the Trust. He submits that despite the trust having become defunct since last 25 years, the two trustees have been taking financial and other decisions of the trust in an unlawful, illegal and arbitrary manner.

Petitioner says he is an old student of the college conducted by the trust and has been volunteering the cause of the trust and working hard for the same since the year 2015, i.e. for last more than 7 years. That after becoming aware of the sorry state of affairs, the Petitioner volunteered for the trust, but has not even been allowed to be admitted as member along with several other volunteers, who have worked for the trust and given time and years of life for its cause. Petitioner submits that the orders passed by the Charity Commissioner are clear proof of the gross violations committed by the two trustees in the operation and management of the trust.


Since no evidence or proper documents have been shared which show that the Petitioner has done any work for the Trust or for the institutions run by it, the court has to be of the view that Petitioner could not be considered to be a person having interest in the trust. The court find no issue with order established by The Assistant Charity Commissioner and agrees with the order denying the petitioner permission to join the proceedings.

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