Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court: M.S. Sonak, J. while disposing of a petition filed by eatery owners whose licences have been cancelled, directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to accept petitioners’ application for renewal of license and thereafter dispose of such application on its own merits and in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible.

The challenge in the present petition was to the order dated 20-4-2019 by which the Additional Chief Judge (Appeal Court) had dismissed petitioners’ application seeking interim relief pending disposal of the Municipal Appeal in which the petitioners have challenged certain orders cancelling the license to operate the eating places. 

The High Court was of the view that no case for interference was established. The grant of an interim injunction would virtually amount to allowing the appeal filed by the petitioners. It is pertinent to note that the petitioners had prayed for an interim mandatory injunction to direct the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to renew their license which has already expired. Such orders, according to the Court, cannot normally be made at the interim stage and that too in the absence of a very strong prima facie case. It was held by the Court: “Since the license has already expired, there is no question of the petitioners claiming for any interim relief and on the basis of same continuing or commencing the business from the suit premises”.

Jamshed Master, Advocate for the petitioners submitted, however, that the Municipal Corporation was not even accepting petitioner’s application for renewal of license, much less considering them in accordance with the law. The High Court held the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai cannot simply refuse to accept the application and thereby avoid making a decision as to whether the petitioners were entitled to renewal or not. 

Accordingly, without disturbing the impugned order, the Court directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to accept petitioners’ application for renewal of license and thereafter dispose of such application on its own merits and in accordance with law as expeditiously as possible and in any case within a period of two months from the date of such application. [Vijay D. Shetty v. Municipal Corpn. of Greater Mumbai, WP (ST) No. 13549 of 2019, dated 03-05-2019]