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Mahesh Tekriwal & Another v/s Mohun Bagan Athletic Club & Others

    G. A. No. 1722 & 1766 of 2018 & C. S. No. 129 of 2018

    Decided On, 19 July 2018

    At, High Court of Judicature at Calcutta


    For the Plaintiffs: Bimal Kumar Chatterjee, Sr. Advocate, Aniruddha Roy, Subhojit Roy, Kaushik Chatterjee, Advocates. For the Defendants: Pratap Chatterjee, Jayanta Kumar Mitra, Shyamal Sarkar, Sabyasachi Chowdhury, Surajit Nath Mitra, Ratnanko Banerjee, Sr. Advocates, Mainak Bose, Debjeet Mukherjee, Ayan Chakraborty, Depanita Ganguly, Lal Ratan Mondal, Ganesh Manna, Pranit Bag, Saunak Bhattacharya, Tirthankar Das, Reetabrata Mitra, Biswabrata Basu Mallick, Reetabrata Mitra, Sushmita Chatterjee, Advocates.

Judgment Text

1. At the very outset I wish to record that, in spite of the bitter rivalry between the warring factions that resulted in the above two suits, the parties before this Court, have on a suggestion from the Bench, resiled and climbed down to arrive at an amicable settlement. The swallowing of the 'poison' by Lord Shiva (Neelkanth) by both parties has conjured the 'Amrit' that shall resurrect the iconic Mohun Bagan Athletic Club (hereinafter referred to as "the Club") and make it immortal. The parties before me are neither winners nor losers in the end game and the settlement arrived at

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between them leads to the victory of the Club, its members and the football lovers of the city.

2. I would go amiss if I do not put on paper the painstaking efforts taken by all the counsels appearing on behalf of the different parties to persuade and convince their respective clients to arrive at a consensus ad-idem.

3. Following the prelude, I order and record the following agreement arrived at by the parties to end the controversies relating to the Club by constituting a Special Committee for the purpose of holding elections of the Executive Committee of the Club.

4. Accordingly I appoint, (1) Justice Susanta Chatterjee, Retired Judge of the High Court, Calcutta (2) Justice Dilip Kumar Seth, Retired Judge of the High Court and (3) Justice Ashim Kumar Roy, Retired Judge of the High Court as members of the Special Committee, who will forthwith initiate the election process and complete the same as early as possible and preferably by 15th September, 2018.

5. The Special Committee shall form part of the Election Board for the purpose of holding the elections of the Executive Committee of the Members of the Club. Apart from the Special Committee Members, the Election Board shall consist of Mr. Anjan Kumar Mitra, Mrs. Sohini Mitra Chaubey, Mr. Srinjoy Bose and Mr. Biswabrata Basu Mallick. The Election Board shall hold the election of the Executive Committee Members of the Club in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Club.

6. The Election Board shall forthwith initiate the election process and complete the same as expeditiously as possible, preferably by September 15, 2018. The Special Committee appointed as a part of the Election Board, shall be free to apply the Rules and Regulations of the Club in the manner as may be decided by them and as they find it necessary for the purpose of holding the election. The decision of the Special Committee, in this regard, shall be final and neither of the parties or any Member of the Club shall be entitled to question the same.

7. The Special Committee shall also be entitled to appoint and engage temporarily as many office assistants or employees in addition to the existing club employees, as may be necessary for holding such election. The Special Committee shall also be entitled to use the club tent, club office and service of the existing employee, as and when necessary, in holding the election and all expenses to hold the election shall be borne out of the Club funds and shall be paid by the present Executive Committee, without any delay, as and when directed by the Special Committee.

8. The Special Committee shall be entitled to seek police assistance in the Club tent, office or in other places for the purpose of holding such election and for maintaining law and order in the Club. Upon such request being made, the Commissioner of Police, Kolkata and/or any other Police Authority is directed to provide all necessary assistance to the Special Committee.

9. Upon formal declaration of the result of the election, the Election Board shall stand discharged. All relevant papers, such as ballot papers containing signatures of the voters while being issued with the ballot and unused ballots, final published voters' list shall be kept with the Special Committee in sealed covers and shall be handed over to the General Secretary of the Club, as and when elected.

10. The elected members of the Club shall call for a meeting and shall select the office bearers of the Club in terms of the Rules of the Club.

11. It is made clear that the present Executive Committee (excluding the members who have resigned/ allegedly resigned) shall continue to look after the day to day affairs of the Club. The Executive Committee shall be at liberty to spend money in relation to the routine day to day expenses of the Club. However, with regard to major expenses the same shall be done by the Executive Committee in concurrence with the Special Committee formed. The decision as to what would constitute "major expenses" shall be made by the Special Committee and their decision with regard to this shall be final and binding on all parties.

12. Each of the Members of the Special Committee shall be entitled to a honorarium of a sum of Rs. 5,00,000/- (Five Lacs Only). Such honorarium shall be paid out of the Club fund by the present Committee.

13. With the above directions, G. A. No. 1624 of 2018 and G. A. No. 1682 of 2018 filed in connection with C. S. No. 122 of 2018 is disposed of. In view of the above order having been passed in the first suit, the plaintiff (Mr. Debashis Dutta) in C.S. No. 129 of 2018, in the larger interest of the Club, does not press the application being G. A. No. 1722 of 2018. Accordingly, G. A. No. 1722 is dismissed as not pressed. Furthermore, the petitioner (Mr. Madan Mohan Dutta) in G. A. No. 1766 of 2018 in C. S. No. 129 of 2018, in the larger interest of the Club, does not press his application with liberty to file afresh, if required. Accordingly, G. A. No. 1766 of 2018 is dismissed as not pressed with liberty to file afresh. All further proceedings in C. S. No. 122 of 2018 and C. S. No. 129 of 2018 shall remain stayed until further orders.

14. All parties are to act on a website copy of this order on the usual undertaking. Urgent Photostat certified copy, if prayed for, will be given on the usual undertaking.