True Court CopyTM English


Civil Appeal No. 490 of 2022 (Arising out of SLP (C) No. 1150 of 2019)

Decided On: 28.01.2022

Appellants: Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman, Mhow Vs. Respondent: The Sub Divisional Officer/The Registrar of Public Trusts and Ors.

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
U.U. Lalit, S. Ravindra Bhat and Bela M. Trivedi


S. Ravindra Bhat, J.

1. Leave granted. This appeal by special leave is directed against the judgment of a Division Bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court at Indore, dismissing an appeal1. The judgment confirmed an order of the learned Single Judge, who in turn, had affirmed the rejection of the application filed by the Appellant, Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman, Mhow (hereafter referred to as "the trust"), seeking sanction for the disposal of its trust property.

2. The Appellant was registered as a public trust on 29.01.1973 under the provisions of the Madhya Pradesh Public Trusts Act, 1951 (hereafter "the Act"). The trust's membership was made up exclusively of members of the Parsi community at Mhow. On 15.05.2011, at the behest of the trust and on its application, a revisited final scheme in relation to the trust was approved by the District Judge, Mhow2. The revisited scheme contained the following clause:

The Managing Committee members, after getting from a majority of the General Body Members and a specific concurrence of the FPZAI members, shall be entitled to liquidate the assets and immovable properties of the Anjuman which have taken vacant and utilize the proceeds of the objects of the Trust, including the upkeep of the consecrated holy fire from the Mhow Agiari and the maintenance of a priest to look after it as also for the benefit of the Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian community, always giving preferences to those connected with Mhow and after ensuring that event he last Zoroastrian left in Mhow is duly cared for, if poor or needy.

3. In a meeting held on 14.12.2014, the members of the trust's Managing Committee unanimously agreed that five of its immovable properties should be sold. This decision was consented to by the individual members of the Managing Committee which included representatives of the Parsi Zoroastrian Anjuman community, i.e., the apex body of the Parsi community in the country. As a follow-up, the proposal was placed before a general meeting of all members of the trust on 19.01.2015 in which a majority of members supported the Managing Committee's decision to sell the five items of property. The trust had circulated what was termed as a "Vision Document" which listed the existing income, expenditure, and the likely projection in the event the properties were sold and the proposed use for which the funds received from such transaction were to be utilized.

4. As was required of it, the trust applied Under Section 14 of the Act to the Registrar of Public Trusts for previous sanction for the sale of the five said properties. The application languished before the Registrar, for a while. Resultantly, the trust approached the M.P. High Court by filing a writ petition3. This petition was disposed of by an order4 requiring the