The Bombay High Court at Nagpur while granting interim relief to the petitioner i.e., the owner of the marriage hall held that the cancellation of marriage between the private parties would cause trauma and financial loss and would even result in the breaking of hearts of the parties.

A Division Bench of Justice Sunil B. Shukre and Justice Anil L. Pansare opined –

"… this Court would be required to exercise it's jurisdiction not to protect a person like the petitioner but to protect the interest of the private parties, who are likely to suffer irreparably, for no fault on their part, especially when, payment of compensation would bring no adequate relief to them. After all, not allowing the petitioner to go ahead with the proposed marriage function would ultimately lead to cancellation of marriage between young bride and groom causing great trauma, pain, inconvenience and financial loss and some times even resulting in breaking of hearts. Therefore, this Court would have to balance different interests by taking recourse to it's equity jurisdiction and doing so, we express our inclination to grant interim relief on stringent conditions."

The Bench further ordered –

"Accordingly, we direct that the petitioner shall be permitted to run the marriage hall only for the purpose of completion of the marriage functions and ceremonies from 24th November to 28th November 2022. We further direct that for these five days from 24th November to 28th November 2022 only, supply of electricity and supply of tap water shall be restored to the petitioner and thereafter the authorities shall be at liberty to disconnect the same."

Advocate S.N. Tapadia appeared on behalf of the petitioner while Advocate A.S. Thotange represented the respondent.

In this case, on July 14, 2022, the petitioner received directions from the respondent i.e., the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board to comply with the Sewage Treatment Plans (STP). However, the petitioner had already accepted the bookings of the marriage hall for three days i.e., 25, 26, and 27 November 2022 before the proposed directions issued by the respondent.

The petitioner filed a writ petition before the High Court seeking interim relief as he was facing the threat of closure of his marriage hall from the respondent. As per the petitioner, the running of the business of the marriage hall falls under the hospitality sector, and during the last three years, due to COVID-19, the financial condition of the petitioner has been weak. He further submitted before the Court that he tried his level best to ensure compliance with such directions but the same is taking time. He also stated that he would be failing in his commitments given to private parties and that would result in the disruption of such marriages.

The High Court in this regard noted that "Had there been any other party in place of the petitioner, which has accepted huge responsibility in the nature of acceptance of marriage bookings for the three dates of November 2022, that person after having received a warning in the nature of proposed directions dated 14.07.2022 would have set himself upon the work of establishment of STP on war footing and would not have spent time of almost four months for completing the work."

The Court further observed –

"This is all about the carelessness and negligence and even defiance on the part of the petitioner. But, at the same time, this Court is required to examine the consequences of denial of any interim relief to the petitioner and if such denial impacts the private parties, the Court would also be required to consider whether the adverse impact created upon the private parties could be adequately compensated or not."

Accordingly, the Court granted interim relief to the petitioner on the condition that he deposits three lakh rupees in the Court.

Cause Title - Lobhaji Appa Gawali Mangal Karyalay (Bhawan) v. Maharashtra Pollution Control Board

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