Terming it "a very unusual situation", the Supreme Court has called for a factual report from the Registrar General of the Madras High Court after two versions of the order of a Division Bench of the High Court surfaced.

The Division Bench of the Madras High Court comprising of Justice M. Duraiswamy and Justice Suder Mohan had passed an order in an appeal against an order refusing to grant ad interim injunction restraining transfer of control of a company, on September 1 after hearing and reserving order on August 29.

The Divison Bench has said in its order that the order of status-quo granted on an earlier occasion can be modified by granting an order of interim injunction. "Accordingly, the order of status quo granted is modified as an order of interim injunction", the Court had ordered.

The order which was pronounced by the High Court in the open Court and was downloaded from the website of the High Court. It was the grievance of the appellants that this order was replaced and a different order was uploaded and a certified copy is available only of that different order.

Senior Advocate K. Subramanian, appearing for appellant J. Mohammed Nazir alleged that the operative portion containing a direction issued to the other party to deposit Rs 115 crore in a Bank at Annanagar was deleted subsequently. He told the Bench that in his 50 years of practice he has not come across any such thing. The Bench concurred with his contention.

"We have gone through both the orders. Certain paragraphs are conspicuously missing/deleted from the order which is now available on the website of the High Court and if a person apply for a certified copy, he will get the order which is at Page '1" and has informed that after few days, the order which commences from page '7A' was removed from the website and the counsel who appeared before the High Court on behalf of the petitioners has also filed his own affidavit that what was pronounced by the High Court in the Open Court on 01.09.2022 is at page '7A' onwards and it was downloaded by the petitioners from the website of the High Court", the order of Justice Ajay Rastogi and Justice B. V. Nagarathna noted.

The Bench said in its order that before going into the merits of the grievance that has been raised before it, the matter requires further inquiry at the level of the Registrar General of the High Court and that the respondents may also respond to the aforesaid statement recorded in the order.

The Court issued notice to the respondents and the Registrar General of the High Court, returnable on November, 14.

"The Registrar General of the High Court shall place the factual report before this Court in a sealed cover on the next date of hearing", the Bench directed.

The Bench also directed parties to maintain status quo in terms of an earlier order of the High Court.

J. Mohammed Nazir & Anr. vs. Mahasemam Trust & Ors.

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