Bombay HC asked Government to consider suggestions contained in an Amicus Curiae report with respect to Notaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021

Bombay HC asked Government to consider suggestions contained in an Amicus Curiae report with respect to Notaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021

The Bombay High Court asked the government to consider suggestions contained in an Amicus Curiae report with respect to Notaries (Amendment) Bill, 2021.


In Intervention Application taken out in Civil Writ Petition, a Praecipe, 2021 was received from Advocate A.R.Dhanuka on behalf of the Applicant Samina Arif Khan @ Dhanlaxmi Chandrakant Devrukhkar (‘Samina’) to place the Intervention Application for urgent hearing and orders since according to Samina, Advocate Shri Rohan Barge and Notary – Shri S.M.Naqvi along with an unknown person have filed Writ Petition before this Court in the name of Samina, seeking reliefs against the Town Planning / Land Acquisition Officer, Malad and Others, without her consent, knowledge and authority, thereby committing offenses of cheating, fraud, impersonation and forgery against her and also the Court.

An Affidavit of Sandeep Dharne was tendered in Court. In the said Affidavit, which was admittedly drafted by Advocate Rohan Barge, it was stated that in the month of January, 2020, Dharne had approached the Registered Clerk Agawane, who introduced him to Advocate Rohan Barge for filing the above Writ Petition before the Court.

In the meeting with Advocate Rohan Barge, Dharne had appraised him of all the facts in the matter, including the fact that Dharne had with him the Power of Attorney executed in his favour by Samina in the year 2005. 

He had contacted Samina and sought her confirmation to file the captioned Writ Petition before the Court; that after the said Writ Petition was drafted by Advocate Barge, Agawane, Registered Clerk, called Mr. Dharne “for presenting the client before the High Court for Notary purpose.” Shri Agawane thereupon read over the contents of the Writ Petition and the said Writ Petition was handed over to him (Shri Dharne) by Shri Agawane “for notary purpose for identification”. 

Since Samina was hospitalized, Shri Dharne signed the Writ Petition on her behalf and the said fact was not disclosed to Advocate Barge or Shri Agawane; that he was having power of attorney of Samina “for filing all documents in Revenue Departments and Government purposes and also for attending all Courts of Law”. 

He inadvertently signed the Writ Petition on behalf of Samina. Samina has filed the Writ Petition recording the facts which are incorrect only because she has not paid the legal fees for the matter which Shri Dharane attended on her behalf in revenue court’s and therefore, “he do not have prime role in the Writ Petition.” 


The division bench of Justice Milind N. Jadhav and Justice S.J. Kathawalla noted that the Notaries have started notarizing documents from vehicles parked in a public parking lot instead of an office/chamber. It has also been observed that Notaries have been operating from public taxis around the vicinity of the Court. 

The court said that though several photographs of such vehicles/public taxis have been produced before it, only by way of illustration it is producing three photographs which shows to what extent the legal profession has degraded causing anguish not only to the judiciary but also lowering the dignity of the profession in the eyes of general public / common man.

The court added that it cannot be disputed that Notaries perform notarial acts around the vicinity of Courts in India. The presence of Notaries in close proximity to Courts is essential and ought to be recognized. Therefore, it is recommended that Notaries be provided with a designated place in and around the premises of Courts without Notaries having to incur the costs towards purchasing / renting an office / chamber. 

The court stated that the Act and Rules framed thereunder are in pressing need for major reform. The court, on a daily basis, comes across matters wherein Notaries, Advocates and Parties are mischievously getting documents notarized. However, it is now pleased to note that the Draft Bill has been published proposing digitization of the records of a Notary and digitization and automation of notarial work undertaken by Notaries.

The court requested the Department of Legal Affairs to give due consideration to the Order and the Report submitted by Mr. Nausher Kohli, Learned Advocate whilst enacting the Draft Bill.

Case title: Dhanlaxmi Chandu Devrukar alias Samina Arif Khan v/s The Town Planning/Land Acquisition Officer, Malad, Mumbai


Click here to read the Order/Judgment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *