Archdiocese of Bombay
Press Note - TOI Public Notice 8th March 2023
Updated: Mar 10
On the 14th of February 2023, an ad appeared in the classified section of the Times of India issued by Advocate JP Tripathi stating that his client will be purchasing land at Band Stand. The CTS number indicated that this was land owned by the Archdiocese of Bombay - the Clergy Home, the Retreat House and the Basilica of Mount Mary. The Archdiocese responded to the Advocate's ad and has since issued a letter to him. It has also now put up an ad on page 18 of the Classified section of the Times of India dated 8th March 2023. This Classified ad whose pictures appear in this post fully explains the situation and our response. It is sufficient to say that the ad put out by Advocate JP Tripathi on behalf of his client is mischievous in nature and appropriate legal action will follow. For the full transcription of the notice, please see below.
My clients, (1) the Archbishop of Bombay, His Eminence Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Vicar General of Bombay and Diocesan Clergy Fund, (2) Bishop John Rodrigues, Rector of Basilica of Our Lady of the Mount and (3) The Director, Retreat House Trust have come across public notice published by Shri J.P. Tripathi, Advocate, High Court, having his address at Abdul Aziz Chawl, 24, Room no. 4, L.B.S. Marg, Navpada, Kurla (West), Mumbai 400070 in the Times of India Publication on 14th February 2023 ("the said public notice") purportedly on behalf of his client Swami Vivekananda Saraswati purporting to indicate that his client was proposing to purchase land bearing CTS Nos 609, 610, 611, 612 (A), 612 (B), 612(C), 848 and 858 ad measuring 8755.30 sq mtrs (the said properties").
My clients are the owners/title holders of and are in possession and occupation of the said properties situated at Village Bandra, Taluka Andheri, Mumbai Suburban District. My clients have lawful and legal title to the said properties. The said properties are mutated in my client's name in the revenue records. My clients have pursuant to permission obtained from the competent authorities constructed buildings and outhouses upon the said properties and are regularly paying all taxes in respect of the same including property tax and municipal taxes. My clients as the owners/title holders of the said properties have not authorised Advocate Shri J.P.Tripathi to issue any such public notice, nor, have my clients held any negotiations or even discussions with Swami Vivekananda Saraswati or any other third party.
My clients have never agreed to sell any of the said properties nor have my clients any intention to sell or alienate any of the said properties. The said properties are being utilised for the purpose of the objectives of my clients. The said properties belong to public charitable trusts and permission of the Honourable Charity Commissioner is required under Section 36 of the Maharashtra Public Trusts Act to sell the said properties. My clients have not applied for such permission, nor do my clients intend to apply for any such permission as the properties are to be retained by my clients. In the absence of any written authorization from my clients to publish the said public notice, the action of Advocate Shri J. P. Tripathi in publishing the said public notice is patently illegal and amounts to professional misconduct on his part. The said public notice appears to be a work of mischief and fraud sought to be perpetrated on my clients.
In order to grant Advocate Shri J.P. Tripathi the benefit of any doubt, he was called upon to inform me on behalf of my clients, within 48 hours of receipt of notice dated 21st February 2023 served on him various details viz:
(a) Who had given him instructions to publish the said public notice?
(b) Complete details and address of Swami Vivekananda Saraswati sufficient to identify his purported client
(c) Who paid the charges for publishing the said public notice
and in what manner?
(d) A copy of the written authorization, if any, given by my clients to publish the said public notice.
(e) Copies of any documents of title of the said properties furnished to him and the person or persons who have furnished the same to you.
(f) Whether, the same were furnished under cover of any letter, email, or any other writing. If so, please furnish a copy of the said letter, email, or any other writing.
He was further intimated that in the event the aforementioned details are not forthcoming within 48 hours of receipt of the notice, it would be presumed that he was complicit with his purported client Swami Vivekananda Saraswati in attempting to perpetrate a fraud upon my clients and my clients would proceed to take necessary action against him and his purported client, including prosecuting him and his purported client and also for taking action against him for professional misconduct. The said notice was not replied to. A reminder notice dated 27th February 2023 was sent to him. The same also remained to be replied to.
The Public is therefore warned not to deal with the said Advocate Shri J.P Tripathi or his purported client Swami Vivekananda Saraswati in respect of any of the aforementioned properties of my clients. Any such dealings shall not confer any right, title or interest on any persons and such persons shall deal with the said Advocate Shri J.P. Tripathi and/or Swami Vivekananda Saraswati at their own risk as to costs and consequences.
Dated this 6th day of March 2023 Sd/-
Advocate, High Court 12/2 Rajabahadur Masnion,
2nd Floor, 14 Ambalal Doshi Marg,
Fort, Mumbai 400 023
Newspaper photo reference -TOI 14.2.23
Newspaper photo reference -TOI 8.3.23