Summary

40857

Association Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Inc. v. Dissident Group Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Inc.

(Quebec) (Civil) (By Leave)

Keywords

Judgments and orders — Revocation — Did the Quebec Court of Appeal err in deciding that the Court may revoke a judgment on the face of allegations of the opposing party and without a hearing as is required by the application provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, CQLR c.C-25.01? — Did the Quebec Court of Appeal err in deciding, as alleged by the opposing party, that the application for injunctive relief heard before Justice Charette was a “nine-minute hearing”, which was incorrect as per the “procès-verbal d’audience”, thus taking the same position as the respondent? — Did the Quebec Court of Appeal err in ignoring that even though the judgment rendered by Justice Sheehan was brought as an exhibit and submitted to Justice Charette, the Court interpreted the fact that Justice Charette had chosen to ignore it in his judgment as a fault of the applicants? — Did the Quebec Court of Appeal err in confirming the decision of Justice Gouin to condemn two of the plaintiffs, Bajwa Harjeet Singh and Rajinder Singh, to costs, by reason of a conflict between their personal interests and their obligations as directors of the Association, seeing as said individuals cannot be held responsible for any alleged fault of their counsel? — Did the Quebec Court of Appeal err in allowing the court of first instance to interfere in the internal workings of the Association, even preventing the contestation of the election in case of irregularity? ? Code of Civil Procedure, CQLR c.C-25.01, s. 349

Summary

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The applicant, the Association Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Inc. (the Association), is a non-profit religious congregation. On September 9, 2021, the Association filed an application for a safeguard order before the Superior Court of Quebec in a commercial matter (No. 500-11-060211-212). The Association asked the court to declare the meeting held on September 5, 2021, by the respondent, the Dissident Group Gurdwara Guru Nanak Darbar Inc. (the Dissident Group), to proceed with the election of a new board of directors, illegal. It also asked the court to order the Dissident Group not to attend the temple premises to implement the change of control which resulted from the election. On December 14, 2021, Justice Courchesne rendered a judgment on the application for a safeguard order. Among other things, the judge ordered the creation of a committee to re-establish and finalize the membership list of the Association (the Nuss Committee). On August 10, 2022, the Nuss Committee issued its report as per the safeguard order. The parties agreed to abide by and recognize the conclusions of the Nuss report with respect to the re-established and finalized membership list of the Association as of September 5, 2021. The re-established list was meant to be used for the purpose of the Association’s general meeting and the election of the board of directors. On October 21, 2022, Justice Sheehan orally rendered the reasons of the judgment from the bench with the final version of the judgment dated November 1, 2022. Justice Sheehan declared, notably, the Special meeting which took place on September 5, 2021, null and without effect and adjudicated on the details related to the holding of a new annual meeting for the election of the Association’s board of directors in accordance with the Association’s by-law and the consent of the parties. Justice Pinsonnault issued an order on December 15, 2022, as per the judgment rendered by Justice Sheehan on November 1, 2022, providing an independent election officer at the upcoming Association’s annual general meeting scheduled for December 18, 2022, and named “the election meeting.” However, on December 14, 2022, Justice Charette ordered the Association to add Mr. Bajwa Harjeet Singh and Rajinder Singh, respectively president and secretary of the Association, as well as their mandators, to its register of members. Both names were excluded from the re-established and finalized membership list of the Association provided by the Nuss report. This judgment was rendered by the Superior Court of Quebec in a civil matter, under another file (No. 500-17-123358-221). It followed the filing of an originating judicial application commencing a proceeding for the issuance of a provisional interlocutory and permanent injunction and safeguard order (the injunctive relief) by Mr. Bajwa Harjeet Singh and Rajinder Singh, against the Association, for themselves and their mandators. As a response, the Dissident Group, which was not served, notified or otherwise informed of the application for the injunctive relief, filed on January 23, 2023, an application for revocation of the judgment of Justice Charette, a declaration of intervention and an application for the issuance of a summons for contempt of court. The Superior Court granted in part the application for revocation. The Court of Appeal granted the application to dismiss the appeal and dismissed the appeal.

Lower Court Rulings

March 8, 2023
Superior Court of Quebec

2023 QCCS 668, 500-11-060211-212, 500-17-123358-221
Application for revocation granted in part. Application for injunctive relief dismissed.
May 19, 2023
Court of Appeal of Quebec (Montréal)

2023 QCCA 696, 500-09-030482-236
Application to dismiss the appeal granted. Appeal dismissed.