JAMNAGAR DISTRICT COOPERATIVE BANK LTD....Petitioner(s)V/SREGISTRAR - COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES C/SCA/12264/2013 ORDER IN THE HIGH COURT OF GUJARAT AT AHMEDABAD SPECIAL CIVIL APPLICATION NO. 12264 of 2013 ================================================================ JAMNAGAR DISTRICT COOPERATIVE BANK LTD....Petitioner(s) Versus REGISTRAR - COOPERATIVE SOCIETIES & 3....Respondent(s) ================================================================ Appearance: MR SHIRISH JOSHI, ADVOCATE for the Petitioner(s) No. 1 MR PK JANI, GOVERNMENT PLEADER for the Respondent(s) No. 4 ================================================================ CORAM: HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE JAYANT PATEL and HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE Z.K.SAIYED Date : 08/08/2013 ORAL ORDER
(PER : HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE JAYANT PATEL) Rule.
Mr. P.K. Jani, learned Government Pleader appeared with Mr. Jayswal, learned AGP waives notice of Rule. With the consent of the learned Advocates appearing for both the sides, the matter is finally heard.
The only point to be considered in the present petition is the holding of election of a specified Society under the Gujarat Co-Operative Societies Act (for short the Act ) read with Rules, after the amendment made under the Act.
It is an admitted position that the election in the petitioner society had become due in the year 2010. However, the elections were not held. It has also come on record and rather a judicial notice can be taken of the fact that on account of constitutional amendment the Act was required to be amended and there were litigations before this Court wherein, on behalf of the State Government, it was declared that process for amendment of the Act in conformity with the constitutional amendment shall be carried out within the prescribed time limit. This Court in such proceeding had observed that until the Act is amended and the new elections are held, the appointment of the custodian/administrator shall not be made in place of the managing Committee with the rider that the managing Committee of the society shall not take any policy decision without the prior aproval of the District Registrar concerned of the District.
It is also an admitted position that thereafter the Act has been amended and since there were certain litigations regarding interpretation of Rule 3(8) of the Gujarat Specified Co-Operative Societies Election to Committee Rules, 1982 (for short :the Rules ) and there were different views of the Division Bench of this Court the matter was referred to the Full Bench in the proceeding of Special Civil Application No.1207 of 2012 and allied matters. The Full Bench has recently rendered the decision on 4.7.2013. Resultantly the controversy is set at rests. The Registrar, Co-Operative Society thereafter has issued the circular dated 15.7.2013 to all the District Registrar whereby intimated that the process of election be intimated in respect of all co-operative societies of which terms have expired and the elections have become due. The said circular is placed on the record by the learned Government Pleader. Based on the said intimation the process of election has already began in the case of the petitioner bank. However, the apprehension has been voiced on behalf of the petitioner that the Government may not appoint custodian on the ground that the term of the elected representative is over and the power is taken away by the executive fiat.
This matter was heard earlier and the learned Government Pleader had taken time to get the instruction of the State Government or the Registrar, Co-Operative Society in this regard. Today, learned Government Pleader has tendered the communication dated 8.8.2013 of the State Government, duly signed by the under Secretary of the State Government that as the election could not be held the State Government is not going to appoint custodian/administrator in any of the co-operative society on the ground that the election could not be held well in time. The said communication is taken on the record. It has also been stated by the learned Government Pleader that the officer is also personally present.
It was also declared by the learned Government Pleader that as communicated by the Registrar, Co-Operative Society vide Circular dated 15.7.2013, the Registrar is desirous to see that the election of all the specified co-operative societies, which has become due, is held and he further declared that the attempt shall be made to get the election held within a period of 6 months from 15.7.2013 so as to enable the voters to have their representatives in the managing committee of the concerned Society. It was submitted that the apprehension voiced by the petitoner would not survive in view of the policy decision taken by the State Government not to appoint the custodian/ Administrative on account of the fact that the election could not be held well in time.
In view of the aforesaid, we find that so far as the petitioner society is concerned, as the declaration is already made on behalf of the State Government by the learned Government Pleader, the cause for appointment of custodian/Administrator may not survive, but as the tenure of the present body has also expired they should function as care taker. Therefore, it is further observed and directed that continuation of the present body shall be as care taker and not appointing of the custodian/Administrator in place of the Managing Committee of the petitioner society, shall be on condition that they shall not take any major policy decision without the prior approval of the District Registrar concerned of the district.
As the declaration has been made on behalf of the State Government to make an attempt to hold the election of all the specified society in the State, the State Government shall abide by the declaration even in respect of other co-operative societies wherein the policy decision is taken not to appoint custodian/Administrator on the ground that the election of specified society could not be held. We, therefore, order accordingly, but, such can also be with the additional condition that the managing committee of the concerned specified society may not take any major policy decision without the prior approval of the District registrar concerned.
It would be open to the Registrar, Co-Operative Society to intimate to all the specified co-operative societies concerned about the aforesaid position in order to see that the uniformity prevails in the stand of the State Government in the matter of holding of election and also in the matter of appointment of custodian/ Administrator.
The petition is disposed of accordingly. Rule made absolute to the aforesaid extent. No order as to cost.
(JAYANT PATEL, J.) (Z.K.SAIYED, J.) SAS Page 5 of 5