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Subhash S/O. Shankrappa Hadli vs The Deputy Registrar on 5 June, 2014

Karnataka High Court Subhash S/O. Shankrappa Hadli vs The Deputy Registrar on 5 June, 2014Author: A.N.Venugopala Gowda

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IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA

DHARWAD BENCH

DATED THIS THE 5TH DAY OF JUNE, 2014 BEFORE

THE HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE A.N. VENUGOPALA GOWDA WRIT PETITION NO.105023/2014 (CS-EL/M) BETWEEN:

SUBHASH S/O. SHANKRAPPA HADLI

AGE: 48 YEARS, OCC: VICE PRESIDENT

RANI CHENNAMMA CREDIT

CO OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD, BILAGI

TQ: BILAGI, DIST: BAGALKOT.

… PETITIONER

(BY SRI. JAGADISH PATIL, ADV.)

AND

1. THE DEPUTY REGISTRAR,

CO OPERATIVE SOCIETIES

BAGALKOT DISTRICT, BAGALKOT

2. THE ELECTION COMMISSIONER FOR CO OPERATION, GOVERNMENT OF KARNATAKA KARNATAKA STATE CO OPERATIVE HOUSING FEDERATION LIMITED BUILDING, NO. 3, 2ND FLOOR, KARIYAPPA ROAD, BASAVANAGUDI, BANGALORE-560004.

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3. THE CO OPERATIVE DEVELOPMENT OFFICER BILAGI, TQ: BILAGI

DIST: BAGALKOT.

… RESPONDENTS

(BY SMT. VIDYAVATHI, AGA FOR R1 & R3.) THIS PETITION IS FILED UNDER ARTICLES 226 AND 227 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF INDIA, PRAYING TO QUASH THE IMPUGNED ORDER DATED 29.03.2014 VIDE ANNEXURE-A PASSED BY THE RESPONDENT NO.1 AND ETC.

THIS PETITION COMING ON FOR PRELIMINARY HEARING THIS DAY, THE COURT MADE THE FOLLOWING: ORDER

Rani Chennamma Credit Co-operative Society Ltd., Bilagi, was registered on 25.07.2009, under the Karnataka Co-operative Societies Act, 1959 (for short, the Act). Its Managing Committee was constituted on 28.09.2009. Petitioner is the Vice-President. Respondent No.2, by an order dated 04.01.2014, appointed a Returning Officer to conduct the election to the Managing Committee of the Society. The Returning Officer sent a communication dated 04.02.2014, to prepare the voters’ list for conducting the election on 29.03.2014. Respondent No.1 having passed an order in exercise of the power under 3

S.28-A (5) of the Act, appointing an Administrator, on the ground that the term of the Committee is due to expire on 31.03.2014, with instructions to the Administrator to assume charge on 01.04.2014, this writ petition was filed to quash the said order vide Annexure-A and for grant of consequential reliefs.

2. Sri Jagadish Patil, learned advocate, contended that the Managing Committee of the petitioner – Society having been elected on 28.09.2009 is entitled to remain in Office till the expiry of the period of five years from the date of its election and that no Administrator can be appointed before the expiry of five years’ term. He submitted that sub-S.(4) of S.28-A of the Act has retrospective operation, as was held by the Full Bench of this Court in W.A. No.734/2014 and connected appeals decided on 30.04.2014. He submitted that the impugned order being contrary to the declaration made in the said Judgment and being arbitrary and illegal, may be quashed. 4

3. Smt. Vidyavathi K., learned AGA, on the other hand, contended that on account of the lapse on the part of the Secretary of the Society in furnishing the requisite information to the Returning Officer appointed to conduct the election and since the term of the Managing Committee was due to expire on 31.03.2014, the order as at Annexure-A was passed appointing an Administrator to the Society to carry on the business and also for taking steps to conduct election to the Managing Committee of the Society. She submitted that the Administrator has taken charge of the Society and hence, no interference with the order at Annexure-A is called for.

4. The questions raised by the Full Bench, in W.A. No.734/2014 and connected cases are the following: ” (i) Whether S.28-A(4) of the Karnataka Co-operative Societies Act, 1959, as substituted by the amended Act dated 11.02.2013, is prospective or retrospective in nature? (ii) When the elections are to be conducted to a co-operative society by the second respondent – State Co-operative Societies Election Commission – and for any reason if the Election Commission fails to conduct the elections within the 5

stipulated time, whether an Administrator can be appointed automatically under S.28-A(5) of the Act? and (iii) Whether S.28-A(4) is ultra vires? ”

5. The Full Bench has held that S.28-A(4) of the Act is retrospective in nature and that an Administrator cannot be appointed under S.28-A(5) of the Act, till the expiry of the period of five years from the date of the election as contemplated by sub-S.(4) of S.28-A of the Act. The first question, reproduced supra, was answered accordingly and the second question was not answered. The third question raised being not the subject matter of the debate was not answered. The Full Bench has concluded as follows:

” The elected boards of the societies shall continue to hold office till expiry of the period of five years from the date of their elections and till then, no administrator shall be appointed and the elected board shall take charge only on expiry of the term of office of the members of the board. In view thereof, the communication dated 29.01.2014, impugned in the writ petitions is rendered ineffective.” The said pronouncement squarely applies to the instant case. The petitioner having been elected to the managing committee of the Society on 28.09.2009, is 6

entitled to hold the Office till 27.09.2014. The appointment of Administrator to the Society vide Annexure-A, on the ground that the term of the Office of the existing Committee was due to expire on 31.03.2014 is arbitrary and illegal.

In the result, writ petition is allowed and the order at Annexure-A is quashed. Consequently the Administrator shall immediately handover the charge to the elected Managing Committee, which shall hold Office till 27.09.2014. However, the Managing Committee, of which the petitioner is a Member, shall take necessary steps for conducting of the election, well before the expiry of its term of Office.

No costs.

SD/-

JUDGE

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