RAM PYARE CHAUDHARY Vs. STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA (FROM: ALLAHABAD)
RAM PYARE CHAUDHARY
STATE OF UTTAR PRADESH
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(1.) The District Co-operative Federation (Zila Sahakari Federation), Basti ('Federation' for short) is a co-operative society registered under the U. P. Cooperative Societies Act, 1965 ('Act' for short). As provided by S. 29 of the Act, the management of the Federation vests in a committee designated as Committee of Management. The committee consists of 10 elected members and 1 nominated member. As the term of the Committee was drawing to a close, programme for election of the new committee of management was announced as required by Part VI of the U. P. Co-operative Societies Rules, 1968 ('Rules' for short). Pursunt to this programme poll was held on Sept. 11, 1978. It is not made clear to us when the counting of the votes commenced, though R. 444(l) provides that counting of the votes will take place immediately after the close of the poll except when postponed in a given set of circumstances. Sub-rule (4) of R. 444 provides that Election Officer shall announce the result of election as soon as the counting is completed indicating the number of votes secured by each candidate. It appears that one Shri Kashi Nath whose name did not appear in the voters' list and who, on account of the omission, could not contest the election filed Civil Suit No. 291 of 1978 in the Court of Munsif, Basti on Sept. 9, 1978 and asked for and obtained ad interim ex parte injunction restraining the defendants in the suit from conducting the election of Board of Directors (Committee of Management), President, Vice-President and the delegates of District Cooperative Federation, Basti and/or announcing the result of election. Defendants Nos. 1 to 4 in the suit appeared and contested the application for interim injunction. The learned Munsif after hearing both sides confirmed the injunction in the following terms :
"6-C is allowed and the defendants Nos. 1 to 4 are directed not to conduct the election and not to declare the result, if any, of Board of Directors of District Co-operative Federation, Basti, till disposal of the suit".
This order was made on Sept. 21, 1978. It appears that by the time the suit was filed and ex parte ad interim injunction obtained, the poll was already held but by the injunction, the defendants in the suit were prohibited from declaring the result and accordingly the result was not declared. It now appears that the result was declared on Jan. 28, 1980, and the election of the Chairman and the Vice-Chairman took place on Jan. 29, 1980. Appellant No. I was elected as Chairman. The term of the members of the Committee of Management as provided by R. 445 as amended on June 30, 1981, is three Co-operative years including the year of election. The Registrar of Co-operative Societies pursuant to the amended R. 445 issued a teleprinter message to various authorities indicating that the term of the committee of management has expired and administrator should be appointed as provided by sub-s. (4) (b) of S. 29 of the Act. Pursuant to this teleprinter message, the Deputy Registrar, Co-operative Society Gorakhpur made an order on July 1, 1981. that the term of the members of the committee of management of the Federation has expired on June 30, 1981, and proceeded to appoint an administrator. The appellants questioned the validity and legality of the order of the Deputy Registrar in Writ Petition No. 7869 of 1981 filed in the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad.
(2.) The High Court was of the opinion that even though under R. 445 the term of the office of the elected members of the committee of management of co-operative society is three co-operative years including the cooperative year of their election, once the poll is held and even though the result of the election is not announced, the term would commence from the date of the poll and therefore the decision of the Deputy Registrar that the term expired on June 30, 1981, is correct. The High Court accordingly dismissed the writ petition. Hence this appeal by special leave limited to one point only, namely, the commencement and completion of the term of office of the members of the committee of management of the second appellant.
(3.) Section 29 (1) provides that the management of every co-operative society shall vest in a committee of management constituted in accordance with the Act, the rules and the bye-laws., Sub-sec. (2) provides that the term of the elected members of the committee of management shall be such as may be provided in the rules or the bye-laws of the society. Rule 445 (1) provides that except as otherwise provided in Rr. 406, 431 434 and. 435, the term of the office of the elected members of the committee of management of a co-operative society shall be three co-operative years including the co-operative year of their election. Explanation appended to this Rule clarifies how the period of three co-operative years is to be computed. In substance the explanation clarifies that :
"For the purpose of determination on the term of a elected member the co-operative year during which the elections are held shall count as full year irrespective of the period left after such election in that co-operative year".
There is a proviso to this explanation which is immaterial. The expression 'co-operative year' is defined in S. 2 (i) of the Act to mean the year commencing on the 1st day of July and ending on the 30th day of June next following.;
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