P VASUDEVAN NAMBOODIRI Vs. STATE OF KERALA
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
STATE OF KERALA
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(1.)The Government of Kerala Cooperation Department by its notification G. O. (M, S.) No : 72/927 Coop dated 28-8-1992 excepted from the operation of the Kerala Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Rules, 1992, those Cooperative Societies where intimation under Clause (a) of Sub-r.(3) of R.35 of the Kerala Cooperative Societies Rules, 1969 has been Issued. The petitioner impugns the validity of this notification.
The Kerala Cooperative Societies R.1969 are hereinafter referred to as the Rules and the Kerala Cooperative Societies (Amendment) R.1992 as the Amending Rules.
(2.)The petitioner is a member of the Marakara Service Cooperative Bank Ltd., hereinafter referred to as the Society. Respondent Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 are respectively, the State of Kerala, the Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies, Malappuram, the Returning Officer for the elections to the committee of the Society and the Administrator of the Society.
(3.)The broad scheme of the amending rules in relation to the relevant provisions of the rules is as stated herein below.
Sub-r.(2) of R.1 of the Amending Rules lays down that sub-r.(1) and (2) of R.2 thereof shall come into force on such date as the Government may, by notification in the Gazette, appoint. But it also empowers the government to appoint different dates for different class or classes of Societies It is in pursuance of this power to appoint by notification different dates of commencement of the rules that the impugned notification was issued. The notification purports to be in exercise of the powers of the Government under sub-r.(2) of the Amending Rules. The notification brought into force the Amending Rules with immediate effect. But it excludes from the commencement clause "......... those societies where intimation under Clause (a) of Sub-r.(3) of R.35 of the Kerala Cooperative Societies Rules, 1969 has already been issued." R.35 of the Rules lays down the procedure regarding the conduct of elections to the committees of societies. Clause (a) of Sub-r.(3) of R.35 enjoins the Returning Officer to give intimation regarding the details of the elections of the members of the committee specifying the number of vacancies to be filled up by election, the area or constituency that is specified in the bye laws from which members are to be elected, the date on which, the place at which the hours between which nomination paper shall be filed by the contesting candidate, the date and hour when the nomination papers will be scrutinised and the date on which, the place at which and the hours between which polling will take place. The effect of the exception created by the notification is that the Amending Rules shall not come into force or operate in respect of the societies where such intimation has been gives.
It is now necessary to see what the Amending Rules 'provide. R.16A introduced in the rules by the Amending Rules enjoins the society to issue identity cards to members of the society. Such identity card is conclusive evidence of the member ship of the society. In order to obtain ideality card the member is required to furnish two copies of his recent photograph of passport size. The Chief Executive of the Society or an officer specifically empowered by the committee of the Society, is required to attest these photographs. an attested copy shall be affixed on the ideality card and other copy shall be affixed in the Register in Form 6B maintained for that purpose. Sub-r.(2) of R.16A enables the existing member to apply for an identify card within one mouth from the date of commencement of the rules i. e. within one month from 28-8-1992. Thereafter the society shall issue the identity card to such member within 15 days from the receipt of the photographs. The Registrar of Cooperative Societies is empowered to extent the aforesaid period of one month and 15 days as the case may be.
Rule 16B applies to members who have failed to obtain the ideality card as provided in R.16A. Such members may apply for an ideality card under Sub-r.(1) of R.16B. The officer specified under Sub-r.(1) is required to satisfy himself as to the correctness of the facts and particulars furnished by the member in Ms application. For this purpose he is empowered to make such "enquiry as he deems fit." The officer may reject the application for issue of identity card for reasons which he shall record and communicate the rejection to the applicant.
If an identify card issued to a member has been lost, defaced or accidentally destroyed or damaged, a duplicate ideality card may be issued on application of such member made under R.16G, Here again the concerned officer is required to satisfy himself, after an inquiry, about the correctness of the facts and particulars furnished in the application for issue of a duplicate identity card. The order refusing to issue identity card to any member is appealable. The appeal has to be filed to the Registrar of Cooperative Societies within 15 days from the date of receipt of order of refusal. Toe Registrar has to dispose of the appeal within 30 days" from the date of receipt of the appeal.
The effect of the identity card is laid down in clause (o) of sub-r.(3) of R.35 of the Rules, No ballot paper shall be issued to a member "unless the polling officer is satisfied" that the member concerned is the same person as noted in the list furnished to him. This clauses was amended by sub-r.(2) of R.16D of the Amending Rules. After the amendment the above provision of clause (o) of sub-r.(3) of R.35 would read thus: "no ballot paper shall be issued to a member unless he produces identity cord and the polling officer is satisfies that the member concerned is the same person as noted in the list furnished to him." The thrust of clause (o) of sub-r.(3) of R.35 as amended, is that without an identity card a member shall not receive a ballot paper and therefore shall not cast his vote.
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