M S SAMBAMURTI SASTRIAR Vs. DEPUTY REGISTRAR OF CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES RANIPET AND
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
DEPUTY REGISTRAR OF CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES
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(1.) THE first petitioner is the Secretary, the second petitioner is the Assistant secretary, the third Petitioner is the President, the fourth petitioner is the Vice-President, and the fifth petitioner is a Director of the Arni Co-operative Stores, arni. Proceedings were taken under Section 71 of the Madras Co-operative societies Act. Madras Act 53 of 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the Act) for surcharging these persons. The Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, ranipet, by his order dated 9-7-1966 directed the various petitioner herein to restore a sum of Rs. 60,634-77 jointly and severally to the assets of the Arni Cooperative stores, Arni, by way of compensation under the said section. Against this order of the Deputy Registrar, the petitioners herein preferred appeals to the second respondent herein, namely, the Appellate Tribunal, constituted under S. 95 of the Act. That Tribunal, by an order dated 24th September, 1968, set aside the order of the Deputy Registrar and remanded the matter to him for fresh consideration. The ground on which the Tribunal set aside the order was that a copy of the report of the Enquiry Officer under Section 65 of the Act should have been made available to the petitioners herein, and that the conclusion of the deputy Registrar that the petitioners herein had admitted their liability in respect of the amounts in question was an unwarranted one. Hence, without expressing any opinion on the merits with regard to the liability of the petitioners herein, the second respondent Tribunal remanded the matter to the Deputy Registrar of Cooperative societies, Ranipet, North Arcot District, for fresh disposal. It is to quash this order of the second respondent that the present writ petition under Art. 226 of the Constitution has been filed.
(2.) MR. K. Parasaran, the learned counsel for the petitioners in this writ petition, raised two contentions in support of the writ petition. The first contention is that the second respondent Tribunal had no jurisdiction whatever to remand the matter for fresh consideration by the Deputy Registrar and that the second respondent tribunal should have disposed of the matter finally itself. The second contention is that under Section 71 of the Act, the officer competent to pass an order of surcharges is the Registrar of Co-operative Societies for the State of Madras, and not the Deputy Registrar. I shall now consider these contentions.
(3.) IT is easier to dispose of the second contention first. As far as the Act is concerned, the term 'registrar' is defined in clause (10) of Section 2 as follows:-" 'registrar' means a person appointed to perform the duties of a registrar of Co-operative Societies under this Act, and includes a person on whom all or any of the powers of a Registrar under this Act have been conferred under Section 3. " section 3 states: "the Government may appoint a person to be Registrar of Co-operative societies for the State of Madras or any portion of it and may by general or special order, confer on any other persons all or any of the powers of a Registrar under this Act. ";
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