JAGANNATH PRADHAN AND ANR. Vs. REGISTRAR, CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES AND ORS.
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
Jagannath Pradhan And Anr.
Registrar, Co -Operative Societies And Ors.
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K.B.Panda, J. -
(1.) THE two Petitioners are respectively the Secretary and President of a Society registered under the Orissa Co -operative Societies Act, 1962, named "Kanti Seba Samabaya Sangha Samiti" (hereinafter called - Kanti Samiti). Petitioner No. 1 is said to have been appointed as its Secretary about 14 years back and in the meantime has undergone some training to manage the work of Secretary ship in a Co -operative Society (Annexure -1).
It is alleged in the petition that the Registrar of the Cooperative Societies, Orissa (opp. party No. 1) unauthorisedly drew up a scheme some time in 1970 (Scheme for common cadre of the Secretaries of the Primary Agricultural Credit Co -operative Societies and the Administrative Inspectors of the Central Cooperative Bank - Annexure -2). Under the said scheme the Central Co -operative Bank of the place, where Kanti Samati is situated, was empowered to appoint, transfer and dismiss from service Gr. I and Gr. II Supervisors and Administrative Inspectors are assigned a grade.
(2.) OPP . party No. 3 is the United Puri -Nimapara Central Co -operative Bank Limited under which comes Kanti Samiti and opp. party No. 2 is the Secretary of opp. party No. 3. It is alleged in the petition that when the scheme was drawn up neither the Kanti Samiti was consulted nor was it a party thereto, and as such, the scheme is not binding on it. As provided under the scheme opp. party No. 2 issued a notice to Kanti Samiti on 24 -3 -1971 appointing one Shri B. Parida, Supervisor, Pipli Circle, as Secretary to Kanti Samiti in place of Petitioner No. 1 (Annexure -3). Kanti Samiti, however, did not accept the appointment, since it was very much satisfied with the work of its trained Secretary. Thereafter on 1 -5 -1971 another notice was issued to accept Shri P.K. Jena as the Secretary of Kanti Samiti, failing which disciplinary action was threatened against the Samiti (Annexure -4). Hence the Petitioners have come up with this application under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India for quashing the scheme (Annexure -2) as illegal and inoperative being contrary to the provisions of the Co -operative Societies Act and its rules and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India. Further issue of a writ of mandamus is also prayed for directing opp. parties not to appoint an outsider as Secretary to the Kanti Samith in place of Petitioner No. 1.
Opp. party Nos. 2 and 3 have filed a separate counter almost in line with the counter of opp. party No. 1. It is stated therein that the impugned scheme and the action taken there under are under the provisions of Section 33 -A and 40 of the Orissa Co -operative Societies Act, 1962, and therefore perfectly valid and legal. The former section authorises the Registrar to classify the Co -operative Societies into different classes for fixing the number of employees to be appointed in each. It also empowers the Registrar to make rules regarding the classification, remuneration and allowances and other conditions of service of such employees Section 40 is a general provision that casts a duty on the State Government to take such steps as are necessary for the promotion of co -operative movement in the State. The impugned scheme has been drawn up in exercise of the powers of the State Government through its Registrar. A cadre has been created wherein the services of all Secretaries of the affiliated Societies have been enlisted.
The appointment in question in Kanti Samiti arose on account of the suspension of Petitioner No. 1 on 24 -3 -1973 from the Secretaryship on charges of misappropriation and falsification of accounts and from that date he ceased to function as such. Kanti Samiti being an affiliated Society to the United Puri. Nimapara Central Co -operative Bank comes within the scheme as also the subsidiary rules framed by the Bank; Kanti Samiti not having framed any subsidiary rules of business of its own. There is no provision whereby Kanti Samiti can appoint a Secretary of its own permanently. Even bye -law No. 11 -D provides for appointment of Secretary subject to approval of the Registrar.
In pursuance of Order No. 2437 dated 24 -3 -1971 passed by the Assistant Registrar of the Co -operative Societies, Puri Circle, Petitioner No. 1 was placed under suspension. The Puri -Nimapara Central Co -operative Bank was requested to post a person to act as Secretary of Kanti Samiti. So Shri B. Parida was deputed to act as Secretary until further orders. The suspension of the Petitioner No. 1 was for misappropriation caused by him and the Board of Management had no power to refuse or by -pass the order of suspension so passed. The order of the Assistant Registrar of the Co -operative Societies, Puri was passed under Section 65(3) of the Orissa Co -operative Societies Act, 1962 suspending Petitioner No. Ion the report or the D.D.O. Pipli alleging misappropriation and manipulation of records of the Kanti Society by Petitioner No. 1 (Annexure -A).
Mr. Das, learned Counsel for the Petitioner contended that under Section 27 of the Orissa Co -operative Societies Act, 1962, the final authority of a Society vests in the general body or the Society, and the affairs of the Society are either to be managed by this general body or a small body set up by the general body itself. Besides, Kanti Samiti has a Board of Directors who carry on the day -to -day management of the Samiti according to the rules. Therefore, all outside interference is excluded under Section 27 of the Act. Consequently it was urged that the impugned scheme and placing a Secretary in place of Petitioner No. 1 are all without jurisdiction.
(3.) THAT the Kanti Samiti comes under the United Puri Nimapara Central Co -operative Bank Limited has not been challenged. Further, the positive assertion in the counter under Annexure -A that Petitioner No. 1 had to be suspended because of grave allegations of misappropriation of the Society 's funds and manipulation of records is also not controverted which negatives the assertion in the petition that the affairs of the Kanti Samiti "are running smoothly and they are very much satisfied with the work of their trained Secretary". Factually, therefore, the allegations in the petition are untrue and incorrect. The continuance of Petitioner No. 1 as the Secretary of Kanti Samiti in this background can hardly be held to be in the best interest of the Society, however much the President may support him and join with him in filing this petition.;
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