HC quashes Govt Order on cancelling Cooperative elections

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Chennai, Sep 30 (UNI) Madras High Court has set aside a Government Order issued in July last year cancelling cooperative elections and consequential order of the Registrar, Cooperative Societies, pertaining to two appeals regarding elections to the Madras Advocates Cooperative Society Limited (MACSL) and the MACSL (canteen).

Allowing the two writ appeals, the first bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, said it could not uphold the judgment of a single judge.

The authorities should take steps on the election results in respect to the two societies and proceed in accordance with the law and complete the process within two months, the judges said.

The bench made it clear that its judgment would cover only the elections in respect of the two writ appeals and would not affect any other elections.

The petitions were filed, challenging a government order dated July 11, 2007 issued by the Secretary, Department of Cooperation, Food and Consumer Protection, whereby all the elections held or in progress in primary, central and apex cooperative societies in the state, which commenced on June 8 last year, were cancelled.

By a common order, a single judge dismissed the petitions upholding the government order. Against the common order, the present appeals were filed.

Assailing the impugned order, the appellants said the order did not give any reason for cancelling all elections held in cooperative societies in the state.

In its order, the bench said if the impugned order was examined in the light of the discussion on Section 182 of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Societies Act, it would be clear that none of the components of the provision had been followed in the order.

The bench said it was unable to accept the interpretation given by the single judge on Section 182 to sustain the impugned order.

The government order did not show that the mode and manner of exercise of power under Section 182 had been followed.

Apart from that, from the order it appeared that the government wanted to finalise the date of next election to cooperative societies after consultation with various political parties.

'It betrays an intention on the part of the government to politicise the entire cooperative movement in the state,' the judges said.

UNI XR ROY RJ DS1130

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