SC upholds Maha Co-op Act; Pereira loses his job

Rejecting the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by Sachin Pereira, Chairman of Maharashtra Bassein Catholic Cooperative Bank, the Supreme Court has refused to suspend execution of the Bombay High Court decision barring him from being the Chairman as well as being on the board of the Bank.

Earlier, the High Court had disqualified him for being a director of the bank as he had a third child after he was elected to the post and the court had granted stay on its order till December 20 for Pereira to challenge the order and gave him time to appeal to the apex court.

The Section 73 CA (1) (vii) of Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960 says that a person having more than 2 children shall be ineligible for being elected, nominated, appointed or co-opted for being a member of a committee of the society registered under the Act , 1960.

It is learnt that Pereira was elected as a Director of the bank on June 2015, for a five-year term and was later made the Chairman of the board. When elected as the chairman Pereira had two children but in March 2016 his wife gave birth to a third child.

Sources say Yuri Domnic Gonsalves, Vice Chairman of Bank will be the officiating Chairman as happened in the case of the apex body of Urban Cooperative Banks NAFCUB.

In a message sent to Indian Cooperative late night after the SC decision, Sachin Pereira wrote “Today at the Supreme Court my SLP for granting stay against the high court was refused by Honorable Supreme Court thus my disqualification order is effective and therefore I am now exiting this discussion group”.

An emotional Pereira further wrote “I thank each of you for the respect and love given to me during my term as a director and chairman both. I learnt a lot from all of you and respect the same. I will always pray to almighty for the betterment of the institute and the society”.

The Bassein Catholic Cooperative Bank was established by Social reformer P.J.Monis, Christian missionary on 6 February 1918 in Vasai. The Maharashtra based UCB Bank is having more than 90,000 shareholders and has earned a net profit of Rs 75 crore in the last financial year i.e. 2016-17.

The Bank has been giving 15 percent dividend to its members for 22 years. The bank is having a network of about 58 branches in Maharashtra and has received permission from RBI to open four new branches and three extension counters in this financial year.

The Bank has entered into the centenary year and organized a mega inaugural event at St. Gonsalo Garcia College ground, Vasai and will hold the concluding ceremony in February 2018.

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