Disposing of the writ petition filed by a shareholder of an urban cooperative bank in Cuttack, the single judge bench of the Odisha High Court has asked the state govt to hold elections to all cooperative bodies including the apex cooperative organizations in six months flat. The court seems to have found the preparations the state govt promises to make for holding cooperative polls convincing.
For example, the Cooperation Department would soon publish OCS Rules and this would mean the State Cooperative Election Commissioner starting the process for elections.
Earlier the Supreme Court had allowed a special leave petition of the state Government seeking permission to go ahead with conduct of elections to the cooperative bodies in accordance with the 97th Constitutional Amendment.
The State Government amended the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, 1962 in 2012 to conform with the Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011, it was mandated under the provisions to hold elections within six months. But the state govt. refused to hold elections on one ground or another. Sources say the govt.’s repeated refusal had raised hackles in some quarters and the issue had been pending before the Supreme Court.