The Gujarat High Court not only dismissed a petition filed by Mehsana Dairy Union on the issue of special audit but also observed that the total scam or fraud may be quite more than Rs 717 crore.
Readers would recall Mehsana District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union had filed a petition seeking quashing of an order of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies to conduct special audit of the union.
The High Court allowed the Registrar to conduct a special audit dismissing the petition.
When Vipul Chaudhary was the chairman of Mehsana dairy aka Doodhsagar Dairy, there were allegations that he had defrauded the Union of over Rs 707 crore. Chaudhary was removed from the post in 2015 on the charges of fraud, and was barred from contesting elections for three years.
In its order the court said, “It seems that total scam or fraud may be quite more than Rs 717 crore and therefore there is certainly a need for special audit of the petitioner union to find out that whether there is actually any scam and if it is so then to what extent and how and who is responsible.” The court then dismissed the petition.
The union is alleged to having committed several irregularities, including sale of milk powder at lower rate, purchasing sugar at higher rate, expenses without tendering, scam by setting up new huge plant at Dharuhera (in Haryana) without actual need and without tender process, paying Rs 128 crore less to milk producers, among others.
The union’s petition had argued that instead of audit, the registrar should conduct inquiry against persons responsible.
The petition added the registrar been passed with malafide intention due to a political rivalry.
Chaudhary, who shifted his political leanings from Congress to BJP and again back to Congress was removed from the post of chairman of Mehsana dairy following charges of irregularities for six years.
He fought a legal battle against his removal but the high court in its order in January 2016 had allowed him to contest elections only after three years.