In a major development the Delhi High Court has quashed the order of the Union govt and reinstated the Chairman and Vice-Chairman of National Consumer Cooperative Federation Bijendra Singh and Virendra Singh respectively.
Talking to Indian Cooperative a jubilant Chairman Bijendra Singh confirmed the news “yes it is true and I am going to NCCF today on Thursday to take over”.
In its order the court ruled that section 122 and 123 of MSCS Act does not allow setting aside of the elections of Chairman and vice-chairman and can be used only to supersede the board. The board cannot be kept in abeyance, it ruled.
Readers would recall that in April 2015 the govt passed “Directions” under section 122 of the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act, 2002 setting aside the results of elections of Chairman and Vice chairman of NCCF and keeping in abeyance the results of the elections to the Board of Directors of NCCF held in February, 2015.
An Administrator was appointed to exercise the powers of the NCCF board.
The government said it had received complaints of serious irregularities in conduct of elections to the post of Chairman and Vice Chairman from Shri Vijay Kumar Singh, director on the NCCF board.
Regarding the genuine nature of co-operatives as affirmed by Bijendra Singh and Virendra Singh the High court observed that the matter needs to be investigated through a competent authority.
The charge was that the Priya Consumer Cooperative store ltd. ,New Delhi and the Janata Central Cooperative store ltd., Mumbai, represented by Shri Bijendra Singh and Shri Virendra Singh respectively do not satisfy the criteria provided under the NCCF Bye-laws 5(c) and 25(a) for contesting elections to the board of directors of the NCCF.
Talking to Indian Cooperative the reinstated Chairman Bijendra Singh said in such matters only the General Body is the competent authority. “We would respect its decision”, he added.
However, Mr Singh sounded thankful to Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan for having softened on the issue of the board’s reinstatement. I do not think they are going to appeal against the decision, he said.
But the bigger issue is restoring the health of cooperative body as business has suffered and the organization is financially down. “We look forward to cooperation from the MD to bring the NCCF back to health”, he underlined.