In a major setback to Shiv Sena govt, the Bombay High Court has quashed state govt decision to postpone co-op elections by three months, reports Indian Express.
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court has observed that the state is passing through no natural calamities currently, to warrant the postponement of the elections.
Earlier, BJP strongly slammed the Maharashtra govt. in the state assembly for its decision to postpone the elections in districts cooperative banks bringing up farm loan waiver and natural calamities issues. However, Cooperative Minister Balasaheb Patil had defended the govt decision.
A Bill to amend the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act 1960 was passed in the Assembly providing the government with the advantage to decide when the 21 district cooperative banks will go to the polls.
Originally, these cooperative banks were supposed to go to the polls between April and June this year but the state govt decided to postpone them by 3 months.
The decision to postpone elections applied to 22 DCCBs, several sugar factories and on about eight thousand PACCs in the state. “The high court held the decision illegal, arbitrary and in contravention with constitutional provisions”, IE reports.
Several petitions were filed against the govt decision by individuals as well as by affected co-op societies. They argued that the decision also contravenes the statues of MSCS Act 2002.
However, the advocates representing the state govt argued that for the sake of farmers, the decision has been taken and it does not as such violates the provision of MSCS Act.
Their main argument was around the shortage of manpower due to the implementation of loan waiver schemes for the farmers. The High Court rubbished their arguments and said that the state is well-equipped to carry both the assignments.