HC: Respite for Bijender, thumbs down for Bahuguna

The Consumer Affairs Ministry officials cut a sorry figure in the NCCF matter when it came up for hearing on Monday in Delhi High Court. The Bench expressed its anguish when it was informed that the Ministry appointed MD Anil Bahuguna was acting arbitrarily despite court orders not to take any major decision in the interregnum.

“The judge was indeed upset when he saw his order being ignored by the Ministry officials”, said Senior Advocate VP Singh representing NCCF in the court to Indian Cooperative.

“Actually the judge wanted to pass order staying the Directive of the Ministry on last Friday only but the Additional Solicitor General requested him to give two days of time to sort out the issue. At this, the Honourable Judge asked the Ministry officials including the imposed MD Bahuguna not to take any major decision related to NCCF”, V P Singh narrated the story .

But the MD transferred two senior officials including Board appointed MD Saukat Ali to Bhuvneshwar, making a mockery of court observation. When NCCF Advocate V P Singh pointed out the matter to Judge that it is a clear case of contempt of court, the Bench even asked him to file a contempt.

Bahuguna had on Sunday not only transferred two senior officers of NCCF but also passed an order removing Chairman Bijender Singh. The story was covered in detail in these columns titled “NCCF saga gets murkier; Registrar orders Singh’s removal” (http://www.indiancooperative.com/nccf/nccf-saga-gets-murkier-registrar-orders-singhs-removal/).

On Monday, the Bench stayed the order of the Ministry and said that the Board appointed MD Saukat Ali is the right choice, said Bijender Singh Chairman of NCCF. The Bench said all the orders passed by the Bahuguna stand nullified, he added.

Meanwhile, Bijender Singh has thanked the Central Registrar for issuing an order which at least was more balanced than that of the Ministry. “It at least mentioned that we wanted 15 days’ time to reply and wanted copies of complaint and enquiry report against Priya Cooperative”, he stated.

The next hearing of the matter is on 3rd July.

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