While the hearing in the case of de-linking NCCT from NCUI has begun in the court with the next date on April 26, experts have been busy applying their minds to the issue and weighing the possibilities of NCUI winning the case. Many say the Ministry order will not stand up to judicial scrutiny even for a moment.
Talking to experts Indian Cooperative has culled a list of arguments from them that would make it difficult for the Ministry to justify its order/action.
NCCT was created by the apex cooperative body NCUI through Byelaws 16A. The issue of creation of NCCT was first approved by then Governing Council and later passed by Annual General Assembly. The said amendment was, after that, sent to the Central Registrar for approval who upheld it in good faith.
Thus the Ministry has no right to usurp a part of NCUI which is NCCT in this case. The ministry is acting ultra vires; its action would be deemed simply undemocratic, illegal and unsustainable in the court of law, experts opine.
Second point which may go against the Ministry is the unseemly haste in issuing the order of delinking. The experts are of the opinion that the Ministry should have first given a show-cause notice to the apex cooperative body. Giving an opportunity to be heard is a necessary practice in such matters and the Ministry’s action is most likely to attract a severe reprimand from the court, say experts.
Third reason put forward by the rescue team is that such take-over usually happens when there is a case of damage to public interest that is when the public interest is compromised. Nothing of the kind has happened in this case-there was no charge of either misappropriation of funds or any other acts of mismanagement.
There are several weak points in the letter dashed off by the Ministry which may make it easy for the team to defend NCUI’s position. The letter at one point talks of the NCCT Secretary being too junior to both Chairman and DG to have his way.
The Supreme body of NCCT is the NCCT committee which is appointed directly by the Ministry. There are Chairman and DG from NCUI but the majority of the members are hand-picked by the Ministry( Earlier, the Ministry used to consult NCUI in appointing the Committee members but this time it did not bother to consult NCUI leading to a war of words between the two)
Without having any veto power how can the Chairman dictate his terms in the committee which runs on the basis of the majority opinion? Such baseless insinuations in the Ministry’s letter will be fodder for NCUI’s lawyers when the hearing in the case begins, argue experts.
Experts have also found that NCCT’s accounts are not even submitted to NCUI and are sent directly to the Ministry. “Annual accounts are not even shown to the NCUI” then how can one blame NCUI for the wrongs of NCCT, say experts.
Experts have also nailed another lie in the Ministry’s letter where it calls NCUI a private body outside the ambit of the government audit. A battery of lawyers have found that not only its accounts are vetted by the govt but also the CAG reviews it every 2-3 years. Experts say they have found that NCUI’s annual accounts are tabled in Parliament. This revelation in the court would puncture the main argument of the Ministry, they said.
At one place in the order it has been said that Chairman of NCCT is held accountable for corruption as he did not act. Experts are emphatic that this is a shoot and scoot strategy of the Ministry’s babus which they would find failing in the court.” The simple point is that if the ministry has found anybody guilty of corruption what stops them from filing an FIR and taking the investigation to its logical conclusion”, ask experts.
“The truth of the matter is that they have no substantive points and they are just making shallow charges, making it easy for NCUI to get a stay from the court”, aver the rescue team members.