NCUI’s efforts to retain NCCT as its arm suffered a major setback in the High Court when its senior lawyer failed to show up on time, forcing the bench to post the matter after summer vacation. And with this the tall claim of senior lawyer V P Singh of winning the case in one hearing proved so ludicrous as to be amusing.
Indian Cooperative has learnt that the matter did come up for hearing at around 5.50 pm on 26th April when the judge wanted the NCUI lawyers to argue the case. But VP Singh- the designated senior lawyer who also is a Governing Council member of NCUI was nowhere to be found. His assistant sought next date as she was ill-prepared to argue the case despite Bench insistence. However, when she sought next date again, the court adjourned the case until 25 the July, dashing the hopes of any quick relief.
Several GC members Indian Cooperative talked to were not happy with the development, though NCUI President Chandra Pal Singh still defended V P Singh. “Strangely, the Ministry submitted its reply just a day prior to the hearing even when it had got three weeks to reply. Our lawyer needed time to study the replies before responding to them”, Chandra Pal said to this correspondent defending V P Singh.
Yadav however, did not react as sharply as was expected of him when Indian Cooperative raised the matter of changing the lawyer in the next hearing of the case. “Let us see” was what he said almost falling in line with the popular opinion in NCUI of employing someone else in place of VP Singh.
Readers would recall that delinking of NCCT from NCUI has angered cooperators no end as they see in it a move to weaken the cooperative movement by cutting NCUI to size by the Ministry.
NCCT was created under the provisions of byelaws of National Cooperative Union of India (NCUI) and the govt has no power to effect a separation between the two, argued several GC members.
In an interview given to Indian Cooperative earlier, V P Singh had said “NCCT is an NCUI’s entity and it has to be so; we do not mind the govt running it but it cannot take it over”. He also said that though he is not preparing the writ, being the senior Advocate he would argue the case in the court.
“I think in next 10 days we would have a stay order in our hands”, he had said to Indian Cooperative which now seems to have got delayed by several months.
Meanwhile, NCCT has begun to operate as an independent body with none of its file coming to NCUI anymore, a source added.