In a landmark judgement, Mrs Deepa Sharma, Sole Arbitrator has disqualified many Board members including the current Chairman, of the apex labour cooperative body NLCF, thereby reducing the influence and monopoly of Kushalkar family of Pune from the apex body after many decades.
Sanjiv Kushalkar was the third person after his father and elder brother to control NLCF in a row. The elections, held in July 2019 was mired in controversy right from the beginning.
On a complaint of some of the defeated members, as reported earlier in these columns, the Central Registrar had appointed an Arbitrator Mrs Deepa Sharma who gave her verdict last week. The judgement was delivered after several hearings and its contents have led many to wonder if the era of Kushalkar family in NLCF has come to an end. In the judgement the Arbitrator has disqualified NLCF Chairperson Avili Mighito Awomi who is believed to be a proxy of the outgoing Chairman Sanjeev Kushalkar.
NLCF’s Vice-Chairman Narendra Singh Rana and five more Directors have been disqualified. These include Mansukhlal Gohel, Sunita Vilas Mali, Avinash Gotarne, Lolia Susan and Ramesh Ramhut.
The arbitrator removed the directors on several grounds including their ineligibilities to contest elections. Some of them were also found to have not attended the AGM for three consecutive years- a must to be eligible to contest according to MSCS Act 2002.
The arbitrator has allowed two of the defeated members V.V.P Nair and Divya Nair on the board, according to a source.
Who would be the next Chairman is uncertain as Kushalkar himself could not be a candidate due to the bar imposed by Multi State Cooperative Act which refrains a candidate from contesting more than two terms in a row.
The name of Divya Nair is doing rounds as she has been re-nominated in the place of Awomi by the arbitrator. Divya belongs to some labour co-op society of Goa and is said to be close to VVP Nair.
Following the order, the five seats on the board have become vacant.
The other eight eligible directors included Amit Bajaj, Ramshankar Shukla, Sanjiv Kushalkar, Ashok Kumar Dabas, Arjunrao Borude, Kishor Kumar, Wasudevrao Tekam and D. Raja Lixmi.
While the board meeting to elect a new Chairman and Vice-Chairman should be underway, it is reliably learnt that Sanjiv Kushalkar is pressurizing the existing Directors to resign collectively and force the co-op body into a fresh election mode. “The helpless MD does not know what to do”, said an insider.