Kar HC | Writ court cannot interfere with decision of Returning Officer of cooperative society as equally efficacious statutory remedy available

Karnataka High Court: The Single Judge Bench of S. Sujatha, J. dismissed a petition challenging the decision of  Returning Officer of Kadaragundi Milk Producers Co-operative Society whereby petitioner’s nomination for contesting elections to Board of Directors of the said society, was rejected.

The ground for Returning Officer’s decision was that petitioner was in default of loan taken from the bank. Aggrieved thereby, petitioner filed the instant petition submitting that he was required to pay the loan taken from bank by March 2019 but he had already paid the said loan by January, 2019. Hence, rejection on the said ground was unsustainable. He further contended that his nomination paper had been scrutinized and accepted by the respondent Returning Officer in his presence, but was rejected behind his back later on without providing him an opportunity of hearing.

The Court observed that rejection of petitioner’s nomination behind his back was a disputed question of fact which could not be determined in writ jurisdiction. Relying on the judgment in Umesh Shivappa Ambi v. Angadi Shekara Basappa, (1998) 4 SCC 529 it was opined that the Court will not ordinarily interfere in matters where an equally efficacious remedy is available under the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959.

In view of the above, the petition was dismissed granting liberty to the petitioner to resort to appropriate proceedings in accordance with law.[Jayaram K.P. v. State of Karnataka, 2019 SCC OnLine Kar 91, Order dated 01-02-2019]

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