Uttaranchal High Court: Sharad Kumar Sharma, J. disposed of a writ petition filed against the order of Cooperative Election Tribunal, resulting in the election of the two Cooperative Society blocks of Kotabagh and Ramnagar, which was supposed to be held for the Primary Dugdh Cooperative Society, had been directed to be kept in abeyance till the conclusion of enquiry which was directed to be conducted by the Joint Director, Dairy.

The Petitioners, the Directors and Vice Chairman of Nainital Dugdh Utpadak Sehkari Sangh, submitted that under the normal election laws, once the election programme has been notified and the constituencies have been determined, the candidature of the probable candidates has already been determined, the list of voters is finalized after inviting objections. In that eventuality, the impugned order of 31-08-2021, suspending the election of Dugdh Utpadak Sehkari Samiti particularly for Block Ramnagar and Kotabagh, would be in violation of Rule 16 and 17 of the Rules of 2018, which contemplates and provides for specific inevitable circumstances under which the election programme after being notified could be suspended. They further contended that the suspension of the election, had been maliciously made in order to make the petitioners ineligible to contest the election of the Cooperative Societies.

The Court held that “suspension of election cannot be done in a routine manner, because it infringes and runs contrary to the very democratic set up of augmenting the Cooperative activities for the benefit of public at large and the members attached to it”. Furthermore, the Court directed Respondent to appoint an alternative body and an election officer too in accordance with Rules of 2004, to be read with the Rules of 2018 and conduct the election by appointment of new Election Officer. Court didn’t found malice attached in the public complaint submitted against the Respondent. Subsequently, the petition was dismissed.[Virendra Singh Mehra v. Director/Registrar, Dairy Development, 2022 SCC OnLine Utt 84, decided on 17-02-2022]

Appearances by:

Mr Sandeep Tiwari, Advocate for the petitioners.

Mr C.S. Rawat, Chief Standing Counsel for the State of Uttarakhand/respondent 1, 3 & 4. Mr Sadeep Kothari, Advocate for respondent 2.

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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