Section 21-A (1A) of the Act-Andhra Pradesh Co-Operative Societies Act, 1964 disqualifies a person having more than two children for election or for continuing as a member of the Committee. The disqualification stipulated in this provision, thus, may occur at two stages, namely; at the stage of election of the member or after the election while continuing as a member. A contention was raised that such a disqualification can only be decided by way of an Election Petition. The Division Bench while repelling the said contention, referred to the second limb of Sub-section-(1A) of Section-21-A of the Act and held that as a person having more than two children is rendered disqualified even for continuance as a member of the committee after election, such a dispute need not necessarily be decided only by way of an Election Petition. This judgment, far from supporting the petitioners' case, fortifies the view of this Court that two different mechanisms have been provided for deciding on the disqualification of a member depending upon the stage at which the dispute is raised. For the above-mentioned reasons, the Writ Petition is wholly meritless and the same is, accordingly, dismissed.


reported / published in http://judis.nic.in/judis_andhra/filename=9893
HON'BLE SRI JUSTICE C.V.NAGARJUNA REDDY        

WRIT PETITION No.13024 of 2013

26.04.2013

Between:

Soma Venkata Rao, S/o Chinna Rama Kottaiah and two others...... Petitioners

And

Velamuri China Ayyapa Reddy,S/o Hanimi Reddy and eight others......Respondents

Counsel for the Petitioners: Sri V.R.Machavaram

Counsel for Respondent Nos.5 to 8: GP for Co-Operation

<Gist:

>Head Note:

?CITATIONS:
NIL

ORDER:

        This Writ Petition is filed for a Certiorari to quash O.P.No.20 of 2013
pending on the file of the Andhra Pradesh Co-Operative Tribunal, Vijayawada (for
short 'the Tribunal') and declare that the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to
entertain the said O.P. as an election dispute.
        Petitioner Nos.1 to 3 were elected as President, Vice-President and
Director, respectively, of the Gurajala Primary Agricultural Co-Operative
Society (for short 'the society') in the recent elections. Respondent Nos.1 to
4, who are unsuccessful in the said elections, filed an Election Petition under
Section 61(3) of the Andhra Pradesh Co-Operative Societies Act, 1964 (for short
'the Act') before the Tribunal. The said Election Petition was entertained by
the Tribunal and registered as O.P.No.20 of 2013. Questioning the jurisdiction
of the Tribunal, the petitioners filed this Writ Petition.
        At the hearing, Sri V.R.Machavaram, the learned counsel for the
petitioners, stated that the ground on which respondent Nos.1 to 4 filed the
Election Petition was that at the time of election of the petitioners they had
three children and that thereby, they have incurred disqualification for being
elected to the aforesaid society under Section 21-A(1A) of the Act. According to
the learned counsel, the disqualification of the petitioners has to be
determined by the General Body of the society under the Act and the Rules and
that the same cannot be a subject matter of an election dispute.
        The learned Government Pleader for Co-Operation has opposed the above
submissions and stated that since the petitioners are allegedly ineligible for
being elected, such a dispute will constitute an election dispute.
        I have carefully considered the respective submissions of the learned
counsel for the parties.
        Section 61 of the Act deals with settlement of disputes. Sub-section 3
thereof envisages that every dispute relating to, or in connection with, any
election to a committee of a society shall be referred for decision of the
Tribunal having jurisdiction over the place where the main office of the society
is situated, whose decision thereon shall be final. Under Sub-section-4 thereof,
such dispute shall be raised only after the date of declaration of the result of
the election.
        Section 21-A (1A) of the Act disqualifies a person having more than two
children for election or for continuing as a member of the Committee. The
disqualification stipulated in this provision, thus, may occur at two stages,
namely; at the stage of election of the member or after the election while
continuing as a member. In the present case, the allegation against the
petitioners is that by the time of their election as members to the aforesaid
society, they already had three children. Therefore, it is a case pertaining to
the first stage disqualification i.e., disqualification for being elected as
members.
        As noted herein before, any dispute relating to, or in connection with the
election to a committee of a society has to be decided in an Election Petition.
The dispute as to
whether the petitioners were eligible to be elected as members
of the Managing Committee of the said society or not, thus, squarely falls
within the election dispute under Section 61(3) of the Act.
It is only in cases
where such election disputes are not raised, or where the persons elected have
incurred disqualification after their election and while continuing as members,
that the procedure envisaged under Rule-24 of the Rules is required to be
followed. 
Under this Rule, the Chief Executive Officer or the President, where
there is no Chief Executive Officer, shall promptly inform the Registrar of the
disqualification of the member(s), wherever such disqualification would not
automatically occur, and place a report on such disqualifications in the General
Body meetings for information and thereafter, the General Body has to pass a
resolution declaring a person as disqualified to be a member of the committee of
the society. 
Thus, under the Scheme of the Act and the Rules, the Tribunal has
jurisdiction and competence to entertain an election dispute on the allegation
that at the time of election of a candidate, he incurred disqualification under
Section-21-A (1A) of the Act.
        The Division Bench judgment, dated 16.12.2005, of this Court in Pidugu
Madhu Vs. The Deputy Registrar of Co-Operative Societies, Kavali and three
others in Writ Appeal No.2443 of 2005 relied upon by the learned counsel is of
no avail to the petitioners. That was a converse case, where the proceedings
were initiated for disqualifying a member of the Managing Committee much after
the elections were held.
A contention was raised that such a disqualification
can only be decided by way of an Election Petition.
The Division Bench while
repelling the said contention, referred to the second limb of Sub-section-(1A)
of Section-21-A of the Act and held that as a person having more than two
children is rendered disqualified even for continuance as a member of the
committee after election, such a dispute need not necessarily be decided only by
way of an Election Petition.
 This judgment, far from supporting the petitioners' case, fortifies the view of
this Court that two different mechanisms have been provided for deciding on the
disqualification of a member depending upon the stage at which the dispute is
raised.
For the above-mentioned reasons, the Writ Petition is wholly meritless and the
same is, accordingly, dismissed.
As a sequel to dismissal of the Writ Petition, WPMPs, if any, pending are
dismissed as infructuous.

___________________________  
JUSTICE C.V.NAGARJUNA REDDY      
26th April, 2013

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