The Rajasthan High Court, in the case of Jaspal Singh vs State of Rajasthan & Ors, has held that the 2015 amendment to Section 30 of the Rajasthan Co-operative Societies Act is ultra vires to Article 243-Z, 243-ZK and 243-ZL of the Constitution of India and contrary to the national policy for the cooperative sector.
A bench comprising Justice Govind Mathur and Justice GR Moolchandani also directed the restoration of the proviso(1) to Section 30(1), which was deleted by the 2015 Amendment.
In this case, the constitutional validity of certain provisions of the Act was challenged.
Certain amendments were made to the Act in 2015 to ensure a smooth conduct of elections at different levels of the cooperative societies.
An amendment was made to Sections 30, 30-B and 32 of the Act.
Section 30-C was also introduced to the Act.
An amendment to certain provisions of the Act was also brought about in 2016. These amendments were challenged under Articles 14, 19(1)(c), 19(1)(g) and 43-B read with Part IX-B of the Constitution of India.
The court noted that after the amendment to Section 30, the time cap of six months to hold elections to the post of administrator had been diluted. As per the amended provision, an administrator may now be allowed to administer by the registrar for an indefinite period by not holding elections in a reasonable time.
Though Article 19(1)(c) of the Constitution provides for the formation of cooperative societies, these societies have to be formed in consonance with the national policy of the cooperative sector and Article 43-B and Part IX-B of the Constitution.
In addition to the aforementioned provisions, the amendment is also in contravention of Article 243-ZJ, 243-ZK and 243-ZL of the Constitution.
Further, the provision also falls foul of Article 14 of the Constitution for having no rationale and not being in consonance with the object sought to be achieved by the Act.
“The provision in question is further bad as that empowers the Registrar to interfere in functioning of a body which is having no State liability. The object of the Act of 2001 is to promote cooperative sector in light of the national policy for cooperative sector and further in consonance with the spirit of Part-IX-B of the Constitution. The national policy as well as Part- IX-B of the Constitution of India thrusts for maximum autonomy in cooperative sector and absolute autonomy to the cooperative societies wherein the State is having no liability,” it said.
Sections 30-C and 32 were also held to be bad in law for taking away the democratic values enshrined in the pre-amended provisions.
Read the Judgment here.