Elections of Co-operative Housing Societies:Part 1 By Adv. Mrudgandha Joshi
97th Amendment to the Constitution has brought about many important changes in the Cooperative Sector. These changes are consistent with the Cooperative principles enumerated therein. Autonomous Functioning and Democratic Control are the two principles observed in the elections procedure. Elections of the managing committee of a cooperative Societies have to be in fair, transparent and democratic manner and therefore the State Government has constituted an independent body ‘The State Cooperative Election Authority’(SCEA) under section 73CB of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act,1960. The said SCEA has the power of superintendence, direction & control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of all elections to a society. Every general election of the members of the committee & elections of the office bearers of a society including any casual vacancy,to the extent applicable, shall be held as per the procedure prescribed.
The State Government has framed Election rules on 11th September 2014 which are called the Maharashtra Co-operatives Societies (Election to Committee) Rules 2014 to regulate the conduct of elections to the Co-operative Societies. The said rules confer powers on the SCEA in order to conduct the elections of the co-operative societies. The SCEA can appoint officers/employees for the purpose of conducting the elections who shall work under the general superintendence and control of the SCEA.
Election of all the members of the Committee shall be held once in 5 years, before the expiry of its term,in accordance with the provisions of section 73-CB of the Act and the Rules/procedure framed thereunder.It shall be the duty of the Committee to intimate to the State Cooperative Election Authority for holding of its election before expiry of its term. On failure the Committee Members shall cease to hold office after expiry of its term,and attract action by the Registrar under section 77A.