The Supreme Court (SC) on 4 January 2016 directed the Gujarat government to make functional the Gujarat State Cooperative Tribunal by filling up the vacant posts including that of judicial members, which is the bone of contention.
Further, the court directed that the tribunal cannot be allowed to be non-functional. The ruling was made by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India TS Thakur.
The dispute has its origin in 2011, when the Gujarat Co-operative Bar Association moved the High Court challenging the Gujarat Co-operative Societies Act, 1961 and the Rules made there under with respect to the appointment of members of the State Co-operative Tribunal and members of Board of Nominees.
They had contended that the Act confers excessive power upon the State in the appointment process. It was also their contention that the process of appointment does not comply with the provisions of Part IV, Chapter 6 of the Constitution dealing with the Directive Principles of State Policy.
The High Court had initially dismissed the petition, but overturned its judgment in a review petition.
However, on 11 September 2015, the HC rendered Rule 40A (C) the Co-operative Societies Rules, which allows appointment of persons with just a law degree invalid. It ruled that only members with a minimum of five years’ experience as a judicial officer will be eligible to be appointed to the tribunal.
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Who: Supreme Court
When: 4 January 2016