‘Co-op society can’t be treated as State authority’

The Bench was hearing an appeal filed by one P Manimaran in 2011 challenging the said order of the single judge.
For representational purpose. (File Photo)
For representational purpose. (File Photo)

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently clarified that a co-operative society cannot be treated as a State or a public authority and that a writ petition against a co-operative society by its employee is not maintainable.

A Bench comprising Justices R Subramanian and N Sathish Kumar stated so while upholding the decision made by a single judge to dismiss several petitions filed by the employees of various co-operative societies in 2010. The single judge had dismissed the petitions on the ground that a writ petition, challenging the orders relating to service of employees in co-operative societies, is not maintainable. The Bench was hearing an appeal filed by one P Manimaran in 2011 challenging the said order of the single judge.

The judges noted that Manimaran was working as a Junior Assistant in a co-operative society in Sivagangai in 1995. He was accused of aiding the assistant manager to fabricate a demand draft in the name of his close relative and after a domestic inquiry, he was dismissed from service in 1999. Though the criminal case against him ended in acquittal, the co-operative society refused to reinstate him, challenging which he filed the petition before a single judge in 2010.

The petitioner’s counsel argued against the single judge’s decision by relying on a Supreme Court judgment passed in 2013 which held that a co-operative society would be a public authority in view of the addition of the term ‘Co-operative Societies’ to Article 43B of the Constitution of India, through the 97th amendment.

But the Bench pointed out that the Supreme Court had struck down a portion of the amendment, relating to co-operative societies, in 2021. Holding that a co-operative society, therefore, cannot be treated as a State or public authority, the judges upheld the single judge’s order.

Court imposes Rs 50K cost on petitioner
Madurai: The Madurai Bench of Madras HC imposed Rs 50,000 cost on a man for filing a PIL seeking direction to forbear the Central government from conducting the annual conference of Customs and GST at a hotel in Mahabalipuram, Chennai, on May 5 and 6. The petitioner VM Jose claimed that the government should not spend public money for conducting such events in star hotels. He also questioned why the Centre was conducting the event in TN. A Bench comprising Justices Paresh Upadhyay and R Vijayakumar observed that the petition should be perceived as adversity on the Centre-State relationship. Such attempts need to be nipped in the bud, the judges said.

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