Voting rights of a member and right to contest election of Housing Society in Gujarat

By Gujarat Bureau

Voting Rights of a Member
As against the company law, the co-operative law provides for a single vote for a member irrespective of his share holding. However, the important question, which is often raised is that whether the voting rights of member can be restricted by the provisions of the bye-laws. In case of credit co-operative societies or the Urban Co-operative Banks, we often find that bye-laws which restricts voting rights of defaulter members and they are not allowed to exercise the voting rights, for which a provision is made in the bye-law. Question is whether such bye-law is consistent with provisions of the Co-operative Act,
in particular Gujarat Act, Sec. 28. In Rule 5(e), the rights and liabilities of the members in consequence of default can be prescribed by bye-laws. Section 27 also provides for restrictions in case of default in payment of dues. Therefore, it was held by Gujarat State Co-operative Tribunal in Appeal No.10 of 1973 and recently in Revision Application No.136 of 1996 decided on 4-12-1996, that such bye-laws restricting voting’ rights are valid and not inconsistent with Sec. 28. In case of primary milk cooperation societies, which are collecting milk from the members and supplying the same to the cooperative union at District level, like Amul and others, the question is also relevant when large number
of members do not provide the milk to the primary milk. co-operative societies and still continue to be a member and still insist upon exercise of voting rights. Model byelaws are, therefore, framed and adopted to restrict the voting rights of members, who do not supply the milk to the society in the prescribed quantity and prescribed number of days per annum. If this is not done, the members who are actively associated in the activity of the society, will go in the hands of management of the members, who are not associated with the activity of the society, therefore, such bye-laws providing for restriction on the voting rights are desirable also depending upon the objects of the society.

Right to contest election of the committee member

The Co-operative Act, in particular. Rule 32 provides for qualifications and disqualifications of the members of the Managing Committee for contesting the election as well as for continuing as members of the committee. This Rule 32, the title mentions about qualifications, but the Rule really describes disqualifications. One of the provision IS Rule 32(1)(c) which reads as follows: “if he is not otherwise disqualified for appointed as such as follows : This has been interpreted to leave the scope for provision of additional qualifications and disqualifications by the bye-laws of the society, in Revision application No. 26 of 1993 and is consistently followed by the Gujarat, State Co-op. Tribunal.