Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Feb 19:
The Naveen Patnaik government today heaved a sigh of relief after the Odisha High Court quashed the petitions challenging the legality of the Odisha Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2013 which had repealed the Odisha Self-Help Cooperatives Act, 2001.
A division bench of Chief Justice AK Goel and Justice AK Rath, while rejecting the petitions, directed the state government not to take any action against the self help cooperative societies for a period of three months beginning today – that is till May 19 – while vacating the interim stay on the ordinance.
It may be mentioned that the state government had promulgated an ordinance on June 6, 2013 to repeal the Odisha Self-Help Cooperative Act, 2001 to bring all registered co-operative bodies under the Act within the purview of the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, 1962, so as to have a single cooperative Act in the state in line with the 97th amendment to the Constitution of India in 2011.
The ordinance was challenged in a writ petition filed in the Odisha High Court by Uttara Odisha Krushak Samabaya Samiti and others. The High Court had granted an interim stay on the ordinance.
The ordinance, which lapsed on October 1, became the Odisha Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2013 after receiving the governor’s assent on October 3, 2013.
With this Act, all the 1634 self help cooperatives will go for amendment in their Articles of Associations and reconstitute their Board of Directors.
Under the provisions of the Act, the state government is empowered to take up audit of these cooperatives and examine their Books of Accounts.
Earlier, the cooperative societies coming under the Odisha Self-Help Cooperatives Act, 2001 were not audited and were not under the administrative control of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies.