2009(2) ALL MR 296
IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY

N.N. MHATRE, J.

Shri. Nitin Sadashiv Meher Vs. Mahim Vividh Karyakari Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit

Writ Petition No.4794 of 2001

8th October, 2008

Petitioner Counsel: Mr. A. S. DESAI

Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act (1960), S.22 - Membership of society - Application for admission as member of society - Application rejected on ground that the applicant/petitioner did not submit 7/12 extract and 8-A extract of the land owned by him personally - No such requirement in the bye-laws of the society - Application of the society to incorporate such condition was also rejected by Assistant Registrar - Held, orders passed by the Authorities rejecting the application of petitioner are liable to be set aside. (Para 5)

JUDGMENT

JUDGMENT :- The petition challenges the order passed by the Assistant Registrar, Co-operative Societies and the Divisional Joint Registrar on 6.4.1998 and 29.8.2000. By these orders, it has been held that the petitioner is not entitled to be a member of Respondent No.1 society.

2. The petitioner applied for membership of the Respondent society on 15.10.1997. This application was filed in consonance with the bye-laws of the respondent-society. All the pre-requisites for becoming a member alongwith the application had been complied according to the petitioner. However, this application was rejected on 19.12.1997 by the Respondent-Society, on the ground that the petitioner had not produced the 7/12 extract of his land. An appeal was preferred by the petitioner on 19.1.1998 u/s.23 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act before the Assistant Registrar challenging the decision of the society. The petitioner contended that he was a farmer and therefore, wanted to sell his agricultural produce through Respondent No.1 society. The Society admitted the petitioner as a nominal member on 11.3.1998 and not as a full-fledged member. The petitioner therefore prosecuted the appeal filed by him before the Assistant Registrar. On 6.4.1998, the Assistant Registrar rejected his appeal on the ground that he had not produced the 7/12 extract of his land, which according to the Assistant Registrar, was a pre-requisite for accepting the petitioner as a member of the Respondent No.1 society. The revision filed by the Petitioner before the Divisional Joint Registrar met with the same fate. The Petitioner has therefore, approached this Court under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution of India challenging the aforesaid orders.

3. Mr. Desai appearing for the petitioner contends that the bye-laws do not in any manner prescribe that a person who wishes to be a member of the society must produce the 7/12 extract of his property. He draws my attention to bye-law No.4 of Respondent No.1 society wherein a person who is a farmer and complies with the stipulations contained in bye-law No.5 is entitled to be a member of the society. He submits that the stipulations contained in bye-law No.5 have been complied by the petitioner. He has also produced the 7/12 extract of the land owned by his father. The learned advocate submits that both the authorities have erred in refusing membership to the petitioner on the ground that he had not produced the 7/12 extract of the property when that was not a pre-condition for being admitted as a member of the society.

4. The learned advocate draws my attention to the additional affidavit filed by the petitioner on 16.7.2002 wherein the petitioner has averred that the respondent No.1 society had sought amendments to bye-law No.5. The amendment sought was to the effect that one of the stipulations in bye-law No.5 should be that the person desiring to be a member of the society should produce the 7/12 extract as well as the 8A extract of the land owned by him personally. The amendment sought by the society has been rejected by the Assistant Registrar on 28.2.2001. The learned advocate therefore submits that there is no condition in bye-law No.5 which requires a prospective member to produce the 7/12 extract of the land owned by him personally.

5. In my opinion, the submission of the learned counsel deserves to be accepted. Both the authorities below have rejected the application of the petitioner for being admitted as a full-fledged member of the society only on the ground that he did not submit the 7/12 extract and 8A extract of the land owned by him personally. A perusal of the bye-law No.5 indicates that this is not one of the requirement for being admitted as a full fledged member of the society and, therefore, the orders of both the authorities below must be set aside. The very fact that the Assistant Registrar has rejected the amendment sought by the society for incorporating the condition that the 7/12 extract and the 8A extract of land personally owned by the prospective member should be produced has been rejected, indicates that there was no such condition in force when the petitioner applied for membership.

6. The petition is, therefore, allowed. Rule made absolute. No costs.

Petition allowed.