A. Narayana Pai, C.J.
1. These Writ Petitions are directed against the election to the Board of Directors of the Davangere Taluk Agricultural Co-operative Marketing Society Ltd., held on the 22nd November 1971 after the amendment of Bye-law No. 28.
2. According to the said Bye-law before the amendment in Question the Board of Directors was to consist of 8 'A' class members, 3 'B' class members, 1 nominated by the Finance Agency and 1 nominated by the State Government. After the amendment the number of representatives of the 'A' class is reduced from 8 to 6 and that of 'B' class from 3 to 2.
3. The Board 15 subject to rule of retirement by rotation formulated in bye law 28-A, which reads as follows:
'At each annual general meeting 1/3rd of the members of the Board of Directors for time being shall retire. The members to retire every year shall be those who have been longest in the office since their last election but as between the persons who become the members of the Board on the same day those to retire shall be determined by lot. The retiring members shall be eligible for election.'
4. Four persons selected on the application of Bye-law 28-A are said to have retired at the general meeting held on 22nd November 1971; out of them 3 happened to be representatives of 'A' class; thus reducing the number of A class representatives on the Board to 5, i.e., one less than the number now permitted after the amendment and the remaining one happened to be a representative of the 'B' class, reducing their number from 3 to 2. which is equal to the number according to the amendment.
5. On this footing the Returning Officer held an election to fill only one Vacancy of 'A' class member to which the 3rd respondent G. Parameshwarappa got elected.
6. The petitioner belongs to the 'B' class members and contends that on the amendment of Bye-law 28 mentioned above, which according to the order of approval given by the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Chitradurga, was to be given effect from the date of the general meeting next after the amendment (which happens to be the general meeting of 22nd November 1971, mentioned above), the entire old Board should have retired and that a fresh Board should have been constituted by electing six members from 'A' class and two from 'B' class. The answer on behalf of the Respondents is that the amendment of Bye law 28 did not to any extent affect the continued operation of Bye-law 28 and that, therefore no more than 1/3rd of the members of the previous Board could be called upon to retire.
7. The argument that entire constitution of the Board is changed must, in our opinion, be understood in the light of the Bye-laws as if the word 'Constitution' comprehended not merely Bye-law No. 28, but Bye-laws 28, 28-A and 31. According to Bye-law 31, 'the Board elected by the annual general meeting shall hold office till another board is elected......'
8. The result is although the Board consisted of a number of persons representing different interests and is renewed by rotation year after year, only 1/3rd of the members retiring pursuant to Bye-law 28-A, the Board functioning from one annual general meeting to another annual general meeting is regarded as wholly renewed for the subsequent year by reason of Bye-law 31, which shows that the Board elected by the annual general meeting shall hold office till another Board is elected. So long as the Bye-law providing for rotation remains in force, one cannot contemplate all the members of the Board going out of office at a general meeting next after the one at which the Board was elected. If, nevertheless the Board holding office for a year is regarded as one which functions between one general meeting and another general meeting, the effect of Bye-laws must be held to be that on a re-election being made in respect of the vacancies caused by retirement by rotation pursuant to Bye-law 28-A a fresh Board is constituted.
9. It should also be noticed that when Bye-law 28-A obliges 1/3rd of the members who have been longest in office to retire it simultaneously entitles the remaining 2/3rds to continue in office. That right cannot be said to have been taken away by the amendment to Bye-law 28.
10. Hence, the proper way of giving effect to the three Bye-laws is, first, to eliminate persons from the Board, who are to retire by rotation under Bye-law 28-A, then hold an election to vacancies so arising in such a way as to see that the total number and the relative proportion of representatives of different classes is in accordance with Bye law 28 as amended which came into effect on the date of the general meeting of 22nd November 1971.
11. So understood the action taken by the Returning Officer in electing only one person to the Board at the said general meeting must be held to be correct and in accordance with the Bye-laws, and the Board so re-constituted to be the Board which satisfied all the Bye-laws 28, 28-A and 31.
12. This disposes of writ petition No. 3112/71 also, because it raises the same question, the only difference being that the Petitioner is 'A' Class member.
13. Both the Writ Petitions are dismissed.