1. This writ petition is filed by the President of the Amadalavalasa Co-operative Agricultural and Industrial Society Limited, Amadalavalasa, questioning the proceedings of the Director of Sugar dated 31-3-75.
2. On 10-3-1972 the Director of Sugar ordered a statutory enquiry into the constitution, working and financial conditions of the Amadalavalasa Co-operative Agricultural and Industrial Society Limited under S. 51 of the Andhra Pradesh Co-operative Societies Act. The District Cooperative Officer, Shri I. Subbanarasaiah was appointed as enquiry officer to conduct the enquiry. He was directed to complete the enquiry within a period of 90 days from the date of the notice to the society. He proceeded on leave from 9-4-1972. One L. Satyanarayana , his successor was authorised to conduct the enquiry. The enquiry was not completed. On 2-1-1974, the District Revenue Officer, Srikakulam, was appointed as Enquiry Officer. He could not also complete the enquiry. Ultimately one Shri K.S. Sarma was appointed as Enquiry Officer on 31-3-1975. Questioning that order, the petitioner has filed this writ petition.
3. It is submitted by the learned counsel for the petitioner that under S. 51 of the Andhra Pradesh Co-operative Societies act, the enquiry should be completed within such time as may be prescribed. In the notice given by the Director of Sugar on 10-3-1972 the enquiry officer had to complete the enquiry within a period of 90 days from the date of the notice served on the society. But it was not completed. Thereafter from time to time, the enquiry officer was changed and the period of enquiry was being extended. It is contended that this is contrary to the provisions of S. 51 of the Act. The learned counsel for the petitioner has also stated that subsequent to the filing of this writ petition, another officer was appointed on 5-8-1975 to hold an enquiry and again another officer was appointed on 6-1-1976.
4. Whatever may be the legal position, it is very unfortunate that the enquiry could not be completed from 1972 till to date, more so when it pertains to the financial position of the Society.
5. I do not see anything wrong in the impugned orders. Section 51 of the Act reads as follows:
'51. Enquiry :The Registrar may, of his own motion and shall, on the application of a Society to which the society concerned is affiliated or of not less than one third of the members of the committee, or of not less that one fifth of the total number of members of the Society hold an enquiry or direct some person authorised by him by an order in this behalf to hold an enquiry into the Constitution, working and financial condition of a society. Such enquiry shall be completed within such time as may be prescribed.'
Under this section, the Registrar himself can hold the enquiry or he can authorise some other person to hold the enquiry. Secondly that enquiry should be completed within such time as may be prescribed. Thus there is no prohibition in the Section from the Registrar appointing one person after another to conduct the enquiry. Equally there is no statutory period prescribed under the Section within which the enquiry should be completed. In fact that could not be the intendment of the Section. A person that is appointed as an enquiry officer may resign his post or he may be transferred from the place or he may be reduced in rank or for some other reason he may not be able to hold the enquiry. It does not mean that some other person could not be appointed in his place to continue the enquiry. Similarly no particular period is prescribed for the completion of the enquiry for, in some cases it may be completed or it may not be completed.
6. Apart from that, I do not see how the petitioner could have any grievance against the impugned order. The enquiry is instituted against the Society and not against the petitioner. This is also made very clear in the counter affidavit filed on behalf of the respondents. Therefore, he cannot have any grievance.
7. There is also another hurdle in the way of the petitioner. After he had filed the writ petition, two more orders were passed on 5-8-1975 and 6-1-1976 appointing different officers, and they are not questioned in the writ petition.
8. In these circumstances I do not see any grounds to interfere with the orders passed by the Director of Sugar and I dismiss this writ petition, but in the circumstances of the case, I direct each party to bear its costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 150/-.
9. Petition dismissed.