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Government of Andhra Pradesh and ors. Vs. K. Sethuramman and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberWrit Appeal No. 749 of 1981
Judge
Reported inAIR1986AP170
ActsAndhra Pradesh Co-operative Societies Act, 1964 - Sections 21-C and 32
AppellantGovernment of Andhra Pradesh and ors.
RespondentK. Sethuramman and ors.
Appellant AdvocateGovt. Pleader for F & A
Respondent AdvocateG.R. Subbarayan, Adv.
Excerpt:
trusts and societies - committee - sections 21-c and 32 of andhra pradesh co-operative societies act, 1964 - whether person or persons appointed under section 32 (7) (a) is committee within meaning of section 21-c - there is no difference between elected committee and nominated committee under section 21-c - persons appointed to manage affairs of committee come within definition of committee by whatever name they may be called - held, persons appointed under section 32 (7) (a) committee within meaning of section 21-c. - - superintendent of excise, (1980) 1 andh wr 78 does not lay down good law......is no dispute about facts. the only question that arises for consideration is whether a person or persons appointed by the registrar to manage the affairs of the society in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under s. 32(7)(a) of the andhra pradesh co-operative societies act, 7 of 1964, hereinafter referred to as the 'act', is a committee within the meaning of s. 21-c. a full bench of this court in kamareddy suryanarayana v. district co-operative officer, : air1976ap340 while interpreting the word 'committee' in s. 21-c held as follows :--'..............they must have meant it to be both an elected committee and a nominated committee.'the learned judges have considered the objects and reasons for enacting s. 21-c and ultimately came to the above said conclusion. it is so doubt.....
Judgment:

Lakshmana Rao, J.

1. In this Writ Appeal there is no dispute about facts. The only question that arises for consideration is whether a person or persons appointed by the Registrar to manage the affairs of the Society in exercise of the powers conferred upon him under S. 32(7)(A) of the Andhra Pradesh Co-operative Societies Act, 7 of 1964, hereinafter referred to as the 'Act', is a Committee within the meaning of S. 21-C. A Full Bench of this Court in Kamareddy Suryanarayana v. District Co-operative Officer, : AIR1976AP340 while interpreting the word 'Committee' in S. 21-C held as follows :--

'..............They must have meant it to be both an elected committee and a nominated committee.'

The learned Judges have considered the objects and reasons for enacting S. 21-C and ultimately came to the above said conclusion. It is so doubt true that while coming to the said conclusion the learned Judges were concerned with a committee nominated under the Second Proviso to S. 31 of the Act.

2. In the instant case, certain persons were appointed by the Registrar under S. 32(7)(A) to manage the affairs of the Society. It is contended by the learned Government Pleader that there is no difference or distinction between a committee nominated under S. 31 Second Proviso, and a person or persons appointed under S. 32(7)(a) by the Registrar to manage the affairs of the Society. In this connection, the learned Government Pleader has drawn our attention to the definition of the word 'Committee', which reads as follows :--

''Committee' means the governing body of a Society by whatever name called, to which the management of the affairs of the society is entrusted.'

Under S. 31, the general body of a society shall constitute a committee in accordance with the bye-laws and entrust the management of the affairs of the society to such committee. The committee constituted by the general body is obviously an elected committee. Under the Second Proviso to S. 31 in the case of a Society registered after the commencement of the Act, the persons who have signed the application for registration of the society, are empowered to appoint a committee to conduct the affairs of the society. The committee is referred to by the Full Bench as a nominated committee. Under S. 32(7)(a) the Registrar is conferred power to appoint person or persons to manage the affairs of the Society for a particular period. Having regard to the provisions referred to above, it is urged by the learned Government pleader that whatever may be nature of the appointment of the Committee, either by nomination as contemplated under the Second Proviso to S. 31, or bye-laws of the Society or by the Registrar under S. 32(7)(a), when such a committee or persons or person are appointed to manage the affairs of the society, they come within the meaning of the word 'committee' by whatever name they may be called. The Full Bench has categorically laid down that there is no difference between an elected committee and a nominated committee so far as S. 21-C is concerned. (Vide Para 15 of the judgment at page 233 (of 1976-1 APLJ) : (at Pp, 346-47 of AIR). We find force in the contention of the learned Government Pleader that the person or persons in charge appointed by the Registrar to manage the affairs of the society fall within the definition of 'Committee'.

On the other hand, it is contended by the learned counsel for the respondent that a committee nominated under the second proviso to S. 31 functions independently and is not subject to the control of the Registrar, whereas the person or persons in charge appointed under S. 32(7)(A) by the Registrar to manage the affairs of the Society have to function subject to the control of the Registrar and as such the person or persons so appointed cannot be said to come within the definition of the word 'committee'. Jayachandra Reddy, J., while interpreting, the word 'committee', has held that the words 'by whatever name called' occurring in the definition of the word 'committee' apply only to the society and not to the committee. With respect, we are unable to agree with the view expressed by the learned Judge. The words 'by whatever name called' occurring in the definition refer to the governing body, namely, the committee but not the society. Governing body means such body of persons either elected, nominated or appointed to which the management of the affairs of the society is entrusted. Though the person or the persons appointed by the Registrar to manage the affairs of the society under S. 32(7)(a) have to function subject to the control of the Registrar, it is specifically provided in S. 32(7)(B) that such person or persons have the power to exercise all of any of the functions of the committee or of any of the functions of the committee or of any officer of the society and to take all such action as may be required in the interests of the society. S. 32(7)(A) itself makes it clear that the person or persons have to manage the affairs of the society. Having regard to the provisions of S. 32(7)(A) and (b), and the definition of word 'Committee' in S. 2(B) of the Act, we do not have any hesitation in holding that the person or persons appointed by the Registrar under S. 32(7)(A) come within the definition of the word 'committee' under S. 21-C of the Act. In this context, reference may be made to a judgment rendered by one of us (Raghuvir, J.) in G. Kistanna v. Government of Andhra Pradesh, : AIR1981AP243 , wherein it is laid down in categorical terms as follows :--

'9. In the case, the Registrar of Co-operative Societies appointed Suryanarayana as a member of a nominated committee which was entrusted the management of Sugar Co-operative Society till Dec. 30, 1962. Again Suryanarayana was nominated as person in charge in Oct. 1968 and held office till 30-6-1971. Later, he was elected and was a member of committee from July 1972 to July 30, 1975. This Court, on the above facts, observed, the expression 'Committee' will take in an 'elected committee' and also 'a nominated committee', therefore, Suryanarayana was held ineligible in elections to the term following July 30, 1975. The expression 'committee' in this regard, it was elucidated in the explanation of the section, when 'reference is made to the two terms of office......they (the legislature) said only 'committee' and not 'elected committee'.

10. The reasoning in the Full Bench case shows as a postulate for the decision of the case accepted to be 'committee' as defined in the Act. Apart from the reasoning in the case two provisos to Cl. (1) of S. 31 put the question beyond controversy. There is no difference between a nominated committee (second proviso to S. 31) and appointed committee (first proviso) except nomination is made where bye-laws of the society provide for doing so. In Suryanarayana's case : AIR1976AP340 (FB), nominated committee was held (question No. 2) to be a committee. By a party of reasoning, the appointed body is also a committee within the meaning of S. 21-C of the Act. In the course of the debate, note of the contenders have argued that in essence or in content there is any distinction between the two (nomination and appointment) from the standpoint of entrustment of management to a committee.'

3. Dealing with the decision in Usanna v. Superintendent of Excise, (1980) 1 Andh W.R. 78 the learned Judge observed as follows :

'It is argued on behalf of the State Government, S. 21-C contemplates an elected committee and a nominated committee but not appointed committee (to denote persons in charge). Further, it is elaborated that appointed committee may be entrusted the management. Still, so, it is stressed 'the context requires' (S. 2(B), the meaning of the word should be given differently from what is provided in the definition. This plea was sought to be supported from the ratio in the decision Usanna v. Superintendent of Excise. (1980) 1 Andh WR 78, where persons in charge when appointed as a committee, it was held are not a 'committee' as defined in S. 2(B) of the Act. This conclusion was reached for three reasons because of Cl. (2) of S. 30, persons in charge cannot be removed; because R. 22 prescribes entrustment of the management to an elected body and also because under S. 34, the Registrar cannot supersede a body appointed as person in charge. These three-fold grounds were referred to infer that persons in charge when they are entrusted management of a society they are not 'committee' under S. 32(7)(A). In Usanna's case, S. 21-C was not considered and was not in point. A Full Bench decision of this Court in K. Suryanarayana v. W.G. Co-op. Sugar Ltd. : AIR1976AP340 where this Court considered the meaning of the expression 'committee', was not considered in Usanna's case. The correctness of the reasoning, therefore, it is unnecessary to discuss further for the Full Bench decision in K. Suryanarayana's case covers the issue raised at the debate in the instant case.'

For the reasons stated above, the judgment of the learned single Judge under appeal is set aside. We further hold that the judgment in Usanna v. Superintendent of Excise, (1980) 1 Andh WR 78 does not lay down good law. The Writ Appeal is accordingly allowed. There shall be no order as to costs. Advocate's fee Rs. 150/.

4. Appeal allowed.


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