1. The petitioner is member of a Cooperative Society registered under the Madras Co-operative Societies Act, 1932, and the prayer in the petition is:
'For the reasons stated in the affidavit herewith filed it is prayed that this Hon'ble Court may be pleased by virtue of its powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India to remove or call for all the records and proceedings including the resolutions passed at a meeting of the Nattika Firka Producers cum Consumers Cooperative Society, Valapad and dated 7-8-1955 and also the proceedings and resolutions passed at the meeting of Nattika Pirka Rural Co-operative Bank Limited, Valapad and to quash the same by issue of a writ of certiorari or other appropriate writ or order. It is further prayed that the registration of the 1st respondent as Society No. F. 1251 be cancelled and all proceedings and orders relating to the appointment and continuance of respondents 3 to 8 as Directors of the 1st respondent Bank be quashed'.
The prayer regarding the continuance of respondents 3 to 8 as Directors is, it is agreed, a prayer that should be raised in arbitration proceedings under Section 51 of the Act and is not pressed before me.
2. The remaining prayers are in effect directed against the validity of the resolutions that resulted in the amendment of the bye-laws of the Society and the action of the Registrar in registering the said amendments. The resolutions concerned were passed at a meeting held on 7-8-1955 in pursuance of a notice dated 12-7-1955. I am unable to see anything either in the notice. Ext. P1, or in the resolutions passed (Nos. 8 and 9) at the meeting of 7-8-1955 (Ext. R1), which is in any way invalid or beyond the powers of the Society. The effect of the resolutions was to convert the Society into a Co-operative Rural Bank but that must certainly be considered as within the competence of the members at any rate when the resolutions in that behalf are passed not by a majority but unanimously. The relevant resolutions were passed unanimously (see page 55-61 of Ext. R1) and it is curious, to say the least, that the petitioner who was present at the meeting should now come forward with a petition like this under Article 226, of the Constitution.
3. The application for registration was made on 27-8-1955 and the registration was effected on 7-6-1956. The letter of the Special Deputy Registrar, Kozhikode, dealing with the matter reads as follows:
'I do hereby certify that I have registered on 7-6-1956 under Clause (2) of Section 12 of the Madras Co-operative Societies Act VI of 1932. the amendments noted below to the bye-laws of your Society: 'Substitute the appended bye-laws 1 to 63 (with appendix I and II) for the existing bye-laws of your Society'. (Ext R2).
4. Section 12 of the Madras Co-operative Societies Act, 1932, provides:
'(1) No amendment of the bye-laws of a registered Society shall be valid until the same has been registered under this Act, for which purpose a copy of the amendment shall be forwarded to the Registrar.
(2) If the Registrar is satisfied that any amendment of the bye-laws is not contrary to this Act or to the rules, he may register the amendment. In case of refusal, an appeal shall lie to the Provincial Government within two months from the date of the issue of the order of refusal by registered post.
(3) When the Registrar registers an amendment of the bye-laws of a registered society, he shall issue to the society a copy of the amendment certified by him, which shall be conclusive evidence that the same is duly registered' and I am unable to see anything wrong in the Registrar registering the amendments as he has done In this case.
5. I see no reason to discuss the merits of the case arty further as I have come to the conclusion that the petition has to be dismissed on the sole ground of laches. The resolutions in regard to the amendment were, as already stated, passed at a meeting held on 7-8-1955 and this petition was filed only on 14-11-1956. The petitioner was present at the meeting and should be considered as fully aware of the implications of the resolutions passed in his presence and apparently with his concurrence. Even the registration was effected as early as 7-6-1956. I consider the delay that has occurred as inordinate and hold that the petition should be dismissed on that ground. See K. T Abraham v. State of Travancore, 1953 Ker LT 703 : (AIR 1954 Trav C 55) (A), Mahadeva Iyer v. State, 1954 Ker LT 427 : (AIR 1954 Trav. O 469) (FB) (B) and Vasudevan Pillai v. State, 1955 Ker LT 651 : (AIR 1956 Trav. C 33) (C).
6. The petition is hereby dismissed with costs, advocate's fee Rs. 50/- to respondents 3 to 7 together and an equal amount to respondent No. 3. The counsel for the 8th respondent submitted that his client is indifferent as to the result of the petition and that he should on no account be held liable for the costs. I make no order for costs either against or in favour of the 3th respondent.