No powers are vested with the Registrar to pass any interim orders while exercising its powers under Section 84 of the MSCS Act: High Court of Delhi

The Registrar is an authority under the statute and the existence of his office, his powers, and functions are circumscribed by the provisions of the statute. Obviously, he cannot exercise powers that have not been expressly conferred. He can exercise only such powers that are statutorily conferred on him. The proposition that in the absence of any statutory provisions conferring the power to do a particular act, the Registrar would be unfettered to do so, is fundamentally flawed. This was held in NATIONAL FEDERATION OF FISHERMEN CO-OPERATIVE LTD v. UNION OF INDIA AND ORS [O.M.P. (I) 4/2021] in the High Court of Delhi by a single bench consisting of JUSTICE VIBHU BAKHRU.

Facts are that a complaint was filed against the petitioner to the registrar under Section 84 of the Multi States Co-operative Societies Act, 2002 Act. The petitioner is aggrieved by certain findings of their registrar, who had also issued additional directions while appointing an Arbitrator in the above matter.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the additional directions passed by the Registrar restraining the President and the In-charge MD from acting on behalf of FISHCOPFED, discharging any functions of FISHCOPFED, or from participating in any of its board meetings or proceedings were without jurisdiction. That the registrar had exceeded his jurisdiction by passing interim directions.

The counsel appearing for the respondent submitted that the present petition is not maintainable as the present petition had been instituted by the Board of Directors of FISHCOPFED, which is beyond their authority. He submitted that it was impermissible as the Board of Directors has no authority to file any suit or proceedings in any other court and the same can be done only by the Managing Director.

The court made reference to the judgment of Apex court in the case of Life Insurance Corporation of India v. Escorts Ltd. And Ors., wherein it was held that “..the only effective way the members in general meeting can exercise their control over the directorate in a democratic manner is to alter the articles so as to restrict the powers of the Directors for the future or to dismiss the directorate and appoint others in their place. The holders of the majority of the stock of a corporation have the power to appoint, by-election, Directors of their choice and the power to regulate them by a resolution for their removal. And, an injunction cannot be granted to restrain the holding of a general meeting to remove a Director and appoint another”.

Considering the facts of the case and the legal precedents, the court set aside the direction issued by the Registrar in the impugned order. Court held that the registrar can only exercise only such powers that are statutorily conferred on him.

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