Registrar Can’t Appoint Special Officer U/S 31(1) On Account Of Resignations If They Are Withdrawn Within 15 Days: Karnataka High Court

The Karnataka High Court has said that if resignations tendered by Directors of a cooperative society are withdrawn within 15 days, then there is no resignation which can be said to have been taken place and the Registrar of Cooperative Societies, under the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, in such under the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, in such circumstances cannot appoint a Special Officer for the society. This was in the case of T N Shivaraju & others And State of Karnataka v. Others and was presided by a single judge bench of Justice Suraj Govindaraj.



The grievance of the petitioner is that a Special Officer has been appointed in respect of respondent No.4-Society without waiting for 15 days period prescribed under Section 29(B) of the Karnataka Cooperative societies ACT, 1959. five directors had submitted their resignation, and there being no quorum, respondent No.2 exercised powers Under subsection (1) of Section 31 and appointed a Special Officer. He submits that the power to appoint a Special Officer under subsection (1) of Section 31  has to be made only if the requirement under Section 29(B) is fulfilled. Without such fulfilment, no power under sub-section (1) of Section 31 can be exercised. Out of the five directors who had submitted their resignation, he submits that on 8.3.2023, petitioners No. 7 and 8 had withdrawn their resignations; thereby, the quorum was available for the holding of the next meeting. This fact, having occurred on 8.3.2023 within a period of 15 days, respondent No.3 has acted in haste under sub-section (1) of Section 31 and in that background, he submits that the reliefs sought are required to be granted.



The Court held that “An alternative and efficacious remedy needs to be efficacious in nature, and the order which is challenged should have been passed by the authority having jurisdiction to do so. In view of my above finding that there was no power which could be exercised under sub-Section (1) of Section 31 by respespondent No.3 the said order being without jurisdiction, I am of the considered opinion that the said alternative remedy is not an efficacious one.”

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