Zonal panels to look into plaints regarding co-op polls

The Madras High Court on Tuesday expressed its intention to constitute four zonal committees, all headed by its retired judges, for enquiring into complaints of irregularities in cooperative society elections held recently in the State. The committees shall order re-election wherever necessary.

In a rough draft of their order dictated in open court, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice P.T. Asha pointed out that there were a total of 18,465 cooperative societies in the State.

Of them, candidates were elected without any contest in as many as 16,344 societies.

Further, no one filed nominations for any of the posts in 447 societies and actual polls were held only for 1,084 societies. In so far as the societies where there was no contest at all, the judges said it was either because no rival candidate had filed nomination or because certain nominations were withdrawn.

The Bench said it was concerned only with the rejection of certain nominations by the election officers. The court had to analyse whether those nominations were rejected for valid reasons or on flimsy grounds, the judges said.

After dictating the orders, the Chief Justice said that her Bench would make necessary corrections and pronounce the fair version on Wednesday.

Hours after the High Court’s observation in a case relating to the conduct of polls for cooperative societies, the Commissioner of Tamil Nadu State Co-operative Societies Election Commission said that officials have been instructed to declare results relating to those that are not marred by allegations of irregularities.

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