Chennai: Nearly 92 per cent of the cooperative societies did not go to polls in the first phase of elections in Tamil Nadu, so there is an extraordinary situation where the court has to interfere and order fresh polls, argued senior counsel P. Wilson before the Madras high court.
When a batch of petitions of candidates of 12 co-operative societies whose nominations were rejected, allegedly without assigning any reasons, came up for hearing before Justice T. Raja, senior counsel Wilson, appearing for five members of Thakkolam Primary Agricultural Co-operative Credit Society submitted that election was to be conducted for 4,698 co-operative societies in the first phase. Of which 4,325 cooperative societies, candidates were declared elected as unopposed, which means virtually 4 per cent of cooperative societies are going to the election which is against the Constitution. This also means nearly 92 per cent of the cooperative societies did not go to poll at all. This being an extraordinary situation, the court has to interfere and order fresh polls in these cooperative societies, Wilson added.
Wilson said his clients filed their nominations on March 26 and got duly acknowledged. However, on March 27, the names of 11 candidates, belonging to AIADMK party were displayed on the board as the final valid list of candidates and on the same day, they were declared as elected unopposed.
The election officer has completely given a go by to the Rules and declared the results. None of the grounds for rejection of the nomination, as enumerated under Rule 52 (8) (d) of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Societies Act, were attracted for the rejection of their nomination. When there was a violation of Rules, the court can interfere, he added.
Advocate Anand Venkatesh, appearing for some other candidates submitted that his client's nominations were summarily rejected without assigning any reasons and the posts were filled up with the ruling AIADMK candidates. There were large-scale irregularities in the election, he added.
Citing various judgments of the Supreme Court and high court, additional advocate general P.H.A. Pandian said as per Rule 19 of the Tamil Nadu Cooperative Societies Act, they can approach only the Registrar if they have any grievances and they cannot approach the writ court. The arguments will continue on April 4.