Friday, December 2, 2022

PIL in Gauhati HC alleges Assam Co-operative Apex Bank running in violation of law, told to approach Registrar of Co-operative Societies

Counsel for the petitioner M Bhagabati prayed that he may be permitted to withdraw the writ petition, which the High Court allowed.

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The Gauhati High Court has dismissed a PIL, alleging that Assam Co-operative Apex Bank Limited is running in violation of law.

The PIL, filed by Senior Journalist Pankaj Lochan Baishya, said that one Biswajit Phukan is running the Assam Co-operative Apex Bank Limited in violation of law and there is widespread corruption in the Bank.

It was alleged that the Managing Director of the Bank had been appointed in violation of law and loans were being disbursed in a manner, which was not in the interest of the Bank.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak heard Counsel for the petitioner M Bhagabati, Advocate General of Assam D. Saikia, and Standing Counsel of the Cooperation Department S.K. Talukdar.

The Court, while considering the petition on July 29, did not find it to be the subject matter of a PIL, in as much as there is a mechanism available under the law, more particularly under the Assam Co-operative Societies Act, where the shareholders of the Co-operative Societies or concerned persons can raise their grievances before the Registrar of Co-operative Societies.

This matter, if need be, can be looked into by the Registrar of Co-operative Societies under the due process of law, opined the Court.

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After arguing for some time, Mr Bhagabati also realised that the appropriate forum for the present matter is not the High Court at this stage. He prayed that he may be permitted to withdraw the writ petition.

“Permission granted. The PIL is dismissed as withdrawn. We, however, make it very clear that dismissal of the present PIL will not prejudice the case of the concerned persons of the Co-operative Bank, in case they choose to approach the Registrar of Cooperative Societies regarding the present concern raised before this Court,” the order read.

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