There is no bar in law on number of co-operative societies in an area: Karnataka HC

What has to be looked into is whether the fact of another competing cooperative society being already in existence in the area and the requirement for a new co-operative society has been examined by the registering authority or not, says HC

What has to be looked into is whether the fact of another competing cooperative society being already in existence in the area and the requirement for a new co-operative society has been examined by the registering authority or not, says HC

There is no bar under the Karnataka Cooperative Societies Act, 1959, on the number of co-operative societies that can be registered in an area, the High Court of Karnataka has said while pointing out that the law only mandates consideration of various factors before according permission for a new society in the same area.

“The registering authority at the time of according permission for registration of a new co-operative society has to consider certain factors as stated in the Act and Rules, which includes the factor of overlapping of the existing, similar co-operative societies,” the Court made it clear.

Justice MI Arun passed the order while dismissing a petition filed by Prathamika Krushi Pattina Sahakari Sangha Niyamitha of Thekkalkote in Sriuguppa taluk of Ballari district.

The petitioner-society had questioned the permission granted for an agriculturist for promoting another similar society in the same area in which the petitioner-society is operating. The petitioner had contended that once a co-operative society is operating in any area, then without hearing the already existing co-operative society the permission for a new cooperative society cannot be granted.

However, the Court said that there is neither bar in law for according permission to establish more than one co-operative society in the same area nor there is any need to hear the existing cooperative society.

What has to be looked into is whether the fact of another competing co-operative society being already in existence in the area and the requirement for a new co-operative society has been examined by the registering authority or not, the court said while pointing out that a rival co-operative society will always contend that there is no need for the establishment of another cooperative society.

In the present case, the court noted, the authority had noticed that the “petitioner-society has not been able to cater to the requirement of all the farmers in the area and given the population of the area, registration of another co-operative society is only going to benefit the cooperative movement in the said area and help the people.”

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