State pushes to bar corrupt directors from heading coop banks

  • Faisal Malik, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 26, 2016 22:26 IST

The state cooperation department is re-promulgating its ordinance to bar directors of cooperative banks dissolved for financial irregularities — the legislative council had stalled the bill last week.

Fixing responsibility for financial irregularities in cooperative banks, the state government on January 21 this year had promulgated an ordinance barring directors of dissolved or bankrupt banks to contest elections of such bodies for two terms, which is equal to 10 years. It had led to a bitter war between the BJP-led government and the opposition led by the Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), who control the cooperative sector in the state. Provisions of the new law would affect several politicians from the Congress and the NCP, including former deputy CM Ajit Pawar.

A senior official from the cooperation department confirmed they would re-promulgate the ordinance if it is not passed in the Upper House of state legislature in this session. “An ordinance is valid for six weeks from the date when the next session starts and the same applies in this case. We have to re-promulgate the ordinance as the budget session is also of six weeks else it is will be lapsed,” the senior official told HT.

Meanwhile, the state government has also decided to postpone the hearing of the directors against whom it had issued show-cause notices in January while implementing the ordinance. It has also given an undertaking in the Supreme Court on March 19 saying the government will not proceed with any action against the directors until the Bombay high court decides on the matter.

Santosh Patil, divisional joint registrar of the cooperation department, Pune, said they are now waiting for the high court’s directives in the matter. Patil on March 14 had summoned Pawar for a hearing, which could not be conducted owing to unavoidable reasons. Former labour minister Hasan Mushrif, who is one of the petitioners against the ordinance in the SC and Bombay HC, confirmed with HT the government has given the undertaking for not taking any action against bank directors till HC issues an order.

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