THE DELHI CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES ACT, 1972

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The Delhi Co-operative Societies Act was enacted on June 17, 1972 for the purpose of consolidating and modifying the legal principles relating co-operative societies in the Union territory of Delhi. The application of the Act extends only to the Union Territory of Delhi. The Act provides for the appointment of the Registrar of Co-operative Societies by the Lieutenant-Governor for the Union territory of Delhi and shall appoint persons for the purpose of supporting and guiding him and he shall also confer powers on the persons so appointed with the powers of a registrar.

The Lieutenant-Governor may confer authority on the federal society and any of its officers with certain conditions. The federal society and its officers shall discharge the functions under the assistance, superintendence and direction of the Registrar. The society established for the object of advancement of economic interests of the members as per the co-operative principles or the society formed to ease the functions of the society may be registered as provided under the Act. The society except a federal society shall be registered only if it comprises of ten persons who possess the qualifications to be a member as provided under the Act and the members reside near to the place where the society functions.

The Act provides restriction on members to hold shares of the co-operative society other than the co-operative society or the Central Government. The application for registration shall be made to the registrar, which shall be signed by such members as prescribed in the legislation. The registrar shall, after verifying whether the application complies with rules and intent of the proposed society, register the society including the bye-laws. A certificate of registration shall be issued by the Registrar after registration which is considered as a conclusive evidence of registration.

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A person shall be declared as a member of the co-operative society if he is competent to contract as provided under the Indian Contract Act, 1872, Central Government, co-operative society and such persons declared by the Lieutenant-Governor. According to bye-laws, the co-operative society shall admit nominal or associate members to a co-operative society. The absolute control over the management of the co-operative society vests with the general body of members. The Act provides for the procedure in the annual general meeting, special general meeting and members to be elected to the committees. The co-operative society, after registration, shall have the status of a body corporate with continuous succession, common seal and the power to purchase and sell off property and the right to litigate. The portion of the funds of the co-operative society shall be shared among the members in the form of bonus or dividend and shall contribute the specified portion of the fund for charitable purposes, co-operative educational funds etc.

The Act provides that the disputes relating to the co-operative society shall be settled by means of arbitration except the disputes of disciplinary action. The Act contains provision for the winding up of the co-operative society by itself or the order of the reserve bank. The appeal from the order of the registrar shall be preferred within the prescribed time limit and procedures provided under the Act. The Act provides for the constitution of the Delhi Co-operative Tribunal by the Lieutenant- Governor. The Act penalizes for the contravention of the provisions of the Act and other offences specifically provided under the Act.

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The Delhi Co-operative Societies Act, 1972 was repealed by The Delhi Co-operative Societies Act, 2003 which was enacted on March 3, 2003. The intention of the enactment was to encourage the voluntary constitution and democratic operation of co-operative societies as the organization of the people based on self and mutual assistance to permit the promotion of economic and social advancement and also to regulate and administer the societies. For the proper implementation of the Act, the legislative assembly of the Union Territory of Delhi formulated The Delhi Co-Operative Societies Rules, 2007 which was amended by Delhi Cooperative Tribunal (Amendment) Rules 2009.