Former chairman of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) Vipul Chaudhary, disqualified by the state government from contesting cooperative societies elections, has approached the Gujarat High Court to set aside that order. He claimed that the state government’s order was “illegal” and “unconstitutional”.
In the petition, filed Monday, which came up for hearing before Justice C L Soni Tuesday, Chaudhary challenged the order passed by the state Registrar of Cooperative Societies in December last year. Through the order, Chaudhary has been barred from holding any position in any cooperative society as well as from contesting polls in such societies for six years. In his petition, Chaudhary, who has been elected as the chairman of Mehsana-based Dudhsagar dairy a week back, also alleged that the order has been issued by the Registrar at the behest of Gujarat government out of grudge and malice, which is the violation of Article 14 of the Constitution.
Since the order will come into effect after one month of issuance as per the Supreme Court directive, Chaudhary may have to step down as chairman of Dudhsagar dairy on January 16. During the hearing Tuesday, Chaudhary cited that the current order does not stand legal scrutiny as the matter is still pending in the Supreme Court and an interim order was also passed (by the apex court) in his favour in March last year.
Chaudhary further alleged that principles of natural justice was not followed by issuing the order as he was not given any chance to explain the charges for which he was disqualified and barred for six years. In reply, appearing for the state, Additional Advocate General Prakash Jani argued that the order was legal.
Government urged the court that his petition should be dismissed as the alternate remedy of filing an appeal with government is still available with him. Further hearing is expected to ontinue Wednesday.