Orissa HC stays operation of Self-Help Co-op (Repeal) Ordinance

Bhubaneswar: In a major setback to the State government, the Orissa High Court on Friday put a stay on the functioning of the Odisha Self-Help Cooperative (Repeal) Ordinance 2013, which was promulgated by the State Cabinet to rein in 1,643 self-help cooperative societies.

“The HC today put a stay on the ordinance promulgated by Odisha Government on June 6, 2013. The ordinance violates the moral rights guaranteed under Article 19 1(C) of the Constitution. Besides, this goes against a Supreme Court judgment of 2011," said Pitambar Acharya, counsel for the petitioner.

The HC passed the order hearing the writ petitions filed by Pandit Dindayal Multi-purpose Co-operative Society, Balasore and Athantara Primary Women’s Savings Co-operative Society of Balipatna seeking quashing of the ordinance.

Earlier the court had sought replies from the chief secretary, secretary of co-operation department, law secretary and the registrar of co-operative societies in this regard.

On May 14, the state cabinet had decided to abolish the Self-Help Co-operative Act 2001 by promulgating an ordinance and bring all co-operative societies under the Orissa Co-operative Act, 1962. On June 6, the state co-operative department issued a gazette notification to invoke the ordinance, which was signed by governor SC Jamir on June 3 to give effect to the Act.

Sources said, the ordinance expected the self-help cooperative societies to amend their bylaws according to the Orissa Co-operative Act, 1962, within three months from June 6. Otherwise, the registrar of co-operative societies would take over the societies that failed to do so.