Thursday July 18, 2024

Govt told to appoint cooperative societies MD, registrar in five days

By Jamal Khurshid
May 23, 2024
A view of facade of the Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — AFP/File
A view of facade of the Sindh High Court building in Karachi. — AFP/File

The Sindh High Court (SHC) has given the provincial government five days to appoint the cooperative housing societies managing director and registrar of the appropriate grade and having legal knowledge of the cooperative societies act. The direction came on petitions of cooperative housing societies with regard to the appointment of administrators in housing societies.

Cooperative Societies Secretary Akhtar Hussain Mirani placed on record the notifications pursuant of the court’s orders. He said that the office of the societies department is in the process of shifting, and that the complete record of the department is easily accessible until the shifting is completed.

The secretary said he is not the competent authority to issue notifications with regard to the appointment of administrators, as that is the prerogative of the MD, and that post is lying vacant.

An SHC division bench headed by Justice Salahuddin Panhwar said that it has come on record that the cooperative societies registrar is a grade-19 post, while a grade-18 officer is working on the higher grade post in complete violation of the judgments of the Supreme Court and the high court.

The chief secretary’s focal person said he would ensure that the vacant post of MD is filled within five days, and a full-fledged registrar of the same grade having legal knowledge of the cooperative societies act would be posted within five days.

The court directed the provincial government to appoint the MD and registrar having legal knowledge of the cooperative societies act, warning that in case of failure, the CS would have to appear in court and explain the non-compliance.

The court directed the CS and the cooperative societies secretary to ensure that the authority is notified under the relevant law after fulfilling all the requisite conditions as provided under Section 7 of the Cooperative Societies Ordinance, 1982, within its true spirit.

The authority’s counsel said they have not been consulted by the authority while issuing notifications as regards taking over any society. He said he had attended the meeting in 2014, and since then he has not received any intimation regarding any meeting. The court directed the cooperative societies secretary, who is chairman of the authority, to ensure that all members are taken on board, monthly meetings are held with regularity to oversee the miseries/issues of the societies, and their grievances are resolved.

In another matter with regard to the appointment of the cooperative societies registrar, the court directed the provincial law officer to justify the appointment of a grade-18 officer on the grade-19 post.

Petitioner Aftab Ahmed had challenged the registrar’s appointment by the Sindh government, saying that grade-18 government officer Zamir Abbasi was appointed registrar (a grade-19 post) on March 5, 2024. The services secretary also filed comments on the petition. The court asked the law officer if the government has no grade-19 officer who can be appointed as cooperative societies registrar, ordering him to file comments on the next date of hearing.