w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Shree Ganesh Khand Udhyog Sahkari Mandali Ltd. v/s State of Gujarat

    Special Civil Application No. 7661 of 2020 & Civil Application (For Joining Party) Nos. 1 & 2 of 2020

    Decided On, 26 October 2020

    At, High Court of Gujarat At Ahmedabad

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE BIREN VAISHNAV

    For the Appearing Parties: Dipen Desai, H.R. Prajapati, Manisha Lavkumar Shah, Kanva Antani, Aishwarya Gupta, B.S. Patel, Zubin Bharda, Advocates.



Judgment Text

1. By way of this petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, the petitioner, M/s. Shri Ganesh Khand Udhyog Sahakari Mandali Ltd., has challenged the impugned order dated 11.06.2020, passed by the respondent No.1 in exercise of powers under Section 86 of the Gujarat Co-operative Societies Act, 1961. Pending the petition, amendments were carried out and the report dated 6.08.2020 and the notices dated 17.09.2020 and 18.09.2020 asking the petitioners to show cause under Section 76(B) and Section 71 of the Gujarat Co-Operative Societies Act are under challenge.2. The facts in brief are as under:2.1 The case of the petitioner is that it is a co-operative society engaged in the manufacturing process of sugar. According to the petitioner, it has about 17,416 members. The petitioner states that the present Chairman, Shri Surjitsingh Mangrola has been in power and handles the administration of the Society since many years and the Society under his chairmanship has successfully become financially strong. It is the case of the petitioner that in the past, several complaints had been made and pursuant to such complaints, inquiries have been initiated, explanations have been sought and pursuant to the reply being given, the authorities have closed the chapter of holding inquiries.2.2 It is the case of the petitioner that in the year 2015, a PIL was also filed against the petitioner - Society by one Shri Chandubhai Maganbhai Vasava and Kanaksinh Harisinh Sangrod being Writ Petition (PIL) No. 49 of 2015. The Court considering the affidavit-in-reply disposed of the said petition.2.3 It is the case of the petitioner that in respect of the same allegations, one Pushepndrasinh Indrasinh Sunva and others made a complaint on 30.06.2018 against the petitioner society. An inquiry was conducted on 07.06.2018. The petitioners were heard during the course of the proceedings on 29.10.2018. A show-cause notice was issued on 22.05.2020 directing the petitioner-Society to remain present for an opportunity of hearing under Section 86 of the Act. The petitioner-Society submitted its reply to the allegations made, and thereafter, the respondent No.1 has passed an order dated 11.06.2020 directing that an inquiry be conducted into the affairs of the Society under Section 86 of the Gujarat Co-Operative Societies Act (for short 'the Act').2.4 That the order dated 11.06.2020 appointing an Inquiry Officer and conducting the inquiry was challenged before this Court in the present petition on 16.06.2020. For some or the other reasons beyond the control of the petitioner, the petition came to be adjourned. On such adjournments and during the pendency of the petition, the respondents prepared an ex-parte inquiry report dated 06.08.2020. Based on such a report, the respondent issued Show Cause Notice dated 17.09.2020, asking the petitioner-Society to show cause as to why proceedings under Section 71 of the Act should not be initiated. A subsequent notice was also issued on 18.09.2020 asking the petitioner as to why proceedings under Section 76(B)(1) and Section 76(B)(2) of the Act to remove the Chairman of the Society and disqualify him also should not be conducted. These proceedings, therefore, namely, the order directing inquiry dated 11.06.2020, the Inquiry Report dated 06.08.2020 and the Notices dated 17.09.2020 and 18.09.2020 are under challenge before this Court.3. Mr.Dipen Desai, learned advocate for the petitioner-Society with Mr.Harshad Prajapati, learned advocate, made the following submissions:(I) Mr.Dipen Desai, learned advocate, invited the attention of this Court to the show-cause notice dated 22.05.2020 issued by the Director of Sugar on 22.05.2020. He would submit that from the contents of the notice, it is evident that the show cause notice is pre-meditated. Reading the contents of the notice dated 22.05.2020, Mr.Desai, learned advocate, would submit that the inquiry which was to be held under Section 86 of the Act was already decided by the author of the show cause notice. He would also invite the attention to the show cause notice at page 100 and submit that an opinion was already formed by the author of the show cause notice that an inquiry under Section 86 of the Act is necessary, and therefore, in his submission the show cause notice is pre-meditated and it is pre-judging the issue.(ii) On the question of the fact that the show cause notice is pre-meditated and it is pre-judging the issue, Mr.Dipen Desai, learned advocate for the petitioner, invited the attention of the Court to the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Oryx Fisheries Private Limited vs. Union of India & Ors., (2010) 13 SCC 427. He would invite the attention of the Court to paras 11,12,18 and 22 of the judgment to submit that the Supreme Court in the case of Oryx (supra) had observed that when the show cause notice confronts a person with a definite conclusion, the entire proceedings initiated by the show cause notice get vitiated by unfairness and bias and the subsequent proceedings become an idle ceremony. Pointing out the show cause notice in the present case, Mr.Dipen Desai, learned advocate, would submit that reading the show cause notice would indicate pre-judging the mind.(iii) The second submission of Mr. Dipen Desai, learned advocate, was on the legality of the show cause notice and he would submit that the entire proceedings initiated pursuant to the show cause notice was without jurisdiction. Reliance was placed on Section 86 of the Act. Mr.Desai, learned advocate, would submit that under Section 86 of the Act, the Registrar, may on his own motion himself or by a person duly authorized by him in writing hold an inquiry into the constitution, working and financial conditions of a Society. Relying on Sub-section 2 thereof, Mr.Desai, learned advocate, would submit that the registrar shall hold an inquiry on (a) a requisition of a Society duly authorized by the rules, (b) on an application of a majority of committee of a Society and (c) on the application of 1/3rd members of a Society. Inviting the attention of the Court to the applications made in the present circumstances, Mr.Dipen Desai, learned advocate, would submit that it is evident that only three members have applied for holding of an inquiry under Section 86 of the Act. A specific contention was made in the reply to the show cause notice by the petitioners. He invited the attention of the Court to the reply dated 30.05.2020 and would submit that a specific contention was raised that the Society had 17,416 members in number, the majority would make it 8,709 and 1/3rd majority would be 5,805. The initiation at the hands of three members would be without jurisdiction and not in compliance with the mandate of Section 86(2) of the Act.(iv) In support of his submission, Mr.Desai, learned advocate, invited the attention of this Court to an interim order passed by this Court construing the provisions of Section 86 of the Act in the case of The Manit Co-Operative Housing Society Ltd., v/s The Addl. Registrar (Appeals) & Ors., rendered in Special Civil Application No. 9394 of 2020, in which, this Court by an interim order dated 17.08.2020 observed and granted interim relief when it found that the inquiry was initiated only at the instance of one member of the Society and such a requisition was not a requisition contemplated in accordance with the clauses (a), (b) and (c) of Section 86(2) of the Act.(v) Mr.Dipen Desai, learned advocate, would submit that thus the order of the show cause notice is without jurisdiction, inasmuch as, it is not in compliance of Section 86 of the Act. He invited the attention of the Court to the order dated 11.06.2020 at page 108 of the paper book. He would submit that the order does not deal with the contention so raised by the petitioner with regard to the jurisdiction under Section 86 and the order is without reasons and the contention raised by the petitioner has not been answered. He would submit that even in the affidavit-in-reply filed to the petition, a specific contention raised in ground (d) has not been answered by the respondent which shows that there is no answer to the contention of the petitioner that the show cause notice and the order under Section 86 are without jurisdiction.(vi) Mr.Dipen Desai, learned advocate, would submit that no reasonings are given in the order directing holding of an inquiry under Section 86 of the Act after having recorded a prima facie opinion in the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020. The order dated 06.08.2020 does not reflect as to what reasons weighed with the authority to hold an inquiry, and therefore, the order being without reasons is an illegal order. In support of his submission that an order without reasons is bad, Mr.Dipen Desai, learned advocate, would rely on a decision in the case of Oryx Fisheries (supra). Attention was drawn to paras 38 to 42 thereof.(vii) The other submission of Mr.Desai, learned advocate, was in context of the Inquiry Report dated 06.08.2020. He would submit that the order or the report on 06.08.2020 has been made Ex-Parte. The action of the respondents in passing such an order amounts to overreaching the process of this Court. The petition was filed on 16.06.2020 against the show cause notice dated 11.06.2020. On the show cause notice under Section 86 of the Act, for reasons beyond the petitioner's control, the hearing of the petition was adjourned from time to time. Admittedly, though there was no stay, it was expected of the State Government to act fairly and not to proceed and precipitate any thing against the petitioner so as to frustrate the cause of the petition. Mr. Desai, learned advocate, in support of his submission relied on the decision in the case of Sujal Leasing and Finance Ltd,1998 2 GLH(UJ) 1. Reliance was placed on paras 1,2 and 5 thereof to submit that even if there was no stay, it implicitly called for restrain from the parties to act so as to make the proceedings infructuous.(viii) Mr.Desai, learned advocate, also relied on the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Siemens Aktiengeselischaft And S. Ltd. Vs Dmrc Limited., (2014) 11 SCC 288. Reliance was placed on paras 16 and 26 to 27 thereof to submit that overreaching the proceedings and taking action which would frustrate the cause of the petitioner amounted to contempt.(ix) Mr.Desai, learned advocate, would then argue on the legality of the notice dated 18.09.2020 issued under the provisions of Section 76(B)(1) and Section 76(B)(2) thereof. Inviting the court's attention to the notice (at page 141 of the paper book), Mr.Desai, learned advocate, would submit that reading of the notice especially makes it clear that the notice under Section 76(B) was based on the Inquiry Report dated 06.08.2020. The show cause notice under Section 76(B) was issued by the author of the same notice dated 11.06.2020. Inviting the attention of the Court to page 147 of the paper book, Mr. Dipen Desai, learned advocate, would submit that it was a common notice under Section 76(B)(1) and Section 76(B)(2) of the Gujarat Co-Operative Societies Act. Inviting the attention of the Court to the provisions of Section 76(B) of the Act, Mr.Desai, learned advocate, would submit that reading Section 76(B)(1) of the Act and Section 76(B)(2) of the Act, the disqualification under sub-section 2 thereof only follows when there is a removal under Section 76(B)(1) of the Act. He would invite the attention of the Court to a decision rendered by this Court in the case of Vipul M Chaudhary vs. State of Gujarat., (2016) 1 GLR 86. Relevant paras of the decision were cited at the bar by Mr.Desai, learned advocate, to submit that a specific case has been considered and the Court has held that Section 76(B)(1) and 76(B)(2) of the Act are separate clauses and once the removal is made, it is only thereafter that the proceedings for disqualifications can be initiated under Section 76(B)(2) of the Act. He would submit that the Court observed that if a separate order is to be made after the order of removal is passed for disqualification, the Court has categorically observed that there can be no common notice for the provisions under Section 76(B)(1) and under Section 76(B)(2) of the Act. The notice, therefore, is bad on this count also. He would further submit that the decision in the case of Vipul Chaudhary (supra), was confirmed by the Supreme Court vide its decision reported in 2013 (4) SCC 51. Reliance was placed on para 13 and para 46 of the said decision. He would submit that the basic requirement of sub-section 2 is that the power thereunder could be exercised only against the Officer of the Society who has been removed from the office, and therefore, there can be no common notice under the provisions of Section 76(B)(1) and Section 76(B)(2) of the Act.(x) He also submitted that the show cause notice under Section 71 of the Act based on the inquiry report is also bad. He would submit that reading Section 71 of the Act would make it clear with regard to investment of funds. On the facts of this case, notice under Section 71 of the Act based on the report dated 06.08.2020 is for investments made in the year 2016. Therefore, the exercise is misconceived, inasmuch as, earlier the entire issue was closed. He would further rely on a decision in Writ Petition (PIL) No. 49 of 2015 to submit that for more or less similar allegations made as in the case on hand in the PIL, a notice has been issued and the inquiry proceedings have been held. He would submit that though the Court may not go into the details of the inquiry report and judge the issue on merits, from the facts it becomes evident that for a stale issue which has been once closed, an inquiry has been initiated and the report has been furnished under Section 86 of the Act on 06.08.2020.(xi) On the issue with regard to the authority to issue the show cause notice and proceedings under Section 86 of the Act, Mr.Desai, learned counsel, would submit that the Director who had issued the show cause notice was one of the members of the Board, and therefore, initiation of proceedings by the Director who is one of the members of the Board of the Sugar Co-Operative, would amount to be an action of judging his own cause. For this, he relied on the decision in the case of Gujarat State Co-operative Marketing Federation Ltd., vs. V.H.Parekh., (1995) 1 GLH 857. He relied on paras 3, 8 and 10 to 15 thereof. He also relied on the decision rendered in Special Civil Application No. 8507 of 2006. He invited the attention of the Court to page 202 of the paper book, particularly para 2.5 thereof and para 7 to submit that it is the case where bias is apparent inasmuch as the Director who is the member of the Sugar Society himself has issued the notice.4. On all these counts, therefore, Mr.Desai, learned advocate, would submit that being aware of the limitations of this Court, inasmuch as, the Court may not delve into the merits of the Inquiry Report and/or whether each instance or short comings listed by the authorities would befit an inquiry is not within the domain of this Court, however, on the issues raised in this petition, namely, (i) That the show cause notice dated 11.06.2020 is without jurisdiction as being in violation of provisions of the mandate of Section 86, (ii) That the proceedings subsequent to the notice dated 11.06.2020 were done by overreaching the Court's process, (iii) That the show cause notice under Section 76(B)(1) and 76(B)(2) are common notices which are held to be without authority of law and without jurisdiction in the judgments referred to by him and that the Director being a member of the Board could not have issued such a show cause notice on the principles of "No man can be a judge of his own cause", the proceedings are vitiated and this Court, therefore, in extra ordinary exercise of jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India ought to set aside these actions of the respondents.5. Ms.Manisha Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, appeared with Ms.Aishvarya Gupta and Mr.Kanva M Antani, learned AGPs for the State.5.1 Ms. Manisha Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, invited the attention of the Court to the prayers made in the petition and submitted that the petitioner has made a prayer for quashing and setting aside the order dated 11.06.2020 for inquiry under Section 86 of the Co-Operative Societies Act, to set aside the Inquiry Report dated 06.08.2020 under Section 86, to quash and set aside the show cause notices dated 17.09.2020 and 18.09.2020 issued under Section 71 and Section 76-(B) respectively.5.2 Ms.Manisha Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, invited the attention of the Court to the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020. She would submit that various complaints right since the year 2011 were received by the authorities in connection with the functioning of the petitioner Society. A Public Interest Litigation was filed seeking an inquiry under Section 86 of the Act. Inviting the attention of the Court to the order passed in the PIL, Ms. Manisha Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit that the PIL was disposed of with a direction that if the petitioners have any satisfactory material to show that there was a callous approach on the part of the Society, they should approach the competent authority under the Act. The term of the present Society's Committee began in the year June 2015. In the years 2017 and 2018 i.e. on 11.11.2017, 30.03.2018, 27.04.2018 and 30.06.2018, several more complaints were received against the Chairman of the Society. The Director, Sugar, directed the District Registrar, Bharuch, to conduct an inquiry. An explanation was sought on 12.07.2018. The petitioner society was called by the Director on 22.10.2018. Reminders were sent in July 2018 to the District Registrar, Bharuch, to submit a report. Special Civil Application No. 15557 of 2019 was filed by one of the complainants namely Pushpendrasinh Indrasinh Sunva for expediting the inquiry under Section 86. A Preliminary Report was submitted on 15.10.2019 by the District Registrar, Bharuch. She would invite the attention of the Court to the Preliminary Report of the District Registrar, Bharuch, and would submit that it was not an inquiry report under Section 86 of the Act. She would, therefore, submit that on reading the order dated 11.06.2020, that pursuant to the complaints made by the various parties, it was decided to conduct an inquiry under Section 86. A camp was organized where the respondent No.1 was present and considering the issues involved, it was decided that a necessary inquiry under Section 86 ought to be conducted.5.3 Ms. Manisha Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would further submit that the tenure of the Committee would have otherwise ended in June 2020, however, the government due to lock-down issued a notification on 24.03.2020 postponing the elections and extending the term of all Co-Operative Societies up to 31.07.2020. It was under these circumstances, that an emergent need occurred to issue a notice on 22.05.2020 so as to complete the exercise before the end of the Committee's term on 30.07.2020. A reply was filed by the Managing Director for and on behalf of the Society on 30.03.2020. The Managing Director remained present before the Director, Sugar, and after giving an opportunity of hearing on 11.06.2020, the District Registrar, Tapi, was appointed to hold an inquiry under Section 86 of the Act within a period of 30 days. On 12.06.2020, the term would have otherwise ended of the Committee, but since it was extended till 30.07.2020, on an extension asked for a period of 30 days by the District Registrar on 08.07.2020, the time was extended only for a period of 10 days as the Committee's term was expiring on 30.07.2020. It was on 25.08.2020, that the State Government issued a notification extending the term of the Committee till the next election. The report was submitted on 06.08.2020.5.4 Preliminary contentions were raised by the learned Government Pleader Ms.Manisha Lavkumar, on behalf of the government with regard to the maintainability of the petition. She would submit that this Court should not entertain the petition, when the order under Section 86(1) of the Act is an order which can be challenged by way of a revision under Section 155 of the Gujarat Co-Operative Societies Act. She would submit that though an alternative remedy may not be a bar against entertaining our writ petition, the remedy of revision under Section 155 is available. To the submission of Mr. Dipen Desai, learned advocate for the petitioner, that the notice dated 22.05.2020 is pre-determined, she would submit that reading of the notice would indicate that only an inquiry was necessitated in exercise of powers under Section 86 of the Act. She would submit that what was contemplated under Section 86 of the Act was conducting of an inquiry, and thereafter coming to a conclusion on the basis of the inquiry further steps would be taken. It was an administrative inquiry in the nature of a quasi inquisatorial proceedings and what the notice suggested was that the author of the show cause notice was of the opinion that on certain issues an inquiry was necessary. This would not mean that the authorities had pre-determined the issue.5.5 On the submission of Mr.Dipen Desai,learned counsel, that the order dated 11.06.2020 and the show cause notice of 22.05.2020 was without jurisdiction, inasmuch as, it was in non compliance of the provisions of Section 86(2) of the Act, Ms. Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit that this was a notice invoking section 86(1) of the Act. She would submit that Section 86(1) and Section 86(2) are independent and separate provisions. Reading the provisions of Section 86 of the Act, Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit that under Section 86(1) of the Act, the Registrar may on his own motion himself hold an inquiry. Under sub-section 2, the language was that the registrar shall hold an inquiry when either a requisition is received from the Society or an application is made by the majority of members or by 1/3rd of the members of the Society. In the facts on hand, as is evident from the complaints made and received by the registrar, based on the complaints, it was thought fit by the registrar to hold an inquiry on his own. She would therefore submit that what was evident on reading the show cause notice and the order thereunder is that what was invoked was the provisions of Section 86(1) of the Act. The show cause notice, therefore, cannot be said to be without jurisdiction. She would submit that reading section 86(1) of the Act would suggest that it is open for the registrar, after arriving at a subjective satisfaction in respect of the necessity to conduct an inquiry, to conduct an inquiry and finalize and submit a report. Section 86(1) of the Act was therefore rightly invoked and it was not a case where it was invocation of power under Section 86(2) of the Act.5.6 Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, in support of her submission would rely on a decision in the case of Chimanbhai Dadubhai Desai & Anr vs. Chaturbhai P Patel & Ors., (1971) GLR 31. She would submit by relying on certain observations in para 3 of the judgment that no-doubt the power is conferred on the registrar or the district registrar under Section 86(1) to make an inquiry Suo Moto, but it is apparent that he would act only on the basis of material which may be placed before him either by some person interested or an appropriate officer. She would further submit that on the basis of the complaints and the materials that were placed before him, in exercise of powers under Section 86(1) of the Act, an inquiry was necessary and was conducted.5.7 In answering the submission of Mr. Dipen Desai, learned advocate for the petitioner that the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020 and the order of 11.06.2020 were bad as no show cause notices were issued to the members of the Society before ordering inquiry under Section 86 of the Act, and the reliance placed on the judgment of the Division Bench rendered in Letters Patent Appeal No. 516 of 2016 by Mr.Dipen Desai was misconceived, she would submit that Section 86 of the Act provides for investigation and inquiry into the constitution, working and financial conditions of a society and it is only the Society which needs to be heard. The petitioner Society on whose behalf the Managing Director appeared, was heard, and therefore, the contention that the members of the Society need to be issued notice is a contention which is misconceived. She would further submit by relying on the decision in Letters Patent Appeal No.516 of 2016 that the said decision itself was not binding, inasmuch as, it was Letters Patent Appeal against an interim order of the Court. In fact, she would also rely on para 6 of the Division Bench decision in the Letters Patent Appeal and submit that the said decision clearly made out an exception inasmuch as it stated that the question whether notices are necessary or not at all is a matter which can be gone into while disposing the Special Civil Application. In other words, such a decision cannot be said to be a binding ratio with regard to the contention of Mr.Desai, learned counsel, that all members of the society ought to have been issued notices. She would further submit that even all these contentions were not raised before the authority, and therefore, to raise such contentions at this stage would be an afterthought.5.8 On the question of whether the petition under show cause notice is maintainable as contended hereinabove in her submissions, Ms. Manisha Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, relied on the following decisions:(I) Chimanbhai Dadubhai Desai & Ors vs. Chaturbhai P Patel & Ors., (1971) AIR Gujarat 156.(ii) Nivedita Sharma vs. Cellular Operators Association of India & Ors., (2011) 14 SCC 337.(iii) General Manager, Sri Siddeshwara Co-Operative Bank Ltd & Anr vs. Ikbal and Ors., (2013) 10 SCC 83.(iv) Union of India & Anr vs. Kunisetty Satyanarayana., (2006) 12 SCC 28.5.9 On the contention that the Director of Sugar Industries has no authority in the eyes of law, that since he was not the registrar within the meaning of Section 2(17) of the Co-operative Societies Act, Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit by relying on the affidavit-in-reply together with which a notification dated 02.09.1985 was annexed to submit that the notification of 02.09.1985 conferred all powers of " the registrar upon the Director of Sugar under Section 3(3) of the Act".5.10 To Mr.Dipen Desai's submission that since the Director of Sugar was part of the Managing Committee of the Society, he cannot be a judge of his own cause and reliance placed on the decision, which according to Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, was misconceived. Though the Director of Sugar had nominated the District Registrar as his representative to be on the Board of Director of the Society and was part of the decision making process, Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit that it is not highlighted in the petition, nor it is so averred in the petition or during his submissions that whether the representative of the Director of Sugar was present in all meetings concerned and whether if he was present, did he oppose the motion or support the motion are not facts which are borne out from the record. She would, therefore, distinguish the judgment in the case of V.H.Parekh (supra), on the ground that in the facts of the case, relying on para 12 thereof, it was clear that in those facts, the nominee had attended the meetings of the Board and he was a sitting member and had, therefore, attended the meetings. Reliance placed on the decision in the case of Kaira District Co-Operative Milk Producers' Union Ltd rendered in Special Civil Application No. 8507 of 2006, Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit that there was a categorical admission on the part of the respondent in affidavit that the district registrar had participated in the meeting and also in the meetings in which the resolution was passed. It was under these circumstances, that the Court held that a person cannot be a judge of his own cause. She would rely on a decision in the case of Chandrakant Jagannath Ghodke & Ors., vs. Commissioner for Co-operation & Registrar, Co-Operative Societies & Ors.,2003 SCCBOM 414, where relying on paragraph 29, she would submit that it was not a case where a person is deciding a cause in which he has a personal interest. This is not a case of personal interest. At the most, it could be described as an official or policy bias and that would neither disqualify the authority or an officer from deciding the issue.5.11 The next contention of Mr. Desai which Ms.Lavkumar, would oppose is with regard to the provision under Section 71 of the Act. Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader would submit that the challenge to the notice dated 17.09.2020 under Section 71 and notice dated 18.09.2020 under Section 17(D) are misconceived, as they are against show cause notices. Even otherwise, only amended prayers have been made in the petition without setting out grounds how such notices are bad. Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would invite the attention of the Court to the Inquiry Report dated 06.08.2020, and highlight a few instances of misdemeanours on the part of the Society. Reading the Inquiry Report in context of item no.2, Ms.Manisha Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit that Kinjal Chemicals Pvt Ltd had purchased molasses from the petitioner for Rs.2,200/- per metric tonne and on the same day, the same was sold by Kinjal Chemicals to Mehsana Dairy at Rs.4,800/- metric tonne. She would submit that if those goods had been sold by the petitioner to the Mehsana Dairy directly, the institution would have earned profits. The ledger accounts of the petitioner showed debit balance of Rs.5,11,57,760/-, the report found that the sale of molasses to Kinjal Chemicals Pvt. Ltd should take place only on payment of advance amount. Inviting the attention of the Court to item no. 3 of the Inquiry Report, she would submit that it was found on inquiring from the Manager and the Chairman that on the transactions except pertaining to molasses were carried out with Kinjal Chemicals Pvt. Ltd, the storage capacity of the license of Kinjal Chemical Pvt Limited is less whereas the supply of Kinjal Chemicals Ltd is more. The license was of the year 2011, whereas the transactions took place in 2010 of prohibited items of which there was no license. Inviting the Court's attention to item No.4, Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit that by a tender, the petitioner was supplying sugar for public distribution to the Rajasthan Government. However, the Rajasthan Government imposed a penalty upon the petitioner for late delivery of sugar as per the terms and conditions of the contract between the petitioner society and the government. There is no final outcome of such claim and an amount of Rs.4,82,75,447/- is liable to be recovered from the Rajasthan Government. Item No.10 was relied upon in context of a petrol pump which was being operated for many years by the society which was closed. The petitioner society allotted land to Surendrasinh Karmiya for another petrol pump and a license of IBP was taken in his name. This resulted in an additional expenditure of Rs.1.01 crores for diesel pump. No proper records are being maintained and this is one of the omissions of the society. She also invited the attention of the Court to the Inquiry Report's issues on serial nos. 11, 12 and 18. In context of item No.18, she submitted that it was found that the proprietaries of Abhiraj Agencies are family members of the Managing Director. On examining the records, it was found that the goods were being transported for the client of Abhiraj Agency, at the expense of the petitioner society. She would submit that as far as item No.10 is concerned, the show cause notice under Section 71 of the Act is issued and so far as item Nos. 4, 11, 12 and 18 are concerned, show cause notice for proceedings under Section 76(B) of the Act have been issued.5.12 To the submission of Mr.Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, regarding the common notice under Section 76(B)(1) and 76(B)(2) of the Act is concerned, she said that she has instructions from the State to submit that the present notice would be treated as one under Section 76(B)(1) of the Act for removal and not for disqualification. She would further submit that there was no pre-meditation and pre-judging the issue. Had that been so, of the 24 issues that were framed for inquiry, all 24 would have been found to be against the society, which in fact has not been so. An inquiry has been asked to be conducted only in context of 17 issues.5.13 On the question of maintainability of the petition, she would submit that if Section 74 of the Co-operative Societies Act is read, it provides that the management of every Society shall vest in a committee constituted in accordance with this Act, the rules and the by-laws which shall exercise the powers and perform such duties as may be conferred or imposed on it respectively. She would submit that the notices under Section 71 and Section 76 are also notices to the Committee members and under Section 76 for an individual liability of the Chairman. The Society as the petitioner cannot file a petition challenging the notices under Section 71 and 76(B) of the Act through the Society. Even otherwise, no resolution was produced on record empowering the petitioner society to file the present petition.5.14 Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, would submit that there were no jurisdictional facts so as to deserve that the notices be interfered with and be quashed. In context of the decision that once the member become part of the Society, they lose their identity, she relied on the decision in the case of Daman Singh vs. State of Punjab., (1985) 2 SCC 670, and State of Uttar Pradesh vs. C.O.D Chheoki Employees Co-operative Society Limited.,1997 0 AIJELSC 29851. On the maintainability of the petition, she relied on the decision in the case of Pravinsinh Hematsinh Zala vs. State of Gujarat, rendered in Special Civil Application No. 23321 of 2019 and in the case of Mahendrasinh Ratansinh Karmariya vs. State of Gujarat rendered in Special Civil Application No. 10265 of 2020.5.15 The submission of Mr.Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, that the petitioner had filed the present petition, and pending the petition, by taking a decision on the report and finalizing the same amounted to overreaching the judicial process, Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader relied on a decision in the case of H.G.Rangangoud v. State Trading Corporation of India & Ors., (2012) 1 SCC 297 and in the case of Madan Kumar Singh (Dead) through LR vs. District Magistrate, Sultanpur & Ors., (2009) 9 SCC 79 to submit that in view of the fact that there was no stay, there was no reason why the authorities could not have proceeded forth in finalizing a report and submit the same on 06.08.2020. She would submit that there was no procedural overreach of the Court proceedings, and therefore, the submission of Mr.Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, that the respondent - State Government had overreached the court's process was misconceived.6. The civil applicants of the application for joining party have appeared through Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate with Mr.Zubin Bharda, learned advocate. Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate invited the attention of the Court to page 97 and page 100 of the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020. He would submit that what the notice indicates is that the author of the show cause notice is of the opinion that an inquiry needs to be conducted in context of certain issues. There can be no concept of pre-determining or pre-judging the issue in such a case and it cannot be branded as a pre-determined show cause notice.6.1 To the contention of Mr.Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner that invocation of powers was under Section 86(2) of the Act, and therefore, without jurisdiction, Mr.B.S.Patel learned Senior Advocate would support the submission of the State that section 86(1) and section 86(2) are independent and different provisions. Inviting the attention of the Court to Section 86 of the Act, Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate, would submit that Section 86 falls under Chapter 8 of the Gujarat Co-Operative Societies Act which deals with audit, inquiry, inspection and supervision, and therefore, it is only a preliminary step towards further action either under Section 71 and 76 of the Act and only points of issue are raised to hold an inquiry. He would submit that the powers that are exercised in the facts of the case are one under Section 86(1) and therefore the contention of Mr.Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, is misconceived.6.2 Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate, would join with Ms.Manisha Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader in agreeing to the submission made that as far as notice to members are concerned, they are not necessary as the procedural section 86 applies to the Society. The issuance of the show cause notice was a decision which was necessary pursuant to the decision of the Division Bench, because it involved serious consequences to the co-operative society.6.3 Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate, would submit that the petition at the hands of the Society is not maintainable challenging the provisions of the show cause notices dated 17.09.2020 and 18.09.2020. The notices are given to the Managing committee and the Chairman. It is the Society which has come forward to file the petition. There is not even a resolution placed on record as to how the Society is authorized to file a petition. Inviting the attention of the Court to Section 37 of the Gujarat Co-Operative Societies Act, Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate would submit that the Society is a body corporate. At no point it is clear from the petition that how the Managing Director has authority to file the petition. He invited the attention of the Court to Form 'F' under the rules to submit that there is no resolution placed on record of the petition to support the petition being filed.6.4 On the decision cited by Mr.Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, in the case of Oryx(supra), reading the relevant paragraph of the decision, Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate, would submit that, that was the case in which show cause notice was for cancellation of a license. The show cause notice was in context of quasi judicial action where the authorities were to adjudicate. The province of adjudicating the dispute and the province of only an inquisatorial administrative inquiry were different, and therefore, the judgment in the case of Oryx would not apply to the facts of the case. The order holding an inquiry is an administrative order.6.5 Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate, would invite the attention of the Court to the prayers made in the petition and submit that the prayer is for a writ of mandamus. Nothing on the findings of the inquiry officer are under challenge, and therefore, it itself is evident that the powers exercised are administrative, and therefore, no writ of certiorari has been prayed for.6.6 He would also agree to the submissions made by the learned Government Pleader that merely because the District Registrar or the Director has participated in the resolution would not make the actions bad. On the maintainability of the petition challenging the notice dated 17.09.2020 and 18.09.2020, Mr.Patel, learned Senior Advocate, would submit that they are individual notices to the Managing Committee and the Chairman, and the petition at the hands of the Society is not maintainable. None of the Committee members are in Court seeking a prayer to set aside the notices. He invited the attention of the Court to Section 79(2) of the Act.7. Having considered the submissions of the learned counsels for the respective parties, the following issues need to be answered by this Court:(1) Whether the notice dated 22.05.2020 and the order dated 11.06.2020 are in exercise of powers under Section 86(1) of the Act or 86(2) of the Act.(2) Can the notice dated 22.05.2020 be said to be pre-meditated and pre-judging the issue.(3) Whether it was necessary for the respondents to issue individual notices to each member of the society under Section 86 of the Act.(4) Whether the notice and consequential actions can be said to be bad on the principle of "No man can be a judge of his own cause".(5) Whether can it be said that the Society can challenge notices under Sections 71 and 76(B) of the Act.(6) Whether notice under Section 76(B) is a common notice, and therefore, in terms of the decision in the case of Vipul Chaudhary (supra), should be held to be bad.7.1 Question 1 is whether the notice dated 22.05.2020 and the order dated 11.06.2020 are in exercise of powers under Section 86(1) of the Act or Section 86(2) of the Act. For the purposes of appreciating this controversy, let us consider the provisions of Section 86 of the Act. Section 86 of the Act is reproduced as under:"Section 86 : Inquiry by Registrar(1)The Registrar may of his own motion himself, or by a person duly authorised by him in writing in this behalf, hold an inquiry into the constitution, working and financial conditions of a society.(2)The Registrar shall hold such an inquiry-(a) on the requisition of a society duly authorised by rules made in this behalf to make such requisition. In respect of any of its members, such member being itself a society, or(b) On the application of a majority of the Committee of a society, or(c) on the application of one-third of the members of a society.(3)(a) Every officer, member and past member of the society in respect of which an inquiry is held and any other person who is in possession of information, books and papers relating to the society, shall on being so required furnish such information as is in his possession, and produce all books and papers relating to the society which are in his custody or power, and otherwise give to the officer holding the inquiry all assistance in connection with the inquiry which he can reasonably give.(b) If any such person refuses to produce to the Registrar or any person authorised by him under sub-section (1) any book or paper which it is his duty under clause(a) to produce or to answer any question which is put to him by the Registrar or the person authorized by the Registrar in pursuance of sub-clause(a) the Registrar or the person authorised by the Registrar may certify the refusal and the Registrar may impose on the defaulter a penalty of an amount not exceeding five hundred rupees. Before imposing such penalty, the Registrar shall give, or cause to be given a reasonable opportunity to the defaulter, of showing cause against the action proposed to be taken in regard to him.(4) (a) If at any stage of the inquiry under this section the Registrar is satisfied that in the interest of the members of the society it is necessary to take over all books and papers relating to the society during the period of inquiry, he may make an order in writing to that effect and directing the society to hand over all books and papers relating to the society to such officer as may be specified in the order. The Registrar may also issue a direction to the society to refrain from doing such acts or engaging in such activities as may be specified in the direction.(b) The society shall be bound to comply with any direction issued to it under clause(a).(c) The books and papers taken over under clause(a) shall be returned to the society on the completion of the inquiry.(5) When the inquiry is held under this section the Registrar shall communicate the result of the inquiry-(I) in case the State Government have subscribed directly to the share capital of the society or in case any moneys are due from the society to the Principal State Partnership Fund or to the Subsidiary State Partnership Fund, to the State Government or to any officer appointed by it in this behalf,(ii) to the federal co-operative society concerned and(6) It shall be competent for the Registrar to withdraw any inquiry from the officer to whom it is entrusted, and to hold the inquiry himself or entrust it to any other person as he deems fit."7.2 Reading Section 86 of the Act it is clear that sub-section 1 thereof provides that the Registrar may on his own motion himself or by a person duly authorised by him in writing in his behalf hold an inquiry into the constitution, working and financial conditions of a society. Sub-section 2 thereof talks of the Registrar shall hold an inquiry on a requisition of a society on an application by majority or an application by one-third of members.8. From the unfolding events which have been relied upon by the respective parties, what appears on hand is that various complaints were received by the authorities right from June 2011, in 2014 which resulted in filing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on 25.02.2015. It will be evident to reproduce the relevant portion of the order dated 03.12.2015 in WP(PIL) No. 49 of 2015, which read as under:"5........However, as the amount involved is huge and the fine involved is also huge, if the petitioners have any satisfactory material to show that Kinjal Chemical was a projected person, wherein there was financial interest involved of any of the office-bearers of respondent No.4 or if the petitioners have any material to show that there was ex-facie callous approach on the part of respondent No.4 in supplying material at Rajasthan, which resulted into imposition of fine, they may approach before the competent authority under the Act."8.1 Reading the order it will be clear that the Court left it open for the authorities to inquire into the issues on an application received by the petitioner in the public interest litigation. It appears that more complaints came to be received in 2017 and in 2018. Perusal of the report of the Director of Sugar, Bharuch, shows that there is nothing in the preliminary report to show that the inquiry was conducted in context of Section 86 of the Act. Mr.Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, would be wrong in submitting that when these allegations were inquired into and they had closed, it was not open for the authorities to carry out such an investigation. It appears that despite the complaints being made over the years, no regular inquiry by a statutory authority under the provisions of the Co-operative Societies Act was being conducted. It was in this context, that the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020 was issued to the petitioner-Society to show cause as to why the inquiry should not be held as, in the opinion of the author of the show cause notice a case was made out for holding inquiry based on the complaints received by them.8.2 In rejoinder, Mr. Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, would submit that the fact that the order was under Section 86(2) was evident from the show cause notice and the orders which indicated that the complainants were permitted to participate in the proceedings. In the opinion of the Court, the submission of Mr.Desai, learned counsel, is misconceived.8.3 Reading of the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020 and the order dated 11.06.2020 amply makes it clear that what was contemplated and what was done was based on the complaints received by the Registrar, the Registrar on his own motion based on the material that was placed before him, ordered an inquiry to be held. Yes it was a Suo Motu inquiry on his own motion but it was based on the complaints that were filed by various complainants before him. It was material placed before him in accordance with the provisions of sub-section 1 of Section 86, and therefore, an inquiry was held. Mere participation of the complainants in the process of hearing would not make it an exercise under Section 86(2) of the Act. The contention, therefore, that the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020 and the order dated 11.06.2020 are without jurisdiction and therefore the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020 be set aside are misconceived. Even when the decision in the case of Chimanbhai Dadubhai Desai (supra) is read, a categorical observation is made by the Court that it is open for the District Registrar to hold an inquiry on the basis of material placed before him. In the facts of the present case, it is evident that the Registrar exercised his powers under Section 86(1) of the Act which is independent to section 86(2) of the Act. The language of Section 86(1) reads that ("the Registrar may") hold an inquiry which discretion is vested in him if he finds suitable material. However, under sub-section 2 thereof, the language begins with the word "the Registrar shall hold an inquiry", suggesting that notwithstanding anything before him if a sufficient number of applicants as contemplated in the sub-clause (a), sub-clause (b) or sub-clause (c) file an application requesting the Registrar to hold an inquiry, the Registrar is bound to do so. On the facts of the case, reading of the Report dated 06.08.2020 and in context of the show cause notices and the order holding inquiry, it cannot be said that the subjective satisfaction of the author of the show cause notice or the order are pre-judging the issue or pre-meditating the issue of holding an inquiry.8.4 The Registrar, on the basis of material placed before him, only gave a notice opining that such issues which the complainant have raised deserve to be looked into. It was an inquisitive inquiry which was decided to be held. There was no pre-meditation or pre-judging of an issue in the context of coming to a decision thereof. It was only a case where the opinion was expressed that such issue required detailed examination. Expressing an opinion that the issue requires detailed examination cannot be said to be pre-judging the issue or pre-meditation. The submission of Mr.Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, therefore that the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020 and the order dated 11.06.2020 are pre-meditated is also bad.8.5 Reliance placed on a decision in the case of Oryx(supra), cannot be of help to the petitioner. On the facts in the case, I would agree with Mr.B.S.Patel, learned Senior Advocate and Ms.Lavkumar, learned Government Pleader, when they say that the case in Oryx (supra) was for cancellation of license. Relevant paragraphs of the decision in the case of Oryx, read as under:12. The third respondent vide its letter dated 25.10.2007, addressed to the appellant, directed it to settle the dispute with Cascade urgently by 10.11.2007, which was duly replied to by the appellant in the negative by its letter dated 11.11.2007. After a series of correspondence between the appellant and the third respondent, finally the third respondent decided on 20.11.2007 to convene a joint meeting on 5.12.2007 between the appellant and Cascade to find out an amicable settlement of the issue in the presence of the officers of MPEDA.13. The appellant in order to amicably settle the dispute offered Cascade 25% of the value of the goods exported, by way of deferred payment against adjustments, from future supplies, in the presence of officers of MPEDA. However, Cascade refused to accept the same.14. Then the third respondent issued a show cause notice dated 23.01.2008. As per the show cause notice the MPEDA called upon the appellant to show cause why their certificate of registration should not be cancelled. The appellant replied to the show cause notice vide its letter dated 4.2.2008 seeking to refute the allegations levied upon it and further stated that MPEDA would not be justified in canceling its certificate of registration on the above- mentioned grounds.18. Being aggrieved, by the order dated 19.03.2008 and 19.08.2008, the appellant preferred a Writ Petition No.2251 of 2008, before the High Court of Bombay. The High Court found no error of law on the face of record, and upheld the findings of the appellate authority and dismissed the writ petition by an order dated 16.10.2008.19. Assailing the High Court's order, this Court was moved on a Special Leave Petition whereupon this Court on 28.11.2008 issued notice and continued the stay granted by the High Court on 16.10.2008.20. In the backdrop of these facts the first question which falls for consideration of this Court is whether the respondents in cancelling the registration certificate of the appellant acted fairly and in compliance with principles of natural justice and also whether the respondents acted with an open mind.21. It is obvious that in passing the impugned order of cancellation, the respondents were acting in a quasi-judicial capacity and also they were acting in exercise of their statutory powers. Indisputably, the third respondent while purporting to cancel the registration certificate was acting in exercise of his power under Rule 43 of the MPEDA Rules. The show cause notice dated 23.01.2008 was issued by the third respondent in exercise of this power.22. For a proper appreciation of the points involved, the show cause notice is set out in etenso:"Sub: SHOW CAUSE NOTICEYour attention is invited to our HQ's letter No.IV/53/06-MS/HO dated 25.10.2007 and subsequent joint meeting with the buyer held at our Head office on 5th September, 2007 on the trade complaint received from M/s Cascade Marine Foods LLC, Sharjah.At the meeting it was convincingly proved that the cargo shipped by you to the above mentioned buyer was defective and you have not so far settled the complaint. Therefore, in exercise of the powers vested in me vide Office Order Part-II No.184012005 dated 25.11.2005 read with Rule 43 of the MPEDA Rules, I hereby call upon you to show cause why the Certificate of Registration as an Exporter granted to you should not be cancelled for reasons given below:1. It has been proved beyond doubt that you have sent substandard material to M/s Cascade Marine Foods, LLC, Sharjah.2. You have dishonoured your written agreement with M/s Cascade Marine Foods, LLC, Sharjah to settle the complaint made by the buyer as you had agreed to compensate to the extent of the value of defective cargo sent by you and have now evaded from the responsibility.3. This irresponsible action have brought irreparable damage to India's trade relation with UAE.Your reply should reach the undersigned within 10 days from the date of receipt of this letter failing which it will be presumed that you have no explanation to offer and we will proceed with action for cancellation of your registration certificate without further notice to you. If ultimately a decision is reached to deregister you under the provisions of the MPEDA Rules, it will automatically entail de-registration under Registration Exporters' policy also."23. Relying on the underlined portions in the show cause notice, learned counsel for the appellant urged that even at the stage of the show cause notice the third respondent has completely made up his mind and reached definite conclusion about the alleged guilt of the appellant. This has rendered the subsequent proceedings an empty ritual and an idle formality.24. This Court finds that there is a lot of substance in the aforesaid contention. 24. It is well settled that a quasi-judicial authority, while acting in exercise of its statutory power must act fairly and must act with an open mind while initiating a show cause proceeding. A show cause proceeding is meant to give the person proceeded against a reasonable opportunity of making his objection against the proposed charges indicated in the notice.25. Expressions like "a reasonable opportunity of making objection" or "a reasonable opportunity of defence" have come up for consideration before this Court in the context of several statutes. A Constitution Bench of this Court in Khem Chand v. Union of India and others, (1958) AIR SC 300, of course in the context of service jurisprudence, reiterated certain principles which are applicable in the present case also.26. Chief Justice S.R. Das speaking for the unanimous Constitution Bench in Khem Chand (supra) held that the concept of 'reasonable opportunity' includes various safeguards and one of them, in the words of the learned Chief Justice, is: "(a) An opportunity to deny his guilt and establish his innocence, which he can only do if he is told what the charges leveled against him are and the allegations on which such charges are based;"27. It is no doubt true that at the stage of show cause, the person proceeded against must be told the charges against him so that he can take his defence and prove his innocence. It is obvious that at that stage the authority issuing the charge- sheet, cannot, instead of telling him the charges, confront him with definite conclusions of his alleged guilt. If that is done, as has been done in this instant case, the entire proceeding initiated by the show cause notice gets vitiated by unfairness and bias and the subsequent proceeding become an idle ceremony.28. Justice is rooted in confidence and justice is the goal of a quasi-judicial proceeding also. If the functioning of a quasi- judicial authority has to inspire confidence in the minds of those subjected to its jurisdiction, such authority must act with utmost fairness. Its fairness is obviously to be manifested by the language in which charges are couched and conveyed to the person proceeded against.29. In the instant case from the underlined portion of the show cause notice it is clear that the third respondent has demonstrated a totally close mind at the stage of show cause notice itself. Such a close mind is inconsistent with the scheme of Rule 43 which is set out below. The aforesaid rule has been framed in exercise of the power conferred under Section 33 of The Marine Products Export Development Authority Act, 1972 and as such that Rule is statutory in nature.30. Rule 43 of the MPEDA Rules provides as follows:"43. Cancellation of registration Where the Secretary or other officer is satisfied that any person has obtained a certificate of registration by furnishing incorrect information or that he has contravened any of the provisions of this rule or of the conditions mentioned in the certificate of registration, or any person who has been registered as an exporter fails during the period of twelve consecutive months to export any of the marine products in respect of which he is registered, or if the secretary or other officer is satisfied that such person has become disqualified to continue as an exporter, the Secretary or such officer may, after giving the person who holds a certificate a reasonable opportunity of making his objections, by order, cancel the registration and communicate to him a copy of such order."31. It is of course true that the show cause notice cannot be read hyper-technically and it is well settled that it is to be read reasonably. But one thing is clear that while reading a show-cause notice the person who is subject to it must get an impression that he will get an effective opportunity to rebut the allegations contained in the show cause notice and prove his innocence. If on a reasonable reading of a show-cause notice a person of ordinary prudence gets the feeling that his reply to the show cause notice will be an empty ceremony and he will merely knock his head against the impenetrable wall of prejudged opinion, such a show cause notice does not commence a fair procedure especially when it is issued in a quasi- judicial proceeding under a statutory regulation which promises to give the person proceeded against a reasonable opportunity of defence.32. Therefore, while issuing a show-cause notice, the authorities must take care to manifestly keep an open mind as they are to act fairly in adjudging the guilt or otherwise of the person proceeded against and specially when he has the power to take a punitive step against the person after giving him a show cause notice."38. On the question whether the entire proceeding for cancellation of registration initiated by the show cause notice and culminating in the order of cancellation is vitiated by bias we can appropriately refer to the succinct formulation of the principle by Lord Reid in Ridge v. Baldwin and others, (1964) AC 40. The Learned Law Lord, while dealing with several concepts, which are not susceptible of exact definition, held that by fair procedure one would mean that what a reasonable man would regard as fair in the particular circumstances (see page 65 of the Report). If we follow the aforesaid test, we are bound to hold that the procedure of cancellation registration in this case was not a fair one.39. On the requirement of disclosing reasons by a quasi-judicial authority in support of its order, this Court has recently delivered a judgment in the case of Kranti Associates Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. v. Sh. Masood Ahmed Khan & Others on 8th September 2010.40. In M/s Kranti Associates (supra), this Court after considering various judgments formulated certain principles in para 51 of the judgment which are set out belowa. In India the judicial trend has always been to record reasons, even in administrative decisions, if such decisions affect anyone prejudicially.b. A quasi-judicial authority must record reasons in support of its conclusions.c. Insistence on recording of reasons is meant to serve the wider principle of justice that justice must not only be done it must also appear to be done as well.d. Recording of reasons also operates as a valid restraint on any possible arbitrary exercise of judicial and quasi-judicial or even administrative power.e. Reasons reassure that discretion has been exercised by the decision maker on relevant grounds and by disregarding extraneous considerations.f. Reasons have virtually become as indispensable a component of a decision making process as observing principles of natural justice by judicial, quasi-judicial and even by administrative bodies. g. Reasons facilitate the process of judicial review by superior Courts.h. The ongoing judicial trend in all countries committed to rule of law and constitutional governance is in favour of reasoned decisions based on relevant facts. This is virtually the life blood of judicial decision making justifying the principle that reason is the soul of justice.i. Judicial or even quasi-judicial opinions these days can be as different as the judges and authorities who deliver them. All these decisions serve one common purpose which is to demonstrate by reason that the relevant factors have been objectively considered. This is important for sustaining the litigants' faith in the justice delivery system.j. Insistence on reason is a requirement for both judicial accountability and transparency.k. If a Judge or a quasi-judicial authority is not candid enough about his/her decision making process then it is impossible to know whether the person deciding is faithful to the doctrine of precedent or to principles of incrementalism.l. Reasons in support of decisions must be cogent, clear and succinct. A pretence of reasons or 'rubberstamp reasons' is not to be equated with a valid decision making process.It cannot be doubted that transparency is the sine qua non of restraint on abuse of judicial powers. Transparency in decision making not only makes the judges and decision makers less prone to errors but also makes them subject to broader scrutiny. (See David Shapiro in Defence of Judicial Candor,1987 100 HarwardLawReview 731-737).n. Since the requirement to record reasons emanates from the broad doctrine of fairness in decision making, the said requirement is now virtually a component of human rights and was considered part of Strasbourg Jurisprudence. See (1994) 19 EHRR 553, at 562 para 29 and Anya vs. University of Oxford, (2001) EWCA(Civ) 405, wherein the Court referred to Article 6 of European Convention of Human Rights which requires, "adequate and intelligent reasons must be given for judicial decisions". o. In all common law jurisdictions judgments play a vital role in setting up precedents for the future. Therefore, for development of law, requirement of giving reasons for the decision is of the essence and is virtually a part of "Due Process"."8.6 Reading of the above paragraphs would indicate that the decision was in the context of a show cause notice when a decision was to be taken in relation to a cancellation of a license by a quasi judicial authority. In the facts of the case, while invoking the provisions of section 86 of the Act, what the author of the notice was to do was to appoint an Inquiry Officer who would further go into the facts of administrative nature in an inquisitorial jurisdiction and not a quasi judicial decision, and therefore, the decision in the case of Oryx (supra) has no application. The third issue that needs to be considered is whether it was necessary for the author of the notice dated 22.05.2020 to issue notice to all members of the Society. Reading Section 86 of the Act makes it evidently clear that what is required under Section 86 is a notice to the Society as is held in the case of Damansingh Vs. State of Punjab, (1985) 2 SCC 670. Para 4 and 10 thereof, which reads as under:"4. We are unable to find any justification for giving such a limited or narrow interpretation to the expression 'corporations' occurring in Art. 31-A(I) (c). On the other hand , we think that the very requirement of public interest or proper management of the corporation mentioned in Art. 31-A(l) (c) requires the expression to be given a broad interpretation since there can be no higher interest than the public interest. We do not however desire to quibble with rules of construction since we propose to examine what a 'corporation' means and comprehends ordinarily and in the scheme of the Constitution.10. The second submission of the learned counsel was that s.13(8) of the Punjab Co-operative Societies Act provided for amalgamation of Co-operative Societies if the Registrar was satisfied that it was necessary to do so in the interest of the Co-operative Societies whereas the Constitutional protection was available only if the legislation was in the public interest or in order to secure the proper management of any of the corporations. According to the learned counsel the protection of Art. 31-A (1) (c) was , therefore , not available to s. 13 (8) of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act as the interest of a Cooperative Society may not necessarily be in the public interest or for the proper management of the society. This submission is no more than a play with words. The very philosophy and concept of the Cooperative movement is impregnated with the public interest and the amalgamation of Co-operative Societies when such amalgamation is in the interest of the Co-operative Societies is certainly in the public interest or can only be to secure the proper management of the societies. The argument of the learned counsel is an attempt at hairsplitting and is rejected."8.7 It is clear that once a person becomes a member of the Cooperative Society, he loses his individuality qua the society and he must speak through the Society. When this is read in context of Section 37 of the Act, what is evident is that the Society is a body corporate. Reading sections 86 and 37 of the Act would therefore indicate that the contention that each member of the Society ought to have been served with a notice under Section 86 is misconceived. Even reliance placed on the decision in Letters Patent Appeal No. 516 of 2016 would not help the petitioner inasmuch as, the Division Bench's order was an order against the interim order and even in that decision the Court has specifically qualified by saying that "whether such a notice is necessary or not in absence of any specific provision under Section 86 of the Act is a matter to be gone into in detail while disposing of the Special Civil Application". In other words, therefore, the decision cannot be said to be a decision which is binding on the Court as far as the law on hand is concerned i.e. whether the Society members deserve to be issued a notice or not. It was a clear case where no notice needed to be issued to the members of the Society.8.8 That brings us to the fourth issue to be considered which was argued by Shri Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner relying on the decision in the case of Gujarat State Co-Operative Marketing Federation Ltd vs. V.H.Parekh.,1995 1 GLH 851. Relevant paragraphs of the said judgment read as under:"(5) The case of the petitioner is that the first respondent who is Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Gujarat State, Ahmedabad attended most of the meettings of the Board of Directors of the petitioner-Society and he had attended most of the meetings to the Board of Directors held during the years 1979-80, 1980-81. The first respondent he become Joint Registrar since last about four to five years and prior thereto he was working as Depputy Registrar of the co-operative Societies, Gujarat, State. He bad attended the meetings of the board of Directors of the petitioner-Society in his aforesaid both the capacities. It is further averred that the Board of Directors have always taken unanimously decisions and hardly except on one or two occasions, the registrar of Co-operative Societies, Gujarat State or his nominee or Financial advisor or any other Government nominee, had never voted against the resolutions passed in the Board of Directors meetings.(8) The impugned order of initiation of holding inquiry on various charges against the petitioner-Society and its Directors is questioned on various counts and on different grounds- One of the main grounds is that the first respondent who waa a sitting Director of Board of Directors of the petitioner-Society and who was a party to the initiation of the matters decided by the board, has passed the impugned order of holding the inquiry. It is contended by the petitioner-Society that at no point of time, the respondent no. 1 had ever taken any objection to various decisions taken by the Board and at no point of time, be had ever raised any question regarding use and misuse of the vehicles of the petitioner-Society.(12) IT is a celebrated principles of law that no person can be a judge on his own case. The uncontroverted position in the petition is that the respondent no. 1 was attending meetings of the Board of Directors and he had never voted against the decisions taken in the meetings of the Board of directors of the petitioner-Society. He is the same person who has directed to initiate an inquiry under Section 86 of the Act.(13) The contention that the impugned decision of the respondent no. 1 directing initiation of the proceeding under Section 86 of the Act is illegal as the respondent no. 1 is incompetent as he has been acting as a judge on his own case, has great force and is sustainable in the facts and circumstances of the present case. It is a celebrates principle of law that one shall not be a judge on his own case (memo debet sse judex propria cause). In the present petition, it is not disputed that the respondent no. 1 Joint Registrar of Co-operative Societies (Marketing) was a sitting member of the Board of Directors of the petitioner-Society and he was attending meetings of the Board of directors as a nominee of the Registrar."9. From the pleadings in the petition on hand when read in the context of the decision relied upon by Shri Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, nowhere it is made clear in the petition whether the nominee of the government participated in the resolution or voted in support of or in favour of such resolution. There is, therefore, no supporting material to show that the show cause notice dated 22.05.2020 and the order of 11.06.2020 can be held to be bad on the principle of bias or otherwise. Nothing is on record to show whether the representative or the Director was present in the meeting and he voted in favour or against the resolution. It is in the facts

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of this case, that the decision in the case of Chandrakant Jagannath Ghodke (supra), would squarely apply."29. Insofar as the opportunity of hearing is concerned, in our opinion, at this stage i.e. at the stage of exercise of power under Sub-section (10 of Section 102 of the Act, the first respondent was not obliged to hear the Bank. In our judgment, from the scheme of the Act, it is clear that the competent Legislature has advisedly and deliberately enacted the provision (Section 102) bifurcating it in two parts. The first part under Sub-section (1) of Section 102 is interim, interlocutory or provisional stage of proceedings. The second part under Sub-section (2) of Section 102 is a second stage where final order is made by the Registrar. At the first stage, the Legislature has authorised the Registrar to form an "opinion" on the basis of objective facts under Clause (a) or (b) of Sub-section (1) and to pass an order of interim winding up. Clause (c) of Sub-section (1) of Section 102, empowers the Registrar to exercise power suo motu, if any of the four circumstances specified in the said clause is present. Thus, again there is objective fact on the basis of which such suo motu power can be exercised by him.32. The contention that the first respondent has become "a Judge in his own cause" has also no substance. It is not a case where a person is deciding a cause in which he has personal interest. As already noted hereinabove, the Registrar is merely an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors of the Bank under Section 112-B of the Act. Such an Officer is not disqualified of performing his functions, discharging his duties and exercising his powers in accordance with the provisions of the Act. This is not a case of personal interest or animosity. At the most, it can be described as official, departmental or policy bias or bias as to subject matter. It is, however, settled law that such bias would neither disqualify an authority or an officer from deciding an issue on the ground that such an action would be violative of principles of natural justice nor invalidate the proceedings."9.1 What is evident is that the Registrar is merely an Ex-Officio member and therefore was discharging his duties in exercise of his official powers and there was no personal animosity. In the present case, the issue was the same, and therefore, it cannot be said that the notice dated 22.05.2020 and/or the order dated 11.06.2020 are biased.10. Coming to issue No.5, which is whether it can be said that the petition is maintainable at the hands of the petitioner-Society challenging notices under Section 71 and 76(B) of the Act. Section 71 and section 76(B) of the Act read as under:"Section 71(1) A society may invest, or deposit its fund,-(a) in a Central Bank, or the State Co-operative Bank,(b) in the State Bank of India,(c) in the Postal Savings Bank,(d) in any of the securities specified in section 20 of the Indian Trusts Act, 1882(II of 1882),(e) in shares, or security bonds, or debentures, issued by any other society with limited liability, or(f) in any co-operative bank or in any banking company approved for this purpose by the Registrar, and on such conditions as the Registrar may from time to time impose,(g) in any other mode permitted by the rules, or by general or special order of the State Government.(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-session (1), the Registrar may, with the approval of the State Co-operative Council, order a society or a class of societies to invest any funds in a particular manner, or may impose conditions regarding the mode of investment of such funds.Section 76(B)"(1) If, in the opinion of the Registrar, any officer makes persistent default or is negligent in performance of the duties imposed on him by this Act or the rules or the bye-laws or does anything which is prejudicial to the interests of the society or where he stands disqualified by or under this Act, the Registrar may, after giving the officer an opportunity of being heard, by order remove such officer and direct the society to elect or appoint a person or a qualified member in the vacancy caused by such removal and the officer so elected or appointed shall hold office so long only as the officer in whose place he is elected or appointed would have held if the vacancy had not occurred.(2) The Registrar may, by order, direct that the officer so removed shall be disqualified to hold or to contest election for any office in the society from which he is removed and in any other society for a period not exceeding four years from the date of the order and such officer shall stand disqualified accordingly."11. Perusal of the notice dated 17.09.2020 would indicate that the notice is issued to the Committee Members. Reading of the notice, especially page 138 thereof, makes it clear that it is with regard to misdemeanors of the Managing Committee. The petition is filed by the Society through its Managing Director. The members of the Managing Committee who are individually aggrieved have not come before this Court challenging the show cause notice dated 17.09.2020. The same also applies to the notice of 18.09.2020 which has been issued to the Chairman of the Society in context of removal and disqualification under Section 76(B) of the Act.12. Mr. Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner, in context of the powers under Section 76 of the Act cited the decision in the case of Vipul M Chaudhary (supra), and so confirmed by the Supreme Court to submit that a common notice under Sections 76B(1) and 76B(2) is not maintainable. To that submission, learned Government Pleader has made a statement on instructions that the present notice shall be considered under Section 76(B)(1) of the Act. That would take care of the contention or the apprehension of the notice being bad on common issues under SubSection (1) and sub-section (2) of Section 76(B). However, what we need to understand is that even otherwise the petition is not maintainable primarily on the ground that it is a Society which has come and neither the members of the Committee or the Chairman in his individual capacity has challenged the show cause notices dated 17.09.2020 and 18.09.2020. Therefore, the reliance placed on the decision in the case of Union of India vs. Kunisetty Satyanarayan., (2006) 12 SCC 28, supports the case of the respondents.13. On the contention raised by Mr.Dipen Desai, learned counsel for the petitioner that pending the petition, the respondents overreached the process, in the opinion of this Court, the decision in the case of Madan Kumar (supra) which reads as under indicate that at no stage of the proceedings there was an interim relief restraining the respondents from proceeding with the issue. Moreover, looking to the fact that the tenure of the Society was ending on 12.06.2020, and but for the lock down and the notification extending the term to 30.06.2020, the authorities were running against time. Had they not been able to complete the exercise and but for the further extension of the tenure, the term of the present Society would have ended on 30.07.2020. It was incumbent for the authorities, therefore, to conduct and complete the process by that date. It cannot therefore be said that the authorities committed hot haste in considering the issue on hand."14. It is trite to say that mere filing of a Petition, Appeal or Suit, would by itself not operate as stay until specific prayer in this regard is made and orders thereon are passed. There is nothing on record to show that any stay was granted in favour of any party, restraining the respondents not to deliver the papers of the truck to the appellant. It would go to show that respondents were unlawfully holding back the papers with them, for which, otherwise they were not entitled to do so."14. For all these aforesaid reasons, the present Special Civil Application is dismissed. In view of the dismissal of the main petition, both the civil applications will not survive and stand disposed of, accordingly.
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