Elections in Delhi Co-operative Societies

HANDBOOK FOR RETURNING OFFICER (Guidelines for conduct of Election in Co‐operative Societies) S.No. Guidelines Relevant Provisions of DCS Act, 2003/DCS Rules, 2007 and Policy Circulars of the Department

1. Election of Committee The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of elections of the members of the committee of a co-operative society shall be vested in the committee. The entire process of election will be conducted by a Returning Officer to be appointed by the committee who shall not be a member or an employee of the society, but a man of integrity, good social repute and competent to conduct elections in a fair manner. The Returning Officer may be appointed by the Registrar on request of the committee or 1/6th of members of the society or in case of dispute in society. Further, in case of a co-operative bank, financial bank, federal co-operative society, housing society which has been allotted land and draw of lots has not been conducted as per law or a housing society awaiting allotment of land, the Returning Officer shall be appointed by the Government. For this purpose, the society should submit a copy of the resolution for holding elections to the Registrar. Section 35(1) of DCS Act, Clause 1(III) and Clause 1(II) of Schedule II of DCS Rules.

2. Permission of Registrar Co-operative Society If the co-operative society has not got conducted audit or annual general body meeting as per provisions of the Act, the Returning Officer shall seek prior permission of Registrar before initiating the process of elections. Clause 1(iv) of Schedule II

3. Election by Secret Ballot Section 35(2) provides that the vote at an election shall be by secret ballot. Section 35(2) of the DCS Act

4. Term of Managing Committee The term of office of the elected members of the committee shall be three years. Section 35(3) of the DCS Act

5. No person shall be eligible to be elected as a Section 35(6) of the DCS member of the committee of a co-operative society unless he is share holder of that cooperative society.

6. Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a person shall be disqualified for election of office in a committee – (a) if he holds any such office on a committee of another co-operative society of the same type; (b) if he holds any such office on the committees of three or more co-operative societies of a different type or types; (c) if he has been held guilty of any of the offences as enumerated in section 118; (d) if he is an officer of a co-operative society which has not got its statutory audit completed within the statutory period prescribed in this Act; or (e) if he fails to give a declaration on oath about his eligibility for contesting election as prescribed. Section 35(7) of the DCS Act 7. No person shall be eligible for election as a member of the committee if he has not completed minimum period of one year from the date of acquiring membership in the co-operative society. Rule 54(h) of the DCS Act 8. Two seats in the managing committee shall be reserved for women members in all types of cooperative societies. A separate Ballot paper be introduced for women category. Section 35(8) of the DCS Act

9. Procedure of Election as per Schedule II The committee in office shall meet at least 60 clear days in advance of the date of expiry of its term and by resolution determine the date, time and place for convening a general body meeting for conduct of election of its successor committee. The committee shall then prepare a list of members as it stood on 30 days before the date fixed for inviting nomination. The list shall be prepared in Form 8 (Form 8A in case of Federal Co-operative Societies or financing institution). The committee shall display the list at least 10 days in advance on the notice board of the society and shall be furnished to members on payment of prescribed fee. In case no fee has been prescribed, then list shall be supplied on payment of Rs. 50 per 100 members or part thereof. The committee shall also prepare a list of Clause 1(I) and Clause 3 of Schedule II of DCS Rules members who are in default 30 days before the date of election and display at the notice board of the society and send copy in duplicate to the Registrar, one for record and the other for display on the notice board in the office of the Registrar. Defaulter shall be allowed to clear their dues before the date of filing nomination only. 10. Votes of Members Every member of a Co-operative Society shall have one vote in the affairs of the Cooperative Society Provided that – (a) ————– (b) a nominal or associate or joint member shall not have the right of vote; (c) where the Government is a member of the cooperative society, each person nominated by the Government on the committee shall have one vote; and (d) if a member is in default in payment of the sum demanded by the co-operative society or has transferred his interest in a co-operative society to any other member or to any other person without the approval of the competent authority, he shall have no voting right in the general body meeting of the co-operative society. (e) If a co-operative society becomes defunct and has ceased to function in accordance with the bye-laws and co-operative principles, its representative shall have no voting right in the affairs of a federal co-operative society or financial bank or financial society. Explanation (1). – Default means any default in payment of loan installment, land money, construction money and annual subscription payable as provided in the bye-laws of a cooperative society for which due notice for payment has been served on the member or an award has been passed for recovery of such sum. Explanation (2). – Defunct society means a Section 25 of the DCS Act society which has not carried on business for three consecutive years or its accounts have not been audited for three or more consecutive years. 11. Manner of exercising vote. (1) Every member of a co-operative society shall exercise his vote in person and no member shall be permitted to vote by proxy. (2) Notwithstanding anything contained in subsection (1), a co-operative society which is a member of another co-operative society, may appoint one of its member to vote on its behalf in the affairs of that other co-operative society. Section 26 of DCS Act 12. Issue of Agenda Notice to Members The Agenda Notice should be despatched to all the members of the Society by the Society either by local delivery or by post ‘Under Certificate of Posting’ or by circulation or by speed post/registered courier services. Such Agenda should also be affixed on the Notice Board of the Society and its branches, if any, and on notice board of the Returning Officer. In the Agenda Notice for election, the following details should be specified. (1) the number of vacancies to be filled by election including two seats for women candidates and representatives of scheduled caste and other backward classes as per the Act, Rules and bye-laws of the co-operative society, (2) any area of constituency that is specified in the bye-laws from which the members are to be elected. (3) the qualifications, if any, specified in the bye-laws for eligibility for membership of the committee, (4) the date on which, the place at which and the hours between which nomination papers shall be filed by the members, such date being not less than seven clear days before the date fixed for election or if that day happens to be public holiday Clause 2 of Schedule II of DCS Rules the next succeeding day which is not a public holiday, (5) the date and the hour for scrutinization of the nomination papers, and (6) the date, place and hour of polling. 13. Nomination Form The nomination of candidate for election should be made in Form ‘A’ in case of federal cooperative society or in Form ‘B’ in case of other co-operative society. The form shall be supplied free of cost by Returning Officer to any member desiring to file nomination. The nomination of candidate for particular post will be proposed and seconded by two different members who should not be defaulters. Form ‘A’ and Form ‘B’ annexed. Clause 4 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 14. Security Deposit In case of Co-operative Banks, Financial institutions and Federations, a candidates for the post of President, Vice President, Managing Committee members or Board of Directors, shall make a security deposit of Rs. 5000/-. In case of other co-operative societies, the candidate will deposit Rs. 1000/- as security deposit either in cash or banker’s cheque. The security deposit shall be paid alongwith nomination papers. Clause 4 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 15. Forfeiture of Security Deposit If a candidate fails to get minimum onesixth of votes polled, the security deposit shall be forfeited and transferred to Common Good Fund of the Society. Clause 4 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 16. Prohibition to Contest Election for Two Seats Simultaneously No member shall be eligible to contest election on two seats simultaneously. In case a member is nominated for two seats, the member shall intimate his final choice to contest on one seat on the date of withdrawal, failing which his both nominations will be deemed to have been cancelled. Clause 4 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 17. Filing of Nomination Paper Clause 4 of Schedule II Every nomination will be presented in person or sent by registered post acknowledgement due, by the candidate himself or his proposer or seconder to the Returning Officer. The nominations should reach Returning before the date and time specified in this behalf failing which it shall be rejected. of DCS Rules 18. Scrutiny of Nomination Paper On the date fixed for scrutiny of nomination paper the Returning Officer will scrutinize the nomination paper in the presence of candidates if they are present otherwise also, the Returning Officer will go ahead. The proposer/seconder of any candidate may also be present at the time of scrutiny of nomination paper. The Returning Officer shall examine the nomination papers and decide objections, which may be made by any person in respect of any nomination and may, either on such objection, or on its own motion, and after such summary inquiry, if any, as the Returning Officer thinks necessary, reject any nomination: Provided that the nomination of a candidate shall not be rejected merely on the ground of an incorrect description of his proposer or seconder, or any other particulars relating to the candidate or his proposer or seconder, as entered in the list of members referred to in Clause (3), if the identity of the candidate, proposer or seconder, as the case may be, is established beyond reasonable doubt. The Returning Officer shall give all reasonable facilities to the contesting candidates or their proposers or seconders, as the case may be, to examine all the nomination papers and to satisfy themselves that the inclusion of the name of the contesting candidate is valid. The Returning Officer shall endorse on each nomination paper his decision accepting or rejecting the same, as the case may be, and if the nomination paper is rejected, he shall record in writing a brief statement of its reasons for such rejection. The Returning Officer shall not allow any adjournment of the proceedings except when such proceedings are interrupted or obstructed by riot or affray or by causes beyond his control. Clause 6 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 19. Managing Committee against Whom Order No. – Proceedings has been Initiated under Sec. 37 cannot Conduct the Election The Managing Committee of the Society, whose conduct in carrying out the business of the society is under investigation under Sec. 37 cannot conduct the elections of the managing committee till proceedings are pending against them before the Registrar Co-operative Societies. This is because the electoral list, defaulter’s list and other documents relating to conduct of elections are prepared by the incumbent managing committee and possibility of manipulation of records to thwart a free and fair elections cannot be ruled out. 47/106/Policy/RCS/2000- 2001/1993-2008 dated 20.07.2000 20. Ground of Rejection of Nomination Paper (1) If the candidate is ineligible to vote, due to any Award outstanding against him. (2) If the candidate does not possess the necessary qualifications specified in the Bye-laws of the Society. (3) If the Nomination paper of such candidate is not signed by the proposer or by the seconder or by the candidate himself. (4) He is disqualified to be a member of the committee as provided in the Act or Rule 54 of DCS Rules, 2007. The accepted/rejected Nomination papers shall be signed by Returning Officer. In case the Nomination Paper is rejected, the reasons have to be recorded for such rejection. Clause 5 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 21. Display of List of Valid Nomination Papers The list of valid Nomination papers shall be signed by Returning Officer shall be published/displayed on Notice Board of the Society in English alphabetical order, on the day scrutiny is completed. Clause 7 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 22. Withdrawal of Nomination Paper Any candidate may withdraw his candidature by delivering his notice of withdrawal himself or through his proposer or seconder upto 5.00 P.M. on the date following the day of publication of valid nomination. Withdrawal once given shall be irrevocable. After withdrawal if the candidates are more than number of seats then election Clause 8, 9, 10 and 13 of Schedule II of DCS Rules arrangement will have to be made by Returning Officer. At this stage Returning Officer may appoint one or more Polling Officer as may be necessary. The Committee shall then make arrangement for ballot boxes, ballot papers and seal of Returning Officer, Ink and Ball Pens, etc. At the time of starting election, the Returning Officer shall show the empty boxes to the candidates or their agents and shall seal the boxes in their presence. Ballot paper to be used shall be as prescribed in form C annexed. 23. Casting of Votes by the Voters The voter members shall cast their votes during the time specified in the Agenda Notice by inscribing a mark (x) against the name of the candidate to whom he wants to vote. In case of a voter member who is illiterate or unable to inscribe the mark (x) to the candidate which he desires, Polling Officer will help him. Voter member shall not be allowed to caste vote after the time is over. However, those who have entered into the premises where ballot papers are being issued before the closing time, they will be allowed to vote after the specified time. Clause 16 and 18 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 24. Counting of Votes The Returning Officer shall make arrangement to count the votes on the same day in the presence of candidates or their agents. However, if this is not possible due to valid reasons then the Returning Officer shall seal the boxes in the presence of candidates or their agents and keep it with the society for safe custody. He will also announce the next day of counting. Absence of candidates or their agents at the time of counting does not debar the Returning Officer to start counting. Clause 19 of Schedule II of DCS Rules 25. Rejection of Ballot Papers The Ballot Papers can be rejected by the Returning Officer on the following grounds: (1) If the Ballot Paper identifies the person who has voted, such as a voter member ‘A’ has written his name on the Ballot Paper. (2) If the Ballot Paper does not bear the seal of Society or the initials of the Returning Officer. Clause 20 of Schedule II (3) If the mark is placed in the middle of two candidates and it is not possible to ascertain as to which candidate the vote has been cast. (4) If the Ballot Paper is so damaged or mutilated that it loses its identity as genuine Ballot Paper. 26. Declaration of Result The number of votes secured by each candidate and the result of election shall be announced by the Returning Officer as soon as counting is over. The result shall also be recorded in the minute book of the society and attested by the Returning Officer, and also displayed on the notice board of the society. In case of equality of votes, the Returning Officer shall declare the election result by tossing a coin. The result of election and a report thereon shall be communicated to the Registrar by the Returning Officer within 3 days of declaration of result. Clause 19 and 21 of Schedule II 27. Records relating to Elections of the society After declaration of the result of election, the Returning officer shall hand over the ballot papers and records relating to the election of the members of the board of directors and the officer bearers to the Secretary/Chief Executive Officer /Manager of the co-operative Society in a sealed cover. These shall safely, be preserved by the Secretary/Chief Executive Officer/Manager of the co-operative society for a period of six months from the date of election or till such time a dispute regarding elections, if any, filed is disposed off, whichever is later, and shall thereafter be destroyed by the society and a copy of the handing over and taking over of record of elections shall be sent to Registrar by the Returning Officer along with his report. Clause 22 of Schedule II

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7 Comments

  • A.H. KHAN says:

    An administration has been appointed by the RCS u/s 35 for conduct of election in our society but one year has already been passed no procedures of election done by the administration so far. The RCS given him extension again and again. Please advice me.

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  • rajiv gupta says:

    Please elaborate on Societys run by an Adminstrator – who do not get elections conducted on one pretext or the other.

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  • vishwanath says:

    sir,Now a days lot of flats in coop group housing societies are sold to non members. Kindly let me know the rights of a person who has purchased a flat from a member.

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  • H Mangal says:

    Sir
    Could you kindly shed some light on the election of the Secretary and the treasurer from amongst the elected members of the Managing Committee?
    The secretary in our society has resigned due to health reasons. Can the president, vice-president or the Treasurer of the society take temporary charge of the secretary also till the time a new secretary is decided? Can the managing committee of the society function without any secretary?

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  • RAJENDER SINGH says:

    what are losses if a candidate loses and gets his security forfeited in cooperative society election. Can he re-fight?

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  • ARUN says:

    IN A SOCIETY MANAGEMENT COMMITIE ELECTION IN DELHI
    ACCORDING TO RCS RULE
    WHO IS AUTHORISED TO CONTEST ELECTION FOR MC IN CASE IF MEMBERSHIP IS IN JOINT NAME Of HUSBAND AND WIFE
    IS THERE ANY SPECIAL TREATMANT GIVEN IN CASE OF LADY COMPULSARY SEAT IN MC
    PLS ADVISE AND REFERNCE OF DCS RULE
    THX

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  • Ramanathan Jagannathan says:

    In our group housing society in New Delhi, election was conducted and President, Secretary, Treasurer and committe members elected recently. How long can these members hold the posts? Is it one year or three years?
    Thanks.

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