S.S. Sudhalkar, J.
1. By this writ petition, the petitioner has challenged the order dated 5.6.1998 (Copy Annexure P/8) passed by respondent No. 2, vide which the order passed by Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Societies, Jalandhar, respondent No. 3, was set-aside.
2. Case of the petitioner is that he was a member of Kang Khurd Cooperative Agriculture Service Society Limited and is also owner of land in the village Mirajwala and Kang Khurd, i.e. he is the ration card holder in the village Mirajwala. Kang Khurd Cooperative Agriculture Service Society (hereinafter referred to as “the Society”) consists of 11 villages including Kang Khurd and Mirajwala. Respondent No. 4 i.e. the Assistant Registrar, issued a letter under Section 27(1) of the Punjab Cooperative Societies Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) vide which the petitioner was placed under suspension and was asked to submit reply within 15 days, otherwise it would be deemed to be admitted that he was removed from the Committee membership. The petitioner filed an appeal before the Deputy Registrar (Coop. Societies) challenging the order contending that he was very much resident of village Mirajwala and his land also falls in the village Kang Khurd. Respondent No. 3 accepted the appeal vide order dated 16.12.1997 (copy Annexure P/6). Against the said order, Jagraj Singh, respondent No. 5, President of The Kang Khurd Cooperative Agriculture Society filed a Revision. The revision was accepted by respondent No. 2 by the impugned order, dated 5.6.98 (Annexure P/8). It has been held in the impugned order by respondent No. 2 as under :-
“I have gone through the petition, reply and the documents produced before me and I am of the opinion that Shri Jamail Singh had shifted to a village outside the area of the Society and has remained their continuously for a long time as the Voter list for the year 1993-96 reveals. Absence of a member from the area of operation of the Society for a long time attracts the clause mentioned in Bye-law No. 5 which, says that only those persons can become members of the Society who ordinarily resides in the area of operation of the society. Since, Shri Jamail Singh had shifted his residence from the area of operation of the society, therefore, he had ceased to be an ordinarily resident of the area of operation of the Society.”
3. Having given this finding, the Revision petition was accepted by respondent No. 2.
4. Counsel for the petitioner has referred to Bye-laws of the Society which are reproduced in paragraph 4 of the writ petition. Bye-law 5 is as under
“5(a). Subject to the provisions of bye-law 6, any individual shall be eligible for admission as a member of the society if he is :
i) Over 18 years in age and of sound mind;
ii) Ordinary resident in the area of the operation of the society.
iii) good character.
b) Notwithstanding anything contained in bye-law 5(a) above, in case the society is selected as lead society under rural distributions scheme, the link societies attached with it for this purpose may also be admitted as normal members.” Bye-law No. 6 reproduced in para No. 5 of the writ petition is as under :-
“6. No individual shall be eligible for admission as a member of the society, if:
i) he has applied bankruptcy, Or
ii) he has been declared as an insolvent
iii) he has been sentenced for any offence involving dishonesty or moral turpitude within 5 years preceding the date of admission as a member.
iv) he is already a member of another primary co-operative credit or service society accepting (excepting ?) a land Mortgage Bank.”
5. Counsel for the petitioner relying on the bye-laws has argued that he has not ceased to be a resident of village Mirajwala and, therefore, he cannot be suspended or removed from the Society and, therefore, the order of removal was wrong.
6. The case of the petitioner is that because of terrorism in the State of Punjab, he had to shift his children to the relatives at village Lohian. But after six months he came back to the village and thereafter he never shifted from the operational areaof the sociely. The case of the respondent is that instead of showing reasons the petitioner filed an appeal, which was allowed. The said appellate order has been set-aside in the revision. Respondents No. 1 to 4 have inter alia contended that the petitioner is ration card holder of village Mirajwala but he had applied for new ration-card at Nagar Panchayat Lohian and his name figures at Sr. No. 2 in the application for ration card.
7. It can be seen that the order passed by the Assistant Registrar was in two parts, first of suspension and the second of showing cause. There is no reason shown as to why suspension was necessary. Instead of showing cause the petitioner filed an appeal before the Assistant Registrar under Section 68 of the Act which was allowed. The Joint Registrar as revisional authority set-aside the order. What was required to be considered is whether the petitioner had obtained disqualification for being the Member of the Society. For this, the petitioner could have led the necessary evidence before the Assistant Registrar, when show cause notice was
given. This, he has not done.
8. The petitioner has relied on the contentions regarding facts, as to whether or not he had shifted from the area of the society. This, he could have done at the time of showing cause.
9. As observed earlier, the suspension was not necessary when the opportunity to show cause was given. Considering all these facts, we find it proper to remand the case to the Assistant Registrar to give opportunity to the parties to place on record necessary evidence and take decision according to law. However, we find that the suspension order cannot be upheld.
10. As a result, this writ petition is partly allowed. The order in revision is set-aside as also in the appeal filed by the petitioner. The order of suspension in the order dated 12.11.1997 is set-aside. The Assistant Registrar (Coop. Societies) is directed to hear the parties and give them necessary opportunity to place on record the evidence they may choose to lead and decide the case in accordance with law.
11. Petition partly allowed.