Lok Satta Party files PIL in Madras High court: Constitutional amendment on Co-operative societies

Thursday, July 25th, 2013 @ 9:53PM

Lok Satta Party Tamil Nadu president Mr. D. Jagadheeswaran filed a PIL today (25th July, 2013) in the Madras High court challenging the constitutional validity of Section 4 of the Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011 as being violative of the basic structure of the Constitution.

The court has served notice to the State and Union Governments. The next hearing has been listed for 29-August-2013.

Case Background

The Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, 2011 includes the right to form co-operative societies within Article 19(1)(c), giving a big boost to the voices of reformists who have been seeking the empowerment of co-operative societies and freeing them from the tyrannies of political interference and undue state control.

However section 4 of the Constitution (97th Amendment) Act, inserted Part IX B which makes detailed provisions in relation to the internal structures and functioning of co-operative societies, including the election, term of office, strength and reservations on their Boards of management.

This Section 4 is under challenge in this Petition as it violates the constitutional framework for division of legislative power. Co-operative societies is a subject in the State List under Entry 32, and is specifically excluded from Entry 43 of the Union List. The Union Parliament has inserted Part IX B without recourse to the amendment procedure which requires states’ ratification under Article 368(2) proviso (d). By this the parliament has altered the distribution of powers in the 7th schedule without states’ approval indirectly.

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