HC orders election of KCCI office bearers by April end

HC orders election of KCCI office bearers by April end
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The High Court has ordered that the elections for the office bearers of the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) be concluded by April end.

A bench of Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul issued the direction after the parties before it suggested six names each for holding the election.

In October 2020, the HC directed the trial court that had restrained office bearers (KCCI) from taking decisions to decide first whether the court had jurisdiction to entertain a civil suit against a company. After the court had ruled that it has the jurisdiction, the office bearers of the KCCI filed a revision petition against the trial court order.

A bench of the court, upon consideration of civil revision, directed the trial court not to proceed with the trial, with a further direction that petitioners should continue to abide by the order dated 1st October 2020 passed in FAO No 06/2020.

During pendency of civil revision, an application came to be filed by revision petitioners to permit them to operate bank accounts of KCCI maintained in J&K Bank Branch Residency Road, Srinagar to pay salary to staff of KCCI and pay electricity and telephone charges and rentals.

In another application, the petitioners said that they had to arrange road show at Kochi and sought permission to allow them to hold a road show at Kochi on 26th March 2021.

In its objections filed, the respondents opposed the two applications.

When the matter came up for consideration before the court on 17th March 2021, after making rival contentions, the counsel for parties were ready for holding elections to elect the office bearers of KCCI for which they proposed to give the names of persons (three persons each) who may associate and conduct such elections.

The petitioners suggested names of Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad of Ahmad Nagar, Rauf Ahmad Punjabi of Hawal and Nazir Ahmad Mir of Fateh Kadal while the respondents suggested names of Abdul Majid Matto of Baghi Ali Mardan, Abdul Hamid Punjabi of Lal Bazaar and Mushtaq Ahmad Wani of Hyderpora.

"It will be appropriate that these six persons should form and function as a committee for conducting elections of KCCI as also for the positions and office bearers of KCCI – President, Senior Vice President, Junior Vice President, Secretary General, Joint Secretary General and Treasurer as prescribed under MOA of KCCI," Justice Chatterji Koul said after hearing the parties.

The court said that all the exercise in this regard should be undertaken and concluded within a month and by the end of April 2021 all the positions and office bearers of KCCI shall be elected.

The court also held that the elections would be supervised by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Srinagar. It said that the DC is free to take all steps for conduct of elections of KCCI and while conducting the elections should follow all the SOPs issued by the government with regard to COVID 19 pandemic.

The court directed that from today till the elections of KCCI are over and new committee and office bearers elected, Farooq Ahmin Chadino and Manzoor Ahmad Pakhtoon would act as caretakers of KCCI to operate bank accounts maintained in J&K Bank branch unit Residency Road Srinagar only to the extent of making payment of salary to employees and staff of KCCI and for payment of electricity and telephone bills and other charges.

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