High Court proposes committees for election to KCCI

Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Friday proposed constitution of committees for the conduct of the election to executive body for Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).

For ensuring the tasks are performed honestly and in transparent manner, a bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey also proposed to nominate Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar as an overall supervising officer to oversee the performance of the tasks by the committees who will be assisted by two former Principal District Judges—Javed Ahmad Kawoos and Abdul Wahid.

The court proposed the constitution of the committees after hearing Senior advocate Z A Shah on behalf of the appellants challenging the trial court order and Faisal Qadri on behalf of respondents, who had approached the trial court.

Shah said the appellants were not averse to elections for the new elected Administrative or Executive Body called Committee for the KCCI but were unable to conduct the elections amid covid-19 as there were as many as 1300 members required to assemble and vote for the purpose.

“If the elections are facilitated by the Government on the directions of this Court, the appellants, following the SOPs, would gladly participate in the elections” he said.  He, however, said till such time the affairs of the Company cannot be kept on standstill, therefore, the trial court order required to be stayed.

“Keeping in view the fact that NEET examination of lakhs of candidates was conducted at all India level on 13.09.2020, and that the Parliament has also started its Monsoon Session…there should be no impediment in holding elections to the Administrative / Executive Body of the Company which has just 1300 members” the court said.  It however said keeping in view the Covid pandemic cooperation of the Deputy Commissioner in this behalf can be sought by it.

The court said it would be advantageous for both the parties and in the interests of the Company (KCC&I) to agree on nomination of the requisite Committees by it. “This, according to the opinion of this Court, is the most viable way out to overcome the difficulty and to ensure speedy, real and substantial justice in the case”.

“Otherwise the fundamental object of the parties for the conduct of elections to elect the Committee in question may not immediately be realized,”  Court added.

The proposed committees, the court said, shall comprise of the members of the Company who have remained its office bearers in any capacity in the past but excluding the “appellant-defendants”.

“In this regard, each of the parties, i.e., the appellants and the respondents, shall furnish and provide to the Court names of eight such members with all their particulars, including the positions held by them in the Company in the past, who, according to them, would be suitable to be members of such Committees, to enable the Court to nominate and constitute the requisite Committees for the conduct of the elections and completion of various tasks in relation thereto as envisaged by the Articles of Association of the Company,” the court said.

The court reiterated that it would be in the larger interests of the Company that elections to its Administrative  or Executive Body, termed as Committee, for running its affairs are got held immediately.

The court asked the parties to give their consent and furnish names with particulars of eight members of the Company each by  22 September to enable it to pass appropriate orders in that regard. “This shall be done by the parties in writing separately, supported by affidavits.”

In the event the parties give their consent and furnish the names of members, the court said it tentatively proposes to direct for issuing the election notification by the concerned committee on 28 September and complete the requisite processes of filing of nominations on 5 October with last date for withdrawal of nomination on 8 October, dispatch of candidates list along with voter identification card on 15 October and polling date on 22 October and AGM on 25 October.

The Court also made it clear that in the event the above was agreeable to the parties, the interim arrangement for operation of the accounts for the limited purpose ordered by the trial court and for meeting the expenses in connection with the elections to be so conducted, shall continue till the date and time the AGM of the elected body of the company is held on October 25.

Consequently, the court said, the Committee elected in 2018, which had of its own extended its term for another year, which too is coming to an end by September shall be ordered to seize to exist with effect from the evening of September 2.