31. Election and nomination of members of committees.-
(1) The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of, elections of the members of the committees of such co-operative societies or class of co-operative societies as may be prescribed shall be vested in such returning officers not below the rank of gazetted officers as may be appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in this behalf.
(2) The vote at such elections shall be by secret ballot.
(3) The term of office of the elected members of the committee shall be such, not exceeding three co-operative years including the co-operative year of their election, as may be specified in the bye-laws of the society: Provided that the elected members shall continue to hold office till their successors are elected or nominated under the provisions of the Act or the rules or bye-laws.
(4) No person shall be eligible to be elected as a member of the committee of a co-operative society unless he is shareholder of that co-operative society.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, a person shall be disqualified for election as, or for being, the president, vice-president, chairman, vice-chairman, managing director, secretary, joint secretary or treasurer of a committee,-
(a) if he has held any such office on that committee during two consecutive terms, whether full or part;
(b) if he holds any such office on a committee of another co-operative society of the same type;
(c) if he holds any such office on the committees of three or more co-operative societies of a different type or different types: Provided that nothing contained in this sub-section shall be deemed to disqualify any such person for election as, or for being, a delegate of a society or a member of another committee.
Explanation 1.-Where any person holding any office as aforesaid at the commencement of this Act is again elected to any such office after such commencement, he shall for the purpose of this sub-section be deemed to have held that office for one term before such election.
Explanation 2.-A person who has ceased to hold any such office as aforesaid continuously for one full term shall again be qualified for election to any of those offices.
(6) On the committee of such co-operative societies or class of co-operative societies as may be prescribed, two seats shall be reserved, one for the members who belong to the Scheduled Castes and one for economically weaker sections of the members who as land-owners or tenants or as both do not hold more than the prescribed area of agricultural land or fulfil the prescribed conditions, and if no such persons are elected, the committee shall co-opt the required number of members from amongst the persons entitled to such representation: Provided that in the case of a primary agricultural credit society such number of seats, being not less than one-half of the total number of members of the Committee, shall be reserved for members belonging to the Scheduled Castes and the aforesaid economically weaker sections of the members as may be prescribed, and if no such persons are elected, the Committee shall co-opt the required number of members from amongst the persons entitled to such representation.
Explanation.-For the purpose of this sub-section,-
(i) "Scheduled Castes" means any of the Scheduled Castes specified in Part I of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) (Union Territories) Order, 1951;
(ii) "primary agricultural credit society" has the meaning assigned to it in clause (cii) of section 2 of the Reserve Bank of India Act, 1934 (2 of 1934).
(7) Notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, any dispute relating to election of members of any committee of a co-operative society mentioned in sub-section (1) shall be referred to the Lieutenant-Governor whose decision thereon shall be final.
(8) The Lieutenant-Governor may make rules generally to provide for or to regulate matters in respect of elections of members of the committees.
(9) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-sections (1) to (8),-
(a) where the Central Government has subscribed to the share capital of a co-operative society, the Central Government or any person authorised by it in this behalf shall have the right to nominate on the committee such number of persons not exceeding three or one-third of the total number of members thereof, whichever is less, as the Central Government may determine;
(b) where the Industrial Finance Corporation, the State Finance Corporation or any other financing institution notified in this behalf by the Central Government has provided finance to a co-operative society, the Industrial Finance Corporation, State Finance Corporation or other financing institution, as the case may be, shall have the right to nominate one person on the committee.
(10) A person nominated under sub-section (9) shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government or the Corporation or other financing institution, as the case may be.