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Bombay High Court Gives Relief to an Office Bearer of the Co-op Credit Society

Senior Advocate Narendra V. Bandiwadekar appeared for the Society

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Raju Vernekar
Raju Vernekar
Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

INDIA. Mumbai: In a significant judgment, the Bombay High Court recently gave relief to an office bearer of the coop credit society of Mumbai Police, who, along with a select few, was blamed for irregularities in loan disbursements that had taken place way back in 2005.

Justice Milind N. Jadhav, while dismissing the writ petition (Civil Appeal, WP No 1475/2017), upheld the directions of the Cooperation Minister (revisional authority) given in 2016, exonerating Chandrakant Baburao Mane, the Joint Secretary of the “Brihanmumbai Police Karmachari Sahakari Pat Sanstha Maryadit” (BPKSPS), who along with three others was blamed for the loan irregularities.  

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Certain people who were not members of the police department were granted loans based on forged documents on January 13, 2005, and March 18, 2005. The society has over 30,000 members. When discrepancies in loan disbursement surfaced, criminal complaints were filed against illegal beneficiaries, and offences under Sections 406, 408, 170, 419, 465, 467, 468, and 471 read with 34 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 were registered against them. These cases are still pending.

In response to the scam, the Maharashtra Cooperation Department appointed an Authorized Officer-cum-Assistant Registrar of the State Cooperative Societies to inquire into the matter under Section 88 of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act 1960. The said officer, in his report dated May 11, 2009, indicted four Committee members- Chandrakant Baburao Mane. Shantaram Jadhav, Santosh Kuveskar and Deepak Ghosalkar.

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These members were held responsible for loan disbursement, due to which the society stated to have suffered a loss of Rs.6,99,700/. They were directed to make up for the loss by equally apportioning the amount of Rs.6,99,700/- and were made to pay Rs.1,74,925./- each. 

Mane had appended his signature for the loan disbursement with the President of the Society, R.R. Bhogale. While Ghosalkar and Kuveskar signed two cheques, More and Jadhav signed the other two cheques. Mane was also accused of tampering with the cheques turning crossed cheques into bearer cheques.

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Aggrieved by the society’s decision, Mane approached the Revisional Authority, which exonerated him of all the charges by order dated January 14, 2016. However, the society filed an appeal urging the court to quash and set aside the order dated January 14, 2016, and uphold the Enquiry report dated May 11, 2009, passed by Enquiry Officer.

The court observed that the Managing Committee members were authorized to sign the cheques for disbursement of the loan, and as such, Mane and others cannot be singularly held liable for the financial loss that society suffered.

“This is a classic case where the Managing Committee sanctioned the loan, and an individual office bearer was held responsible. If Mane is to be held responsible, then Bhogale, who had counter-signed all four cheques, would also be fit for indictment,” as per the court.

“I see no reason to disturb the findings of the Revisional Authority and offer an alternate view as the same since the authority’s findings are based on sound reasoning. As such, the order dated January 14, 2016, passed by the Revisional Authority, is upheld. Consequently, the Writ Petition is dismissed,” the judge said.

Senior Advocate Narendra V. Bandiwadekar appeared for the Society, Additional Government Pleader V.S. Nimbalkar, appeared for Maharashtra Government, and Advocate Bhushan Walimbe appeared for Mane.

Also Read: CBI Arrests Five CGST Officers, Recovers Cash of Rs 83.26 Lakh 


  • Raju Vernekar

    Raju Vermekar is a senior Mumbai-based journalist who have worked with many daily newspapers. Raju contributes on versatile topics.

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