EARLY TIMES REPORT
JAMMU, Sept 18: Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey issued directions of election of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that however, to remove any apprehension of mischief by any of such Committees or any of such members, that any of the parties to this list, or any member or members of the Company or voter, may have or may entertain about such nominated committees, this Court, with a view to ensuring that all tasks are performed honestly and in a fair and transparent manner, proposes to nominate the Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, as an overall supervising Officer to oversee the performance of all these tasks by the said committees, with the assistance of two retired Judicial Officers of the rank of Principal District Judge, namely, Javed Ahmad Kawoos and Abdul Wahid, who shall have to be paid such amounts as their charges as may be determined by the Court out of the funds of the Company for rendering such assistance. 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.
When the petition came-up for hearing, High Court observed that after hearing counsel for the parties on 15.09.2020, this Court has given its thought to the matter in context of the overall factual and circumstantial scenario. From the respective pleadings of the parties, the professed and ostensible primary object of the present litigation, as becomes axiomatic from the conduct of the parties and as has been expressed by the learned counsel for the parties during the course of arguments, the sole and keen concern of the parties to the lis seems to be about safeguarding the interests of the Company, the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI).
Syed Faisal Qadri, counsel for the caveators/respondents, submitted that the respondents are in essence litigating for the conduct of elections only, therefore, are not averse to the idea of holding elections as proposed by the learned senior counsel.
Justice Magrey observed that in light of the above expressions and statements made by the counsel for the parties, this Court is of the view that it would be in the larger interests of the Company that elections to its Administrative / Executive Body, termed as Committee, for running its affairs are got held immediately. However, there are certain difficulties which need to be overcome.
Court makes it clear beforehand that in the event the parties give their consent as sought from them, and furnish the names of members, as said above, this Court tentatively proposes to direct issue of the election notification by the concerned committee on 28.09.2020 and complete the requisite processes of filing of nominations on 05.10.2020; last date for withdrawal of nomination on 08.10.2020; dispatch of candidates list along with voter identification card on 15.10.2020; polling date on 22.10.2020 and AGM on 25.10.2020, so that the whole process is completed before it is time for those of the members of the Company who go out of the Valley during winters to do so. Keeping in view the tight time schedule, the Court is of the opinion that two of the steps as had been provided in the last calendar for conduct of elections, viz. resolution if received from members and to circulate such resolution among the members, can be skipped. Furthermore, the Court also makes it clear beforehand that in the event the above is 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 25.10.2020. Consequently, the Committee elected in 2018, which had of its own extended its term for another year, which too is coming to an end by 28.09.2020, shall be ordered to seize to exist with effect from the evening of 27.09.2020. If the parties have any suggestions in regard to the above tentative proposals, aimed at achieving the requisite objective of immediate conduct of elections, they would be free to put forth the same through their respective counsel. JNF