Manipur HC puts IUCB Board of Directors election on status quo

TMB Report

Imphal: In connection with the cases filed by various people against some former members of Board of Directors of Imphal Urban Co-operative Bank (IUCB) Ltd. on allegation of malpractices and misappropriation of bank money and tried to further contest for the Board of Directors election, Justice MV Muralidaran, High Court of Manipur has ordered status quo on the Board of Directors Election for the IUCB Ltd.

The IUCB Ltd. was established by 25000 likeminded shareholders of the state who wish to bring development to the people of the state. However, there surfaced charges that some former Board of Directors of the Bank were trying to deplete the coffer of the bank through bribery and further planning to contest elections for the Board of Directors of the bank.

In connection with these issues, a person identified as Th. Sabanam Devi (41 years), Daughter of Th. Surangajit Singh of Uripok SInam Leikai, Imphal West had filed a case in 2016 with the High Court (HC) of Manipur under W.P (C) No. 1009 of 2016 to bar the Board of Directors election of the bank and after that another person identified as Khoibam Achou and other persons also files cases to the same court under W.P (C) No. 1059 of 2019 to bar the election.

The counsellor of the first case W.P (C) No. 1009 of 2016 Senior Advocate High Court of Manipur, M. Hemchandra Singh and the counsellor of the second case W.P (C) No. 1059 of 2019 Senior Advocate High Court of Manipur H. Ishwarlal appealed the High Court of Manipur to bar the Board of Directors election as per the cases filed.

As per the complaints put up to the court by different petitioners, an order was issued to the officials of the bank to conduct the Board of Directors election as per the rules and regulations of the bank. Acting in accordance with the order, an election for the delegates was held to conduct the Board of Directors elections successfully. Later, the elected delegates filed their nomination papers for the Board of Directors election.

Unfortunately, while filing the nomination papers, defying the bank rules and regulations, two candidates who do not have proposers and seconders, namely Huidrom Kesho Singh (65 years) of Kakwa Huidrom Leikai, Imphal West, a candidate from Group A and Waikhom Jiten Singh (49) of Heingang Mayai Leikai, Imphal East, a candidate from Group I, were disqualified from contesting the election by the Returning Officer (RO) of the election T. Pradwipkumar Singh.

After the candidature of Kesho and Jiten were rejected from contesting the Board of Directors election by the RO, their rival candidates won the election uncontested and formed the Board of the Directors of the bank.

However, to the astonishment of one and all an order was issued in which the two candidates Kesho and Jiten previously rejected by the then RO were deemed eligible to contest in the upcoming Board of Directors election which will be held after 4/5 months later.

With disbelief, the elected Board of Directors and several among the 25000 shareholders put up complaints to the High Court of Manipur to bar the Board of Directors election to be conducted by defying the bank’s rules and regulations.

In the meantime, after noticing 8 shareholders who were elected as Board of Directors of previous term, who cannot complete his 5 years team as the Board of Director in connection with bribery cases, trying to contest in the upcoming Board of Directors election, few shareholders of the bank also filed cases to High Court of Manipur to bar the election on the fear that the bank will turn into a hub for corrupted Board of Directors.

Various cases were filed to the High Court of Manipur which process is underway including the main cases and other miscellaneous cases.

In a follow up to the cases, Justice MV Muralidaran, High Court of Manipur has order status quo on the upcoming Board of Directors election.

Meanwhile, a report received in connection with the case, said that despite the fact that IUCB Ltd. was established by 25000 shareholders of the state, the bank is unable to develop further due to Registrar of Co-operative Society (RCS) officers sent on deputation to the bank who latter invariably pocketed the funds of the bank.

As the RCS officers has turned the bank into their transit camp to amass personal booty, the bank is on the verge of extinction as these officers do not conduct election nor form nominal board neither election board for the shareholders who are the backbone of the bank.

As these RCS Officers do not carry out their duty properly, the audited statement of account of the bank which needs to be sent every year to Reserve Bank of India, were not sent since 2010 and due to this mistake more than Rs 2 crore which was to be sent by Reserve Bank of India to IUCB Ltd. for various development projects, has been put on hold since then.

However, the most unfortunate situation of the bank is that though the RCS wish to save the bank by conducting election, how the bank is going to be run as the Board of Directors election cannot be conducted due to the various cases filed by several shareholders against conducting of election for many years?

“It is feared that the bank may become extinct very soon if the Manipur Government, especially RCS and Ministers of the state do not intervene and co-opt much needed Board of Directors of the bank at the earliest.”

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