The direction was given by a bench headed by Justice SC Dharmadhikari, which heard petitions filed by cooperative societies and activists.
The petitions said that in accordance with a 1992 constitutional amendment, the State Cooperative Act had been amended to provide for compulsory constitution of a State Cooperative Election Authority by December 31.
However, the petitions alleged the state had not yet formed such an authority.
The petitioners argued that if such an authority was not formed, there would be chaos in the cooperative sector all over the state as there would be no authority to monitor elections of cooperative societies which number over 2.25 lakh.
Such an authority would hold elections of all types of cooperative societies including housing and sugar sectors.
Rajgopal Deora, secretary, State Cooperative Department, filed an affidavit saying the State was trying its best to form such an authority. A proposal to appoint a Commissioner for such body has already been sent to the Cooperative Minister who would then forward it to the Chief Minister and the Governor for their approvals.
The State had also identified a 2,000 sq ft office in Pune to house the Authority.
However, the court said that it found this space insufficient for the Commission which would have to keep records of all such 2.25 lakh cooperative societies, besides accommodating staff for its functioning.
Senior counsel for the State, Ashutosh Kumbhkoni said that the office in Pune is a temporary arrangement and that the state government would ultimately find a suitable place for it.


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