Management of society is taken care of by Managing Committee. For wider representation in co operative, a clause 74BB was added to Gujarat Co operative Society Act in 1997. As per new clause 74BB, every society will have to reserve seat for women member in their committee as per below.
- One seat in a committee consisting of not more than 11 members
- Two seats in a committee consisting of more than 11 members
Above provision also leaves some unanswered questions like:
- If no woman comes forward to be part of the committee
- Can a women member be co opted to committee
- Whether the reserved seat is over an above existing committee seat as per society byelaws.
Maharastra Co Operative Act 1960 gives some guidance on how to handle on such questions. Reservation of women in committee is covered under Sec 73BBB of Maharastra Cooperative act. Over and above point of keeping seat reserved, below additional points are covered in the act.
- The reserved seats shall be in addition to the strength of the members of the committee of a society
- Any individual woman member of the society, or any woman member of the committee of a member society, whether elected, co-opted or appointed, shall be eligible to contest the election to a reserved seat on a committee of a society;
- Where no woman member or, as the case may be, women members are elected to the reserved seats, then –
In the case of a Society: Chairman or Secretary shall call a meeting of the elected members of the committee to co-opt a woman member or members on the committee from amongst the persons entitled to contest the election and such meeting shall be presided over by the Chairman.
If no woman member is co-opted at such meeting, the Chairman shall, within a period of seven days from the date of such meeting, report the fact to the Registrar, and thereupon the Registrar shall, within a period of seven days from the date of receipt of such report by him or where the Registrar himself has presided over such meeting, within a period of seven days from the date of such meeting, appoint on the committee a woman member or women members, as the case may be, from amongst the women members entitled to contest the election to the reserved scats under sub-section (3).
- Nothing in this section shall apply to a committee or any society which is exclusively of men members, or as the case may be of women members
- The term of office of such women members elected, co-opted or as the case may be, appointed on a committee, shall be co-terminus with the term of the committee as provided under the bye-laws of the society and at the time of every fresh election thereafter election shall be held to the additional reserved seats for women members in accordance with the provisions of this section
The Society Auditor during audit will verify whether the number of committee members are as per the society byelaws and whether the above provisions of reservation of women seats are fulfilled by the society or not. In case the same is not followed then it will form part of the audit remarks and will seek the explanation of the same from the committee.
- Gujarat Co operative Societies Act, 1961
- The Maharashtra Co-Operative Societies Act I960
- The Constitution (Ninety Seventh Amendment) Act, 2011