How a Supreme court order could render the new co-op ministry a non-starter

Source: Business Standard

Synopsis: Supreme court order has huge ramifications on the functioning of the newly-formed cooperative ministry

Background

  • Recently, the Supreme Court of India in a landmark judgment struck down parts of the 97th amendment to the Constitution.
  • The 97th amendment to the Constitution sought to reduce the powers of the state governments over their cooperative societies.
  • The judgment could have huge ramifications on the functioning of the newly-formed cooperative ministry, headed by none other than the country’s Home Minister.

Why parts of the 97th amendment to the Constitution were struck down?

Read Here: https://blog.forumias.com/federalism-and-cooperatives/

 What are the options available for the center?

The Centre is believed to be exploring multiple options to ensure that the functioning of the newly formed ministry of cooperation is not hampered.

  • The first option is to abide by the Supreme Court’s interpretation and let its jurisdiction remain only in respect of Multi-State Cooperative Societies (MSCS).
    • In that case, the newly formed ministry of cooperation will only be responsible for managing the affairs of the 1500 odd MSCS.
    • Whereas around 800,000 cooperatives will be left outside its scope, barring the Urban and State Cooperative Banks, which are being regulated by the RBI as per amendments made to The Banking Regulation Act, 1949 in 2020.
  • The second Option is to validate that part of the original amendment that seek to violate state powers, by getting the same ratified by at least half of the state legislatures.
  • Third and more radical approach will be to adopt the same process of getting an amendment ratified by state legislatures to put cooperation into the Concurrent List.
    • Winding up of cooperatives is in the state list, and putting it in the concurrent list will empower the Central government to legislate on matters related to the cooperatives.

 

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