Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday in a 2:1 majority verdict upheld the validity of the 97th constitutional amendment that deals with issues related to effective management of cooperative societies but struck down a part inserted by it which relates to constitution and working of cooperative societies.

A bench of Justices RF Nariman, KM Joseph and B R Gavai which pronounced the verdict said, "We have struck down part IX B of the Constitution related to cooperative societies but we have saved the amendment".

Justice Nariman said, "Justice Joseph has given a partly dissenting verdict and has struck down the entire 97th constitutional amendment".

The 97th constitutional amendment, which dealt with issues related to effective management of co-operative societies in the country was passed by Parliament in December 2011 and had come into effect from February 15, 2012.

The change in the Constitution has amended Article 19(1)(c) to give protection to the cooperatives and inserted Article 43 B and Part IX B, relating to them.

The Centre has contended that the provision does not denude the States of its power to enact laws with regard to cooperatives.

The top court's verdict came on the Centre's plea challenging the Gujarat High Court's 2013 decision striking down certain provisions of the 97th constitutional amendment while holding that Parliament cannot enact laws with regard to cooperative societies as it is a state subject.

The Centre has stated that the amendment was enacted to bring in uniformity in the management of cooperative societies and it does not take away the powers of the State to enact laws with regard to them.

The top court had said if the Centre wanted to achieve uniformity then the only way available was to take the recourse under Article 252 of the Constitution which deals with power of Parliament to legislate for two or more States by consent.

It has said that in effect what the government has done is that the power of States to enact laws with respect to cooperative society has been made no longer exclusive.

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