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Published in the 16-31 Mar 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Dr A R Undre

The election petition filed by Dr AR Undre challenging the election for the board of directors in Kokan Mercantile Co-op Bank has been partly allowed.

It was contended by Dr AR Undre in his petition that the Bank was formed by the natives of Kokan region for helping to promote their economic and social betterment. The board is adopting devices and methods to defeat the very purpose and object of the Bank. Despite seeking information relating to financial statement, resolutions and appointment of returning officer, he was denied the same though entitled to by the law. It was further his contention that notice for the meeting held on April 3, 2003, is null and void and the board of directors have no power to appoint a returning officer of their choice to defeat the various mandatory provisions of the law. Inspite of his several letters to the board, they refused to comply with his demands. Therefore, he filed the "Election Petition" prior to the election, which was opposed on the ground that election process once initiated cannot be stayed in view of settled legal position, and the election was held. 

After hearing at length the learned arbitrator gave the finding that election to the board of directors of Kokan Mercantile Co-op Bank is declared illegal, null and void and as such election is set aside. 

This judgement has been welcomed by majority of shareholders who were thoroughly dissatisfied with the working of Kokan Bank over the past few years with alleged corruption and who requested Dr. Undre to salvage the bank. It will not be out of place to mention that Dr. Undre was chairman of the Kokan Bank for several years and his tenure was called the "golden period" in the history of Kokan Bank. Dr. Undre was also responsible for transforming Ratnagiri Co-op Credit Society into Kokan Mercantile Co-op Bank. Along with his wife, Begum Rehana, he runs Mumbai’s Royal Educational Society which has establishd a number of schools and colleges in Maharashtra.

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