Home / Companies / News /  SC upholds Vipul Chaudhary’s ouster as Amul chairman

Ahmedabad: The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by Vipul Chaudhary challenging his removal as chairman of Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd (GCMMF) through a no-confidence motion by majority directors of the federation in December 2013.

GCMMF sells milk and milk products under the brand name Amul, and earned 18,143 crore in revenue in 2013-14.

The apex court’s order ends a long battle between Chaudhary and GCMMF directors over the chairmanship of Asia’s largest dairy federation.

“If a person has been selected to an office through democratic process, and when that person loses the confidence of the representatives who selected him, those representatives should necessarily have a democratic right to remove such an office bearer in whom they do not have confidence, in case those institutions are viewed under the Constitution/statues as democratic institutions," the Supreme Court said.

Mint has reviewed a copy of the order.

This was the second blow to Chaudhary in a month after the state cooperative registrar last week ordered his removal from the Mehsana District Co-operative Milk Producers’ Union Ltd, pending clearance from the apex court.

The registrar alleged financial irregularities amounting to about 1,200 crore in the cooperative union, also known as Dudhsagar Dairy. Chaudhary has been accused of taking unfair decisions as chairman of the dairy and supplying cattle feed to Maharashtra, causing losses worth crores of rupees.

Chaudhary said he will contest the GCMMF elections likely to be held in August this year, although the state cooperative registrar’s 12 March order bars him from contesting cooperative societies’ elections for the next three years. The order, however, is subject to ratification by the apex court.

“I will continue my fight, both politically and legally," Chaudhary said in a comment on the phone.

As many as 14 directors of GCMMF submitted a requisition letter in October 2013 for a board meeting to discuss a no-confidence motion against Chaudhary.

GCMMF’s managing director R.S. Sodhi alleged that Chaudhary had committed financial irregularities and issued a notice for the meeting. This was challenged by Chaudhary in the Gujarat high court on grounds that the board does not have the power to pass a no-confidence motion against him.

A division bench of the high court ruled in favour of the federation and gave the go-ahead for the meeting, which unanimously passed the resolution of no-confidence against Chaudhary. He later approached the Supreme Court challenging the division bench order.

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