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2nd May 2016

Supreme Court observed that Section 167, Gujarat Co-operative Societies Act, 1961, is preceded by Section 166 which bars the jurisdiction of Courts in any matter concerned with the winding up and dissolution of the Society, vide Section 166(1)(c). The clear intention of the legislature is to bar a civil court from entertaining any matter concerned with the winding up and dissolution of the society. In order to give effect to this provision, the legislature has enacted Section 167 which makes it mandatory for a Plaintiff who intends to institute a suit against a society or any of its officers in respect of an act touching the business of the society to give a clear notice of his intention to sue. The Section prohibits a Plaintiff from instituting a suit until the expiration of two months after notice in writing has been delivered to the Registrar. There seems little doubt that this Section imposes a mandatory requirement that if the conditions prescribed by it exist, that is to say if the suit proposed to be filed is against a society or any of its officers and is in respect of any act touching the business of the society then it must be preceded by a notice of two months. It is obvious that the question whether Section 167 is attracted to a particular suit or not depends upon an inquiry into the nature of the suit, in particular whether it affects the business of the society and the parties to the suit. Such a decision is obviously within the jurisdiction and competence of the civil court where the suit is instituted and must therefore be regarded as judicial.

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