Registrar of co-operative societies Menino D’Souza on Tuesday disqualified eight board of directors of the Goa State Co-operative Milk Producers Union Ltd, which is popularly known as Goa Dairy, after establishing their involvement in massive irregularities in the dairy.
The registrar of co-operative societies passed an order, which stated that “directors Dhananjay Desai, Vithoba Desai, Baburao Desai, Naresh Malik, Gurudas Parab, Madhav Sahakari and Rajendra Sawal beside co-opted member Shivanand Pednekar are hereby disqualified to continue on the board of director of the Goa State Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited (Goa Dairy) under Section 59(11) of the Goa Cooperative Act as both the inspection reports have found discrepancies in the working of the society which are irregular, illegal in nature and detrimental to the interest of the society.”
Since there is no quorum on the board of the directors of the Goa Dairy after the disqualification of the eight directors, the registrar of co-operative societies dissolved the board and appointed deputy director of animal husbandry and veterinary services Dr Vilas Naik as an administrator to look after the functioning of the dairy.
The registrar of co-operative societies stated that an inquiry will be initiated against the disqualified directors and former managing director of Goa Dairy Dr N C Sawant for the involvement in massive corruption and irregularities in the dairy since 2012.
The order further stated that the disqualified directors as well as Dr Sawant, and the directors who were on the board between 2012 to 2017, shall be responsible to the loss caused to the society due to the purchase of fill-pack machines, ice cream plant machinery, the recruitment of staff and the purchase of raw material for the cattle feed plant.
The loss will be determined and quantified by filing separate misappropriation case under Section 82 of the act.
D’Souza said that a separate inquiry officer will be appointed by the office of RCS to quantify the losses to the Goa Dairy during the said period.
“Under Section 67 A I hereby appoint Dr Vilas Naik, deputy director of animal husbandry and veterinary services, as the administrator on the Goa State Coop. Milk Producers Ltd, Ponda with immediate effect under 2nd proviso to Section 67 A of the Goa Cooperative Act and in relaxation of 1st proviso thereto as Goa Diary is conducting
business of essential commodities, as the work should not be hampered and for smooth functioning,” the order has said.
Interestingly, the order passed on August 31, 2018 by the then registrar of co-operative societies Sanjiv Gadkar had disqualified these directors and also directed to place under suspension the then managing director Dr Sawant.
However, in April 2019, a division bench of the High Court of Bombay at Goa had set aside the disqualification of the directors, asking the RCS to hear them out within four months and issue a fresh order.
Stating that they were not heard before issuing order on August 31, 2018 by the registrar, several members of the board, including the disqualified directors and the managing director, had moved to the court seeking quashing of the order.
The office of RCS had received a complaint from one of the directors regarding irregularities in the management of Goa Dairy from the year 2017.
Accordingly, an auditor was appointed to inquire into the matter. Based on the report, proceedings were initialised and hearing was in progress before the authority.
The inquiry officer submitted his report on May 22, 2018, which brought to the notice the irregularities and mismanagement in the purchase of five fill-pack machines in 2014 and the purchase of machinery for the ice cream plant in 2015.
The report pointed out the failure to constitute a selection committee as per the bylaws for recruiting employees for the dairy.
The inquiry report also observed that the committee for procurement arbitrarily decided the vendor for supply of raw material for the cattle feed plant without following procedure and unjustified payment in purchasing of milk from outside the state.
As regards the utilisation of funds from the National Dairy Development Board, the Goa Dairy has not maintained proper vouchers on the utilisation of the said funds for the purpose it was sanctioned. The funds have been static for the last three years, the inquiry report pointed out.