Save NAPSWI - Ensure Democratic and Fair Elections to Governing Body

Save NAPSWI - Ensure Democratic and Fair Elections to Governing Body

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Kanagaraj Easwaran started this petition to The Registrar of Societies (Office of ADM (North), DM Office Complex, Alipur, Delhi – 110 036.)

The National Association of Professional Social Workers in India(NAPSWI) a society registered (Reg. No. 53647 of 2005 (Societies Registration Act XXI of 1860) has been run by a Governing Body since May 2016. Its members were elected for a period of 2 years since May 2016. This governing body has extended its term to one more year(till May 2019) through an unconstitutional amendment in the MoA on 23rd October 2016. No prior agenda on this was circulated among the members and such a resolution was not circulated after the General body meeting was over. The Article 44 of the Memorandum of Association of NAPSWI says " no amendment to or alteration of the Memorandum of Association and rules and regulations shall be made except as a general meeting of the society specially convened for this purpose and carried by two-third majority of the members present and voting in the presence of the President". Further, the details of this amendment were not submitted for the approval of the registrar of societies. Even if the amendment is valid this will be applicable to the next general body. When some of the life members asked for proof on the prior notification and presence of adequate proportion of the life members, the President of NAPSWI(Prof. Sanjai Bhatt) and the General Secretary of the NAPSWI(Prof. Suresh Pathare) have not responded.

The existing Governing body of the association has never submitted annual audited Statements of Expenditure of the NAPSWI to the registrar of societies which is mandated by the law. This was known to us through the RTI petitions.  They have neither presented them in any of the annual general body meetings nor were they posted on the website of NAPSWI till date. In spite of continuous requests by some of the life members, neither the President nor the General Secretary has responded positively to share this pertinent information for which every life member has the right.

Now, the governing body under the Presidentship of Prof. Sanjay Bhatt is attempting to conduct the election to the governing body itself online in the website managed by the President on 8th November 2020. The Executive Committee(EC) has appointed Prof. RBS Verma, the former Vice President of the association as an election officer and venturing into conduct the elections which were notified by the General Secretary of NAPSWI on 14/01/2020.  Prof. Verma has contested as a candidate as part of the team of Prof. Sanjai Bhatt in the 2016 election and he was elected. He was awarded lifetime achievement award by the same EC which has solely selected the awardees. So he cannot be construed as a neutral person when some of the erstwhile partners contest elections. We cannot trust him to be objective and neutral. In spite of the nomination of someone as a returning officer, the General Secretary of the association has issued the election schedule on 18th September 2020 which stated that the election will be conducted online in the NAPSWI website. It is clear that the existing Governing body is conducting the election to the next body wherein some of its members may contest. 

After the first election notification, the governing body has launched a membership drive and released the electoral list in the website of NAPSWI as on 30th September 2020 which is also not fair.

Given the above factual information, we, the life members of NAPSWI and the Professional Social Workers in India appeal the intervention of your esteemed office to save NAPSWI from becoming the personal property of a few. We,  the undersigned request you kindly

1. To cancel the appointment of Prof. RBS Verma as the Election officer for the conduct of election to the members of the new Governing Body(2020-2022) and halt legally the election process initiated by the outgoing governing body presided over by Prof. Sanjay Bhatt. We are afraid that the online election conducted in the website controlled by the office bearers of NAPSWI who have flouted the rules and regulations of the association, not submitted the annual audited statement of accounts and details of the amendment to your office cannot be expected to be fair, objective and democratic. Those contesting elections cannot ever be the ones who conduct it and monitor it.

2. To declare the amendment made in the Memorandum of the Association of NAPSWI  on 23rd October 2016 as null and void for its agenda was not circulated to the life members, the quorum of the number of members present and voting was not reported to the life members after its passage in the General body. Nor it was reported to your office and your concurrence for it was received.

3. To appoint a competent person as an administrator to take care of the revenue, expenditure, assets and liabilities of the NAPSWI which is registered under your jurisdiction and evict the existing governing body as its tenure is over. This request is made in view of the facts that the outgoing General Body has failed to conduct the association in a democratic and transparent manner as per the Societies Registration Act and Memorandum of Association of NAPSWI.

4. To order an enquiry into the financial functioning of the association as the present Governing Body of the NAPSWI  has not submitted the annual audited statement of accounts for a long period of time to your office, and accountable to the General Body of members of the association. We also request you to kindly freeze all the accounts of the NAPSWI until the inquiry is over and the responsibility is transferred to the newly elected governing body.

5. To initiate appropriate legal actions against the members of the Governing Body who are responsible,  in case any breach of rules and regulations of the NAPSWI or mismanagement of funds is found in the financial inquiry of the association.

6. To appoint a competent legal authority to conduct the elections to the Governing Body of the NAPSWI in an inclusive, democratic, free and fair manner after the completion of the inquiry into the financial management of the association.

 

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