CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES ACT

PRIVILEGES OF A REGISTERED SOCIETY

Co-operative society to be body corporate
Upon registration, every society shall become a body corporate the name under which it is registered, with perpetual succession and a common seal, and with power to hold movable and immovable property of every description, to enter into contracts, to sue and be sued and to do all things necessary for the purpose of, or in accordance with, its by-laws.
By-laws to bind members of co-operative societies
The by-laws of a co-operative society, shall, when registered, bind the co-operative society and the members thereof to the same extent as if they were signed each member and contained covenants on the part of each member
for himself and his personal representatives to observe all the provisions of the by-laws.
RIGHTS AND LIABILITIES OF MEMBERS
14. Qualification for membership
A person other than a co-operative society shall not be qualified for
membership of a co-operative society unless—
(a) he has attained the age of eighteen years;
(b) his employment, occupation or profession falls within the category or
description of those for which the co-operative society is formed; and
(c) he is resident within, or occupies land within, the society’s area of operation as described in the relevant by-law.
Limitation of holding share capital
No member, other than a co-operative society, shall hold more than one-fifth of the issued and paid-up share capital of any co-operative society.
Membership subject to authorization annual general meeting No company incorporated or registered under the Companies Act (Cap. 486), and no unincorporated body of persons shall be entitled to become member of a
co-operative society, except with a written authorization through a resolution a general meeting of that co-operative society.

Membership of co-operative society
No member of a co-operative society shall exercise any of the rights a member unless he has made such payment to the society in respect of membership, or has acquired such interest in the society as may be prescribed under this Act or under the by-laws of the society.

Limitation of membership to one society
No person shall be a member of more than one co-operative society with unlimited liability and, no person shall be a member of more than one co-operative society having the same or similar object:
Provided that a person who—
(i) is a member of a co-operative society; and
(ii) carries on business on land or at premises outside the area of operation of that co-operative society,
may be a member of a co-operative society in whose area of operation that land or those premises are situate, notwithstanding that its objects are the same as or similar to those of the first-mentioned society.
Voting rights of members
Each member of a co-operative society shall have one vote only in the affairs of the society, irrespective of the number of shares he holds:
Provided that a co-operative society which is a member of a co-operative union or an apex society shall have as many votes as may be prescribed the by-laws of the co-operative union or apex society of which it is a member, and
may, subject to such by-laws, appoint any number of its committee members, not exceeding the number of such votes, to exercise its voting power.
Transfer of shares
The transfer or charge of the share or interest of a member in the capital of a co-operative society shall be subject to such conditions as to maximum holding as are laid down in section 15.
In the case of a co-operative society registered with unlimited liability, a member shall not transfer or charge any share held him or his interest in the capital of the society or any part thereof, unless—
(a) he has held such share or interest for at least one year; and
(b) the transfer or charge is in favour of the society or a member of the society.
 Rights of members
A member of a co-operative society shall have the right to—
(a) attend and participate in decisions taken at all general meetings of the society and vote;
(b) be elected to organs of the society, subject to it’s by-laws;
(c) enjoy the use of all the facilities and services of the society subject to the society’s by-laws;
(d) all legitimate information relating to the society, including: internal regulations, registers, Minutes of general meetings, supervisory committees, reports, annual accounts and inventories, investigation reports, at the society’s head office.

Member’s rights vis-a-vis the co-operative society
A member of a co-operative society shall have the obligation to—
(a) observe and comply with all the society by-laws and decisions taken the relevant organs of the co-operative society in accordance with the by-laws of that society;
(b) buy and pay up for shares or make any other payments provided for in the by-laws of the society;
(c) meet the debts of the society in case of bankruptcy in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the by-laws of the society.

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