THE Navjeevan Co-operative Bank Ltd in Ulhasnagar has expelled two of its senior shareholders. Their only crime is that they presented a few suggestions in the special general body meeting. The co-operative court has stayed the expulsions.
The Ulhasnagar-based Navjeevan Co-operative Bank Ltd was started in 1985 and BJP leader Sheetal K. Harchandani is its founder chairman. With eight branches (one branch is in Kopri, Thane), the bank has its head office at Bhawani Saw Mill Compound, near Mayur hotel, Ulhasnagar- 421003, district Thane, Maharashtra.
On September 13, 2013, in a special general body meeting the bank authorities were going for bylaws amendments. There are 5,000 shareholders and as per the annual report the bank earns Rs 6.5 crore per year. Its two prestigious shareholders, Chandrakant R. Mishra (68) and Jaidev S. Kalyani (55), suggested that the bank should be on its own premises and not on rented property. At present, the bank pays Rs 1.29 crore rent per year. Mishra and Kalyani also suggested that the bank employees’ salary should be increased. There are 212 employees in all eight branches, but, going by staff pattern, the staff strength needed is 180 only.
“We put a few suggestions in the law amendment meeting. Among these were increase in salary of employees and that the bank should run on own premises. These suggestions disturbed the digestion system of Sheetal Harchandani,” said Kalyani.
These suggestions of Mishra and Kalyani raised eyebrows of founder chairman Sheetal Harchandani, who was a three-term MLA from Janata Party and Bhartiya Janata Party. On December 14, 2015, he issued a show-cause notice, on December 29, 2015, a defamation notice, and on July 10, 2016, he expelled the two from membership, alleging their involvement in activities detrimental to the proper working of the society.
Mishra and Kalyani challenged their expulsion in the co-operative court, Thane. On August 20, 2016, the court stayed their expulsion as the bank authorities had failed to submit any valid reason, only producing the application. The next hearing on the issue is on October 25, 2016.
“Bank failed to produce any valid reason against our expulsion. Instead of submitting documents bank produced applications (notices) issued to us,” said Mishra.