The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) has has received directions from the Asst. Charity Commissioner in Mumbai, in regard to elect five IIA Representatives on Council of Architecture for the term 2023-2026,
The IIA, a public charitable trust registered under the Societies Act and Public Trusts Act, planned to conduct online voting for elections of five IIA representatives on the CoA, on December 28. However, following an application by IIA fellow member Architect Dilip Sudhakar Deshmukh, the Charity Commissioner reviewed the rules and issued directions to the IIA.
In an order issued last week stated that only the officially approved executive committee can conduct elections, and all voting must align with the constitution of the trust.
The directions by the Charity Commissioner read:
- The legal and valid members of the trust as well as the present legal and valid approved executive committee of the trust, if any, is only directed to hold the election as per provisions of the Memorandum of Association and Rules & Regulations of the trust / constitution of the trust.
- At present time, if there is no approved legal and valid executive committee of the trust then
the parties are directed that first to adjudicate the pending change reports on merit at the earliest and so far as the issue regarding new executive committee for the next tenure is concerned, in that regard take the proper recourse from appropriate remedies, if any, available under Maharashtra Public Trusts Act, 1950.
- If the approved constitution of the trust provided then the election should be conduct by online election module which is declared as legal, valid and authenticate by appropriate government authority.
Deshmukh had also raised concerns about the IIA destroying records of previous online council elections conducted. He also said that the last elected board failed to file a change report on the elections, which is mandated by law.
Deshmukh’s letter to the IIA President mentioned,
“Needless to say that in spite of the above directions if you go ahead with the elections to be held on 28.12.2023, otherwise than above the direction given by the authority in the above referred order will be Contempt of Court and all the person involved shall be responsible for the same.”
This roadblock places the IIA’s plans for electing a new council board in jeopardy. The organization will now have to explore options to conduct manual elections that comply with the Charity Commissioner’s directions.
ArchitectureLive! reached out to the IIA President, Architect Vilas Avachat for his statement on the directions issued to the IIA, to which Avachat responded that, the Asst. Charity Commissioner has not directed IIA to hold/stop the elections, so the election will be conducted as per the announced schedule. Further, the president also shared a copy of the letter sent to the complainant, Architect Deshmukh, which read,
“Point 1: We are legal and valid members of the trust as well as valid approved executive
committee of the trust, and therefore we are holding election as per provision of Memorandum
of association and Rules & Regulations of the trust/constitution of trust.
Point 2: Change of Report is submitted to Asst. Charity Commissioner immediately after legal &
valid executive committee of the trust taken over the charge on 1st July 2023.
Point 3: It is clearly mentioned in point 4 of order that
“As per the said amended clause the election should be conducted by E-ballots as well
as E-voting. In short, the said amendment was carried out in 2015 by the trust in respect of
election by online module”.
And to your knowledge the e-election module is authenticated by STQC, and is valid.
Therefore, hereby you are directed to STOP misleading members of “WhatsApp” groups.
If you do not stop misleading members, IA is force to take appropriate action.
It is further we would like you to Note that E-election for 5 (FIVE) IIA representative on COA
will be conducted as per the given schedule.“
Update as on Dec 28, 2023: Elections for IIA representatives on CoA has begun.