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19. Persons who may become members.- (1) No person shall be admitted as member of a multi-State cooperative society except the following, namely :-
(a) an individual competent to contract under section 11 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872;
(b) any multi-State cooperative society or any cooperativesociety;
(c) the Central Government;
(d) a State Government;
(e) the National Cooperative Development Corporation established under the National Cooperative Development Corporation Act,1962;
(f) any other corporation owned or controlled by Government;
(g) any Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act, 1956;
(h) such class or classes of persons or association of persons as may be permitted by the Central Registrar having regard to the nature and activities of a multi-State cooperative society;
(2) Such number of individuals possessing such qualifications as may be prescribed may be admitted as members of the National Cooperative Union of India Limited, New Delhi.
(3) Save as otherwise provided in sub-section (2) and notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) no individual shall be eligible for admission as a member of a national cooperative society.
(4) Any person eligible for membership of a multi-State cooperative society may, on his application, be admitted as a member by such society.
(5) Every application for admission as a member of a multi-State cooperative society shall be disposed of by such society within a period of four months from the date of receipt of the application, and the decision of such society on the application shall be communicated to the applicant within fifteen days from the date of such decision:
Provided that if the application is not disposed of within the period aforesaid, or the decision is not communicated within a period of fifteen days of the expiry of the aforesaid period of four months, the multi-state cooperative society shall be deemed to have made a decision, on the date of expiry of such period, refusing admission to the applicant.
(6) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the Central Government may, having regard to the fact that the interest of any person or class of persons conflicts or is likely to conflict with the objects of any multi-State cooperative society or class of multi-State cooperative societies, by general or special order published in the Official Gazette, declare that any person or class of persons engaged in or carrying on any profession, business or employment shall be disqualified from being admitted, or for continuing, as members or shall be eligible for membership only to a limited extent of any specified multi-State cooperative society or class of multi-State cooperative societies, so long as such person or persons is or are engaged in or carrying on that profession, business or employment, as the case may be.
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