Sumul Dairy Row: Investigation ordered into Sumul Dairy Chairman Mansinh Patel’s Alleged Indirect Partnership in Private Firm

Mansinh Patel is alleged to be an indirect partner in a firm named Som Industries, which has connections with Sumul Dairy. The Registrar has ordered a report to be submitted within 30 days regarding Patel's disqualification.


Surat :  The Joint Registrar (commercial) of Cooperative Societies in Gujarat has directed the Surat district registrar (cooperative societies) to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations surrounding Mansinh Kalyanji Patel, the chairman of the Surat District Cooperative Milk Producers Union Limited (Sumul Dairy).

Patel is alleged to be an indirect partner in a firm named Som Industries, which has connections with Sumul Dairy. The Registrar has ordered a report to be submitted within 30 days regarding Patel’s disqualification.

Six presidents of milk mandlis, including Naushir Pardiwala of Paneswar Milk Producers Cooperative Society Limited, Yusuf Shaik of Vareli Milk Producers Cooperative Society Limited, Raisinh Chaudhary of Beddha Milk Producers Society, Dalpat Chaudhary of Junvani Milk Society, and Ramesh Gamit of Bhadbhuja Milk Society, jointly submitted an application to the registrar of cooperative societies in Gujarat on April 21, 2023, seeking the disqualification of Mansinh Patel. They alleged that Patel violated Section 76(b) of the Gujarat Cooperative Act by being an indirect partner in the firm Som Industries associated with Sumul Dairy.

Mansinh Patel and his family are said to have established M/s Som Industries, a partnership business, with his two sons, Parth Patel and Kripal Patel, and other partners. Additionally, Pawan Kumar Mistry, a union contractor involved in several union projects, has included Bharatbhai Patel, his son Vastu Mistry, and his daughter Namrata Mistry as partners in the partnership business of M/s Som Industries. Som Industries operates a production plant for polypropylene woven sacks and fabric materials made from plastic on uncultivated land in Navsari, spanning 10,960 square meters.

Following Mansinh Patel’s appointment as chairman of Sumul in 2020, he directed that all cow feed bags, milk bags, and other polypropylene bags used by Sumul Dairy be purchased from Rudra Enterprises. Som Industries supplies Rudra Enterprise with the required bags for various purposes at Sumul Dairy.

Taking into account the aforementioned transactions, it is alleged that Mansinh Patel, as chairman of Sumul, is directly or indirectly linked to the cooperative and is receiving financial benefits through his sons, thereby breaching the Union’s by-laws and the Cooperative Act.

Naushir Pardiwala stated, “Mansinh Patel is ineligible to continue as a member of the Union’s Board of Directors. Patel is directly or indirectly involved in the contract entered into with the union and engaged in business with the union.”

The order for a proper investigation by the Surat district registrar (cooperative societies) highlights the seriousness of the allegations and the need for clarity regarding Patel’s association with Som Industries and its connection to Sumul Dairy. The report, expected to be submitted within 30 days, will shed light on the matter and potentially lead to the disqualification of Mansinh Kalyanji Patel from his position as chairman of Sumul Dairy, depending on the findings.

The outcome of the investigation will have implications for the functioning and reputation of Sumul Dairy, as well as the cooperative sector in Gujarat. The Cooperative Societies authorities will closely examine the report to determine the appropriate course of action in light of the alleged violations and potential breach of regulations.

Efforts to obtain a statement from Mansinh Kalyanji Patel regarding the allegations and subsequent investigation were unsuccessful at the time of writing this article.