J D Patil, Deputy Registrar of K-East ward Andheri, a posh western Sub-urban destination in Mumbai is once again in the news. We read two stories earlier on www.indiancooperative.com 30-10-2015 and 12-11-2015 how he issued illegal order of dismissal of secretary and two committee member of an Estate Premises society. His boss the Divisional Joint Registrar of Cooperative Societies Vikas Rasal was reportedly (Mumbai Mirror 2 11 2015) issuing a public notice calling members and office bearers of Oberoi Splendor Complex CHS to put forth their views at a public hearing on December 3. The hearing is on the de-registration of that CHS sought by the Oberoi Splendor Flat Owners’ Association vide an application filed last June.
Jogeshwari-based Complex CHS was registered by the DR J D Patil in 2013 claiming that 74 per cent of flat owners came together and signed the application while refuting any accusation of colluding with the builder in any manner, as quoted by Mumbai Mirror on 2nd November 2015.
In their application, the Association which represents over 1,100 of the 1,290 residents alleged that the society was formed through fraudulent means. They reportedly alleged that though residents began taking possession of the flats in 2011, Oberoi Realty did not form a housing society until 2013, flouting the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act 1963. Section 10 of MOFA 1963 reads as under. (1)As soon as a minimum number of persons required to form a co-operative society or a company have taken fiats, the promoter shall within the prescribed period submit an application to the Registrar for registration of the organisation of persons who take the flats as a co operative society or, as the case may be, as a company; and the promoter shall join, in respect of the flats which have not been taken, in such application for membership of a co-operative society or as the case may be of. a company.”
Thus the developer was bound by law to form a co-operative housing society (CHS) within four months of the date on which 10 people have taken possession. Why the DR not raised this point? How does he defend his act of overlooking the non-compliance of MOFA? MOFA is closely related to the MCS Act 1960 and this could not be overlooked by the DR especially when the Sub-Section (1) of Section 13 provides for jail to promoters!!! Read the provision.“Any promoter who, without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with, or contravenes, the provisions of section 3,4, 5 (save as provided in sub-section (2) of this section), 10 or11 shall, on conviction, be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine, or with both” if the DR did not take cognizance of this penal provision for an offence he is a witness too, how is it different from connivance? .
Oberoi Realty Ltd. said in a statement, “We as developers handed over charge of society affairs to the authorized officer in October 2013. A majority of the society members then formed a provisional committee and took charge from the authorized officer in September 2015. “
Mohit Bhardwaj, flat owner and member of Association, said, “The society was registered by creating a fabricated, backdated proposal with an under-construction alien building which was not in our agreement. We were also made to sign blank society membership forms, only after which we were granted possession of our flats. Major changes were made to these forms.“
In 2013 May 4, Mumbai Mirror reported that “an association representing about 500 flat owners moved court against the builder alleging construction deficiencies and financial irregularities amounting to more than Rs 600 crore.”
The civil suit filed by the flat owners’ representative, Mohit Chandra Bhardwaj, also mentions alleged violations of the development control rules under the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act. Oberoi Splendour in Andheri (E), off Western Express Highway, comprises 1,296 apartments in six 27-storey wings. The complex boasts of amenities such as clubhouse, swimming pool, sauna facilities, squash courts and a jogging track. According to the builder, Oberoi Realty, a two and-a-half BHK apartment in the complex demands a price of Rs 2.75 crore.” Read more on…. https://www.indianrealestateforum.com/mumbai-real-estate/t-oberoi-splendour-residents-move-court-against-builder-mumbai-59680.html
How powerful the builder lobby has been allowed to become is evident in the Mirror’s report that “The tower, named Oberoi Grande, has 156 apartments which are all up for sale, and the builder has promised the buyers access to the amenities at Oberoi Splendour.” This is happening post 97th Constitutional Amendment under which cooperatives have been assured autonomy and democratic member control. The State Government is not in the scene. Builder is promising access to the amenities and services provided by another society to its members (as if it his ownership enterprise) to lure his prospective buyers of luxury apartments? Do we have machinery to book perpetrators of crime in this country? Common man has stopped asking such questions.
What is hidden in the fine prints of Mirror report of 2 May 2013 is that possibly because the matter was in Court (Mirror Report 4 May 2013) the management of the affairs of the CHS was handed over to an Officer authorized by the DR, as he was in a position to oblige the promoter in terms of provisions of Section 77A of the MCS Act 1960. He let the Authorized Officer hang on to managing CHS till October 2015 in sheer violation of the proviso to Section 77A (3). This proviso reads as “Provided that, in no circumstances the term of office of the committee or authorised officer shall exceed six months from the date of their holding office.”;
The moot question is if the 97th Constitutional Amendment at work.