By I C Naik
Autonomy is closely related to “self-governing community” This term also mean “the state of existing or acting separately from others: the power or right of a country, group, etc., to govern itself. Under Autonomy “one who gives oneself one’s own law” is a concept found in moral, political, and bioethical philosophy. In moral and political philosophy, autonomy is often used as the basis for determining moral responsibility and accountability for one’s actions. These are all quotes from Internet. There are many more.
Cooperative Society as an institution is formed voluntarily by individuals and by contracting terms and conditions of behavior in mutual interest of every one coming together. In order to facilitate cooperative societies operate as perennial entities with no fear of death, the statute was enacted at national level and then 1fter 1925 at province levels. In 100 years cooperative societies became instruments of political abuse depriving millions of poor genuine benefits of cooperatives.
Housing societies are non-profit self service institutions established on account of paucity of urban land. There is a common law and set of Rules governing these societies. Profit oriented cooperative societies are potentially gain centers attracting politicians to use bureaucrats for personal gains. In housing sector it has been used to benefit brokers essentially those who do not need houses as dwelling units but it’s a stock in trade for them. Real estate sector is the outcome of abuse of cooperative sector.
Formation of housing society as a voluntary pursuit is unimaginable as by enacting MOFA the builders have been given a field day to defeat the purpose of formation of housing society to enable urban poor/middle class to own a dwelling unit within a homogeneous community of like-minded people as members of a housing society. Let us accept one thing as finally held by the Supreme Court of India (In: Thalappalam Ser.Coop.Bank Ltd.& … vs State Of Kerala & Ors. on 7 October, 2013 : CIVIL APPEAL NO. 9017 OF 2013] that housing society not having any financial aid from the Government is not a public body and it is not in to business of serving public interest. It is a private body of like-minded individual families whether guided by their own religion, cast, creed, eating habits or whatever, and is not in to serving public interest. State – politicians/bureaucracy has no business to meddle in to their affairs. There is a cooperative court a judicial system to handle disputes within the membership. For any other purposes or laws like Income Tax Act, VAT, BMC Act, Fire Protection everything like any activities they are subjected to the provisions of respective laws. As for cooperative societies Act, there should be nothing more than the Registrar operating as a custodian of basis control documents like Bye-Laws annual accounts and Returns on specific information.
The demand to have a distinct cooperative society’s law exclusively for housing societies have died down but the need is felt far more than before especially after 97th Constitutional Amendment.
There is a need to disband a real estate sector by rearranging the MOFA such that likeminded people are recognized to form a housing society who should have option to select builders who will develop site and construct a building on terms mutually agreed on the lines of redevelopment schemes. The State making decisions on FSI must shed the concept of real estate, The cooperative societies Act must make the MCR 1961 inoperative for housing societies and make few changes in the MCS Act 1960 applicable only to housing societies.
The autonomous character of cooperative societies can be experimented with huge success in relatively short time. It may be a fit case for Union strategy in the Urban Development pursuits across the whole of India.