Mumbai: A decade-old old rule by the Registrar of Cooperative Societies to video-record annual general meetings is being blatantly ignored by most cooperative societies.
The circular, making video and audio recordings of general body meetings mandatory, was released on March 15, 2010. As per the circular, it was to be circulated among all members.
Majority of cooperative societies unaware of circular
However, almost all cooperative societies are unaware of this circular and do not practise its guidelines. Even the society consultants, who are appointed to guide the managing committee members, do not bring attention of the office bearers towards this particular rule.
As a result, most general body meetings go unrecorded; only minutes of the meeting are maintained and circulated in the text form. This could lead to problems if two or more warring groups in a managing committee file a grievance with the government department.
S Parthasarathy, vice-president of the Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association (MahaSeWA), said, “Of late, I have come across such cases where video recording is sought. If a complaint is made to the registrar regarding obtaining minutes of a general body, the registrar is relying upon this circular and directing the committee to share the video recording with them.”
“Unless a complaint is lodged and followed up vigorously, this particular rule is taken lightly,” said Advocate Vinod Sampat, president of Cooperative Societies Residents Users & Welfare Association (CSRUWA).
Recording meetings can reduce number of disputes
Parthasarathy explained that the registrar has also directed the society to start video recording in cases where the practise is not followed, and then provide the recording to members desirous of obtaining the same.
Several complaints arise when a member challenges minutes of the meeting missing out certain details, manipulation of details and incorrect usage of words having misleading interpretations. There are instances wherein the minutes are approved in the subsequent general body meeting, yet there are persons who want to challenge the minutes and move the registrar. This is when video recordings come handy as some vital points may be omitted from the circulated minutes.
According to experts, if the managing committee members video shoot their meetings, the number of disputes arising at a later stage will also reduce as anyone would be able to refer to the video and resolve the differences at the society level itself. The registrar may also penalise the society up to Rs5,000 for not abiding by the laid down rules of recording the meetings.