Mumbai Housing Society Queries: 'People With Over 2 Kids Cannot Be Members Of Managing Committee,' Says Expert

Mumbai Housing Society Queries: 'People With Over 2 Kids Cannot Be Members Of Managing Committee,' Says Expert

The questions are answered by Sharmila Ranade, a legal expert associated with Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, July 01, 2024, 07:51 PM IST
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Q. I recently read that a person with more than two children is disqualified to be a member of the managing committee. Is this fair? Will a person be disqualified by adopting a third child or qualified by giving the third biological child for adoption.

Karsen Singh, Mankhurd

A. Yes, it is true. The Bombay High Court recently passed a judgment to this effect. Section 154B-23 of the MCS Act provides for the disqualifications of the committee and its members. Sub clause (v) of the said section inter alia provides that if a person has more than two children s/he will be disqualified to be a member of the managing committee in accordance with Section 73CA (1)(f)(vii). Though Section 73CA is specifically not applicable to housing societies, the language of Section 154B-23 (v) is indicative of the situations “similar” to those mentioned in clause quoted above, which gives the binding effect.

The objective of such provision is to achieve family welfare in accordance with the National Population Policy and thus the bar is valid and not unconstitutional as held by the Supreme Court. It also observed that the right to contest election is neither a fundamental right nor a common right; it is a statutory right, which can be curbed to any extent by the statute.

As regards your query with regard to adopting a third child, the explanation to the aforesaid Clause (f) states that the “Child” does not include an adopted child. Hence such person will be eligible to be members of the committee.

As regards giving birth to a third child and giving it for adoption, the disqualification operates automatically with the birth of the third child. There is no exception to that effect.

Q. What action can be taken against a member who doesn’t attend managing committee meetings?

Sanatan Chaturvedi, Kalbadevi

A. The bye laws also provide for disqualification of a member of the managing committee apart from the disqualification mentioned in Section154B-23of the MCS Act. As per Bye Law 119, a member will be disqualified if he has failed to attend three consecutive monthly meetings of the committee, without leave of absence. Thus, if the member has obtained a leave of absence on account of personal or health issues or job responsibilities, he will be allowed to continue even if he has not attended three consecutive meetings.

The situation may vary from case to case. Members of the managing committee come together with a selfless motive to run the affairs of the housing society. Though the job is thankless, it needs to be done with dedication and collective effort. If some person is unable to spare time due to prolonged ill-health or personal reasons or frequent job tours, it is better they consider stepping down and allowing other member to be on the committee.

Q. The trees in the neighbouring society have outgrown and are now branching into the flats of our society, causing discomfort to our members. Our society has given them a letter to prune the trees / branches hanging in our compound. Rejecting our request, they have agreed to give NOC to our society to file an application to prune the trees with the local authorities. They have expressed their inability on account of “no funds and time” to initiate such activity. What is our recourse?

Ramesh S Iyengar, Khandeshwar

A. It is the duty of every society to maintain their premises. The society will be held responsible for any loss caused to a person or property of your society on account of your neighbouring society not trimming the trees. It may be dangerous for the life and property of the residents of your society.

Just giving NOC to your society will not suffice. They have to oblige by cutting the dangerously grown trees before they causes any harm. Such trees also impact the natural light in the house. Your easementary rights are affected as the trees will block the natural sunlight You may file a complaint against the said society with the BMC on their website mcgmgov.in or call 1961.

The questions are answered by Sharmila Ranade, a legal expert associated with Mumbai Grahak Panchayat. The questions, in brief, may be sent to fpjchs@gmail.com

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