Mumbai Housing Society Queries: 'Secretary Facilitates Smooth Function Of Society,' Says Expert

Mumbai Housing Society Queries: 'Secretary Facilitates Smooth Function Of Society,' Says Expert

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

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Monday, January 22, 2024, 04:06 PM IST
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If the secretary is removed, and no other person is elected in their place, can the committee open a new bank account for redevelopment with the signatures of the chairperson, treasurer and two other managing committee members? Is it necessary for the secretary to be a signatory? 

Vicky Ronnie, Santacruz 

The secretary is one of the office bearers and plays a significant role in the management of a cooperative housing society. Their functions are detailed in Bye-Law 140. If your managing committee has removed the secretary, it will have to elect another committee member in their place. As per Bye Law 113, a bank account shall be operated, andf the acquaintances and discharges shall be signed by the secretary jointly with the chairman and treasurer. 

Your society will not be able to open and operate a bank account for redevelopment without the secretary being elected. The signatories have to be the office bearers, including the secretary. Your society will have to elect a secretary for the smooth functioning of the society and as a necessary signatory for banking operations. 

A member nominated her niece and nephew and died intestate. The nominees approached the society to transfer the flat in their joint names. However, the society received an objection from a gentleman claiming his right in the flat and objected to transferring the flat in the names of nominees. How do we go ahead in this situation? 

Geetha Ramkumar, Matunga 

Section 153B-13 of the MCS Act requires the nominee to be given provisional membership till the time the legal heirs are admitted as members. If the deceased member has not made any will, the nominees will have to produce the succession certificate or heirship certificate from the court to establish their entitlement. Since the transfer in the name of the flat is already objected to you may ask the nominees / the objector to submit the succession/heirship certificate. The society can transfer the flat in the name/s as per the valid succession document. A family arrangement deed may also be submitted by all the claimants.

Can a single member ask the registrar to conduct an inquiry if there are financial irregularities in the society? Who bears the cost of such inquiry? 

Aneesh Gupta, Nahur 

An individual member cannot file an application for inquiry. The application has to be filed by at least a fifth of the total number of members. The registrar may also conduct on their own such inquiry or on the basis of a special report filed by the auditor of the society. Before holding such an inquiry, the registrar may require the applicant to deposit such an amount towards the cost of the inquiry. If the allegations made in the application are substantially proved, the deposit is refunded. The registrar may apportion such cost or part thereof as they think fit between the society, the members concerned or the officers of the society. The registrar can apportion the cost to the past members or past officers depending upon their involvement. They have to pass such an order within six months from the date of submission of the inquiry report. In case the allegations are proven to be false, vexatious or malicious, the registrar may direct that such cost be recovered from the applicant. 

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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