We have received a notice from the magistrate court for non-compliance to submit structural stability certificate in the name of the chairman and secretary, but the address given in the notice is that of the adjoining building. We approached BMC, which accepted the mistake and at the same time expressed its inability to do anything. What are our options?
Nikhil Chaukar, Goregaon
Section 353B of the MMC Act provides for the requirement of submitting the structural stability certificate for a building in respect of which the period of 30 years from the date of issuance of CC/OC or its physical occupation is 50% of its total built-up area, whichever is earlier, has elapsed, shall cause such building to be examined by a structural engineer registered with the corporation for the purposes of certifying that the building is fit for human habitation. Such a certificate has to be submitted to the BMC commissioner. Fine for non-compliance has been prescribed in Section 471 of the said Act. Since the name of the society is not correct, you may write to the BMC seeking clarification on the name of the building mentioned in the notice served to you and advise them to bring this mistake in the notice to the magistrate. If the BMC has admitted its mistake, it is its responsibility to admit the mistake before the magistrate and to inform that it does not pertain to your society or officer bearers named therein. You may not attend the matter and inform the same to the BMC in writing and mark a copy to the BMC commissioner. You should demand a written apology and insist that the BMC seek appropriate order from the magistrate quashing the said faulty notice. While on the subject, I wish to bring to your notice the provisions of the bye laws in this regard. Any buildings aged between 15 and 30 years has to carry out a structural audit once every five years and every three years for buildings ageing more than 30 years and submit the copy of the report with the BMC every five years. (Bye Law 76).
What is the minimum amount that can be collected as sinking fund from the members and how can it be utilised?
Sree Prashant Nath, Kanjur Village
Every society has to create and establish various funds by collecting contributions from its members at the specified rates. Sinking fund is one such. The society has to collect sinking fund of 0.25% per annum of the construction cost of each flat incurred during the construction of the building of the society and duly certified by the architect, excluding the proportionate cost of the land. The society is at liberty to collect more than 0.25% with the prior approval of the general body. The society has to pass a resolution at the general body meeting for utilising the said fund for the purpose of reconstruction of its building/s, or for carrying out such structural additions or alterations to the building/s as in the opinion of the architect, would be necessary to strengthen it or for carrying out such heavy repairs as may be certified by the architect and on approval of the general body.
Our Society is new, and as such I wish to know which documents are included in the annual returns and when is the last date of filing annual return?
Suresh Khemrajani, Chembur
Every society is required to file its annual returns as prescribed under the MCS Act and Rules on or before September 30, every year to the registrar. Annual returns shall include annual report of the activities of the society, audited statement of accounts, plans for surplus disposal as approved by the general body, list of amendments to the bye laws of the society, if any. Further declaration regarding date of holding of its general body meeting and conduct of elections, when due and any other information required by the registrar is required to be filed. Every society shall also file a Return regarding the name of the auditor or auditing firm from the panel approved by the state government.
The questions are answered by Sharmila Ranade, a legal expert associated with Mumbai Grahak Panchayat.
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