Redevelopment of housing societies is set to be a smoother process as the high court, in a landmark judgment, directed that dissenting members of a society have to hand over flats to the developer and be held responsible for recovering the loss incurred due to their opposition.
Real estate experts have welcomed the move as many such redevelopment projects are stalled due to this one hurdle. CA Ramesh Prabhu, founder chairman of Maharashtra Societies Welfare Association, said, “When it comes to redevelopment of cooperative housing societies, many a times a few handful of members try to stop the process either by not giving the consent or by filing frivolous complaints or irrelevant cases. This not only delays the process but also increases the cost of the project as the builder has to continue paying rent to members who vacated flats while the cost of construction also increases.”
“In many of such cases the Bombay High Court and Supreme Court passed a number of judgments directing non-consenting members to handover the flat within a certain time, failing which the
court receiver is appointed to take the possession with police protection.
In the latest Bombay HC judgment dated April 13, 2022 in the Choice Developers v/s Pantnagar Pearl CHS Ltd, Justice G S Kulkarni has not only ordered the dissenting members to handover the flat to the developer but also has held that such members should be made accountable and responsible for recovering the loss,” said Prabhu.
He added, “The court also held that once a flat owner becomes a member of the society, he shall be bound by the majority members’ decision. Based on this, many societies have now decided to pass resolutions that the members who do not abide by the decision of the general body, shall bear the
expenses and losses incurred.” Advocate Shreeprasad Parab, expert director, Maharashtra State Co-operative Housing Federation Ltd, said, “There are more than 1,25,000 housing societies registered under
the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 and more than 30 per cent of the buildings are above 30 years old.