Dissenting minority members opposing redevelopment of their cooperative housing society building should defer to the majority's decision, the Bombay high court (HC) ruled on Wednesday.
"To delay a project stalled for six years any further would be a travesty of justice," the division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Niteen Jamdar observed while dismissing the appeal filed by eight members of the Chitranjan Nagar Vidhya Cooperative Housing Society at Rajawadi in Ghatkopar East.
"The appellants cannot be permitted to hold the developer and other members to ransom," the bench said.
All the 32 tenements in the building were allotted by Mhada to Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd in 1954, and later they got those converted into ownership tenements, following the prevailing state government policy.
In February 2000, the members formed the co-operative housing society, and six years later passed a resolution to redevelop it. In June 2006, they appointed Tanishq builders as the developer. A minority group within the society, however, continued to oppose the redevelopment and filed litigations before the city civil court as well as the co-operative court, but to no avail.
Meanwhile, the developer partially demolished the society building. When opposition continued, the society approached the executive engineer of Mhada.
Acting on the society's plea, the executive engineer issued notices under section 95-A of the Mhada Act ordering dissenting minority members to vacate their premises. Eight of the dissenting group then approached HC challenging the notices. The single judge bench, however, dismissed their plea without granting any relief on April 19, 2012.
They then appealed the decision before a division bench, which upheld the order of the single judge. The division bench observed that the society and developer had obtained all permissions in 2006 and 22 members had been shifted to a transit camp and that the developer had already sank Rs. 22 crore into the project.