A few dissenting members cannot hold up an entire redevelopment project without good reason.
While asking five members of a building society to vacate their flats within eight weeks so development can begin, the Bombay High Court appointed a receiver to oversee redevelopment at Mandapeshwar Kripa Cooperative Housing Society in Borivli.
Justice A V Mohta asked the court receiver to take steps to get the premises vacated in accordance with the law if they fail to do so in eight weeks. The HC asked the developer, M/s Jasmina Constructions, to deposit the requisite amount with the court receiver towards compensation / occupation charges for alternate accommodation for the members until the redevelopment is complete.
In a general body meeting, the society passed a resolution on May 20, 2007, that their dilapidated buildings will be demolished and redeveloped. The society has five wings containing 84 flats. After calling for tenders for redevelopment in February 2008, the society awarded the contract to Jasmina in May 2008.
In January 2009, the Final Development Agreement was signed. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation approved the plan in July 2009. Of the 84 members, 77 vacated their flats. Five others had said they would surrender their rights in their flats for a lump sum.
On October 28, 2009, the developer agreed to pay the five members Rs 25 lakh each for their flats. As the payment was not made, the five approached the Co-Operative Court and challenged the development project, saying the agreement signed between the society and the developer was not binding on them.
They filed a complaint before the Deputy Registrar, Cooperative Societies, who also rejected the application in December 2009, saying there was no irregularity. The developer has by now demolished two wings of the society. Two other members have settled with the developer and agreed to vacate.
The HC said the developer has invested around Rs 8.5 crore to fund the Transfer Develop-ment Rights, security deposit, bank guarantee, as well as rent, brokerage and transportation charges for the 77 members.
Justice Mohta said the fact that a dispute is pending “itself cannot be the reason to halt the project in such a fashion, specially when a majority of members are willing to proceed with the project.”