Mere nomination to the co-operative housing society does not give the nominee exclusive rights of ownership to the flat – and neither are the rights of other legal heirs lost by such nomination, the Bombay high court held last week.
“Even if a person is nominated in the records of (co-operative housing) society, right of the other legal heirs or legal representatives entitled to the estate of the deceased member is not lost,” justice RD Dhanuka observed.
“Such nominee holds the share and interest of the deceased as a trustee for the disposal of the same,” the judge has added while hearing the plea filed by a married woman, Shashikiran Parekh, seeking a declaration that she was the sole owner of a flat in Madhurima Co-operative Housing Society at Andheri West.
She had approached HC last year after she found out that the housing society had transferred the flat in the name of her brother only because their mother had nominated him and later allotted him an alternate flat in the redeveloped building.
She contended that she was the one whom Mhada had allotted the earlier tenement in October 1974 and she had paid the entire consideration of Rs. 24,300 to Mhada.
In March 1980, after her marriage, she shifted to her matrimonial home and, on her plea, the housing society had included her mother as the flat’s co-owner.
Before her death in 2003, her mother nominated her brother, Rajesh Agrawal.
The brother had contended that he was entitled to the property since he had been nominated by their mother.
Justice Dhanuka, however, discarded the defence saying nomination in the record of the society does not create any interest in the nominee to the exclusion of others legally entitled. “Such relation subsists only till the rights of the heirs or persons entitled to the estate are decided by the appropriate court,” the judge said, adding, “No rights are created in favour of the nominee on transfer of the interest of the deceased.”