A co-operative housing society can now be registered with an application signed by only 10 flat purchasers after a recent benchmark ruling from the Bombay High Court.
“In our opinion, as the position stands today, an application signed by 10 flat purchasers can also be considered for registration of the society by the registrar,” said the bench comprising justice DK Deshmukh and justice ND Deshpande while deciding a petition filed by city resident Anil Jadhwani.
The court also quashed a circular issued by the state in 1992, which mandated signatures of a minimum of 60% of the flat purchasers on an application for the registration of a society.
Jadhwani had challenged an order by the divisional joint registrar that cancelled the registration of his cooperative housing society for lack of at least 60% members’ signatures on the application for registration.
His counsel Anil Sakhare argued that under the provisions of the Maharashtra Flat Owers Act, the builder was under obligation to move an application for getting the cooperative housing society registered within four months from the sale of tenth flat.
The state and the builder, on the other hand, contended signatures of minimum 60 % of the flat purchasers were required for making an application for registration of the society.
They had relied on the government circular issued on July 24, 1992 mandating at least 60% of the flat purchasers must sign an application for registration. The respondents also argued that the circular was a policy directive of the government.
The court held the state could not have issued the circular, since there was no provision empowering the state to do so.
“When the state issued the circular dated July 24 1992, there was no provision in the Co-operative Societies Act to which that circular could be referred,” observed the court.
A deputy registrar had accorded registration to the society on the basis of signatures of 43 members, but the divisional joint registrar reversed the decision and ordered de- registration of the society.
Jadhwani had moved the high court after the state approved the divisional joint registrar’s decision.
The court has now directed the deputy registrar to consider Jadhwani’s application for the registration of their society afresh on the basis of this ruling.