Cooperative societies will soon have another forum to take disputes between members to. The state government has revised the model bye-laws for cooperative housing societies to provide for the appointment of an advisory committee of society members to solve disputes instead of directly approaching the registrar’s office.
The amended bye-laws will come into force in the new year.
The new bye-laws also prohibit societies from employing child labour. If they do, it could invite penalty and imprisonment.
A senior official of the cooperatives department, requesting anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media, told the Hindustan Times that the bye-laws have been amended to bring in clarity. “We have studied various disputes and contentious issues [in societies] in detail and addressed them in the new bye-laws,” the official said.
In case of a dispute, a member approaches the registrar of societies to complain against the society’s managing committee. The new bye-laws state that an advisory committee comprising a committee member, a woman member of the society and a flat owner be constituted to solve the issue at the society’s level. “These issues consume a lot of the registrar’s time and the advisory committee will try to solve the problem,” said advocate Vinod Sampat, who heads the Cooperative Societies Residents Users and Welfare Association.
The bye-laws also address other issues that often lead to disputes in societies. They have made it mandatory for the managing committee to provide papers to society members within 15 days of a request for them and also states that any fine levied on members for violating society rules should not exceed Rs1,000. It has allowed societies to now open accounts even in nationalised banks and also ruled that a male member can fill the vacancy in case woman members are not ready to be a part of the managing committee.