Barred from participating in RWA elections, 300 Gurugram residents seek stay
About 300 residents and property owners from Parsvnath Exotica on Golf Course Road, Sector 53, have sought a stay on the condominium’s residents’ welfare association (RWA) elections to be held on April 29. Many of them alleged that they have been excluded from the RWA’s electoral rolls for the last five years despite paying the requisite membership fees, and have filed a complaint with the district registrar of firms and societies (ROFS) seeking membership and voting rights within the RWA.
Yash Handa, a resident and primary complainant in the matter, said, “We were not able to vote in the last elections in 2016, and now will be unable to vote in the upcoming elections as well. The RWA maintains that we are not eligible because we do not possess occupancy certificates, but nowhere in the law does it state that an occupancy certificate is required for membership and voting.” Another resident, MK Ghai, said, “In some cases, people who have occupancy certificates but have not signed conveyance deeds with the developer are being denied their right to vote. However, that is the fault of the developer, why should they be barred from the RWA?”
Senior functionaries in the RWA (which currently consists of close to 450 members), however, said that they do not consider the aggrieved residents to be legitimate property owners. “The only people who can vote in the RWA elections are owners. To be one, you need to have signed a title deed with the builder after receiving an occupancy certificate for the apartment. This is written clearly in the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012,” Dinesh Tandon, former president, Exotica Condominium Owners Association, said, adding, “Without a title deed, which is what most of the complainants lack, you simply cannot vote.”
Other RWA members confirmed that the aggrieved residents have paid the requisite membership fees (between Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh). “Therefore, they have been made associate members of the RWA. Nobody is excluding them, even though they are not even paying maintenance in the absence of title deeds at the moment,” said one member, requesting anonymity. Handa and other complainants, however, said that the designation of ‘associate members’ does not allow them to actively partake in administrative work.
Aggrieved residents and proprietors had, in September last year, filed a complaint with the ROFS, but did not receive an official response. Subsequently, a complaint was lodged via the chief minister’s window, resulting in an order from the ROFS in October 2018, which instructed the RWA to “call a Special General Body Meeting... with specific agenda of membership of the complainants as resolve the same” as per state law and RWA bye-laws. The meeting, however, was never convened, multiple residents and RWA members said.
Now, with elections approaching, residents have filed a fresh petition seeking resolution of the issue, dated March 15. District registrar for societies and firms, Ishwar Chand Yadav, said, “I have received a petition regarding the membership dispute, which invokes Section 39(4) of the Haryana Registration and Regulation of Societies Act, 2012, which relates to non-inclusion of members and staying of elections. I cannot comment on the matter as it is sub-judice, but I have called for a hearing on April 11, and will resolve the issue before the election date.”
Yadav added that the election would not be allowed to proceed without the resolution of the dispute.
The HT reached out to a representative of the developer but did not receive a response on the matter.