Housing society in Mumbai’s Sion suspends managing committee members with more than two kids
Three members of the managing committee of a housing society at Sion were suspended after the Registrar of Co-operative Societies said they had violated a law prohibiting people with more than two children from holding the post.
Originally a sprawling colonial-era chawl with 87 housing units, it was registered as a single society, called Rahat Plaza CoOp Hsg Society Ltd, in 2016. It is planned to be rebuilt.
Its residents decided to use a little-known provision in the law to get rid of the three committee members, who they said were not sharing information with other members, on the redevelopment plans for the chawl.
The provision is section 73 CA of Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960 (brought into force via an amendment in 2001), which says any person with more than two children cannot be elected, accepted, appointed or nominated to committees.
“Open meetings were not conducted when these people held chair, and minutes of the meetings held weren’t circulated among the members,” said Cynthia Cardozo, a resident who helped the complainant, another resident, with the legal work.
“When the society was going in for redevelopment, members cannot be kept unaware about the talks with the builder. These people didn’t co-operate with the other members in the society,” Cardozo said.
An official from the registrar’s office, who was presiding over the case, said this was the first such case in the past one year. HT has learnt there have been at least three such cases since the amendment was passed.
“People with more than two children do not apply for the position, if they know about the provision. In some instances, where people violate the provisions, these cases are brought to forth by other members of the society,” said the official.
However, members of the Sion society who have been suspended said they have been working for the welfare of the residents even before they had children.
“These issues were not raised by society members when we approached them to elect us to the position,” said Asfaq Surti, former secretary, who was suspended.
“Now, the society is going in for redevelopment, people have become greedy, and thus do not value the hard work put in by us to form the society. We haven’t decided yet, but once we have a meeting, we will decide if an appeal needs to be filed.”
A second committee member, who was contacted by HT, declined to speak on the issue.