In Focus

CHS members must be aware of legal rights

By Gajanan Khergamker

Members of any cooperative housing society need to behave in a responsible fashion to co-habit peacefully and amiably together. The cooperative law also endows members with a number of rights and privileges to make sure that their properties are not misappropriated in any manner. Members of all cooperative housing societies should be aware of their rights and listed below are some of them:

Right to allotment certificate
All members of a cooperative society, including those societies that have been registered before the commencement of the Act, who have been allotted plots of land or dwelling units should be issued a certificate of allotment by the society under its seal and signature in the prescribed format.

Right to inherit and transfer property
Members have a right to the title and interest of their plot of land or flat including the undivided interest in the common areas and facilities which will then also be a part of heritable and transferable immovable property.

Right to use the Common Area
All the members have the right to use the common areas and facilities as prescribed by the cooperative housing society. But is they violate or misuse these areas in any manner, the managing committee has the power to recover damages from them.

Right to attend meetings and vote
Members have a right to attend all the general body meetings of a society and also cast their vote.

Right to contest election
All members except defaulters have the right to stand for the managing committee elections.

Right to information
Each member of the society has the right to seek information from the society regarding any transactions they have made. According to the bye-laws, the society should furbish the said information within thirty days from the receipt of request. But the society also has the right to fix a reasonable fee to furbish such information.

Right to society records
Under section 32 of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960, all members should have free access to certain books and documents free of cost. In cases where the society refuses a member to inspect its records, the member can made an application to the Registrar under section 154 of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act. The books or records a member has free access to are: (a) Copy of Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960 and Rules 1961; (b) Bye-laws of the said society; (c) Last audited annual balance sheet; (d) Profit and loss accounts; (e) List of all the members in the managing committee; (f) Register of Members; (g) Minutes of both the general body meetings and managing committee meetings; (h) Relevant portions of books and records where the transactions have been recorded.

To avail a legal service, an expert opinion or an appointment with Solicitor and Property Law Expert Gajanan Khergamker, call 8080441593