To register a co-operative housing society in West Bengal, you need at least 8 members.
If one member has the land in his name he cannot start the society without the requisite number of members. However, under Rule 131(6) of the West Bengal Co-operative Society Rules, 2011 (WBCS Rules 2011), a person conveying a plot of land in favour of a co-operative housing society and who intends to become a member of such society without any additional consideration and is otherwise eligible for such membership, he may be admitted as a member of such society. Thus, the owner of the plot can become a member of the Society along with other 7 members.
Registration of a housing society is guided under Section 16 of West Bengal Co-operative Society Act, 2006 (WBCS Act 2006). While registering the society you need at least 8 signatures of members from different families with their addresses and occupations.
Under Section 16(5), the application for registering the housing society would be disposed off by the Registrar within 90 days from the date of application and the certificate of Registration would be delivered to the applicant or chief promoting officer.
In case, registration is not allowed, the applicant may further appeal to the Co-operative Registration Council within 30 days from expiry of the previous 90 days or 30 days from the date of receipt of the order of refusal.
Further, it must be noted that the Co-operative Society that has not yet been registered can also enter in transactions in good faith with members or other parties and such acts will get validated upon registration of the Society. This implies that contracts entered into before formation of the Society would also get validated once the Society is registered.
Under Section 17(2) of the WBCS Act 2006, all transactions entered into in good faith prior to registration of the purposes for the Co-operative shall be deemed to be transactions of the society upon registration. Once the society has been registered, it can hold property and even sell or acquire property.
Thus, the owner of the land can sell the land to the Housing Society and thereafter become a member of the Society. The Housing Society can induct members into the society as long as there is availability of flats or apartments.
To apply for membership, the member has to apply in the following format under Rule 108 of the Rules, 2011.
Form of application for membership of a co-operative society
[ Rule 108 ]
The Secretary/Manager/Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director
……………………………….Co-operative Society Ltd.
I hereby apply for membership of your society.
I have studied the registered by-laws of your society and the West Bengal Co-operative Societies Act, 2006 and the Rules made thereunder and I hereby declare and undertake to abide by the provisions of the by-laws, the Act and the Rules.
Registration fees are payable on transfer of land and upon the cost of transfer. The necessary stamp duty and registration fees would be payable by the Society upon transfer of land in its name. The Registration Act and Stamp Duty Act regulate such provisions.