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Procedure for Expulsion of a member and Their Rights of the Co-operative Housing Society

Introduction:

There are different procedures to expel a member from the Co-operative Housing Society and the members also have some rights to defend themselves when they are expelled by the authority. There are few Rules and Provisions given below which provides for expulsion of a member and their rights under West Bengal Co-operative Societies Rules, 2011 and West Bengal Co-operative Societies Act, 2006.

Exercise of Rights of Membership and Liability of Members come under rule 111 of the WBCS Rules, 2011 which states that:

“(1) Before a member may exercise rights of membership, he shall: –

(i) sign a declaration in such form, as may be required by the Board, undertaking that he shall be bound by the bye-laws of the society.

 (ii) Sign the register of members; and

(iii) make payment of share money wherever necessary; Provided that the requirement of the provisions of this clause shall be communicated to a member within fifteen days from the date of enrolment of such member.”

So, it is cleared that when a member enjoys rights of membership, he or she must exercise the above-specified points.

“(2) Liability of members – The members of a cooperative society shall, upon the dissolution of the cooperative society, be jointly and severally liable to contribute towards any deficiency in the assets of the cooperative society:-

(a) if the cooperative society is a society with unlimited liability, without limit; and

(b) if the cooperative society is a society with limited liability, subject to such limitation as may be provided in the by –laws.”

Members of the Co-operative Housing Society will be liable to the above-mentioned matters which are provided by the WBCS Rules, 2011.

 WBCS Rules, 2011 contains rule 112 which provides Appeal against the order of Expulsion or Suspension:

“Where the Board of a Co-operative Society expels or suspends a member, such decision shall be communicated to the member within fifteen days from the date of such decision.

“ The member such expelled or suspended shall have a right of appeal to the immediate next general meeting and the decision of the general meeting on such appeal shall be final.”

“Provided that no such expulsion or suspension shall be made after publication of notice of the  general meeting.”  

It is concluded from rule 112 that when a member is expelled by the Co-operative Housing Society, it must be communicated to the member who has been expelled so that he gets an opportunity to defend himself in the next immediate meeting. Actually, it is the right of the member to appeal before the authority.

WBCS Rules, 2011 contains rule 133 which provides Expulsion of Members from the Co-operative Housing Society. Rule 133 gives the procedures of the expulsion of members from the Co-operative Housing Society as follows:

“(1) Any member who continues to default in payment of his dues towards cost of land or house or apartment allotted to him by the society for more than six months without a break continues to default in payment of his maintenance charges for more than three months without break may be expelled from the society by the vote of two-thirds of the members of the board present and voting at a meeting after he has 74 been given an opportunity of being heard and no resolution of the board shall be effective unless it is submitted to the Registrar for approval and approved by him: Provided that the order of expulsion shall take effect only from the date of communication of the decision of the board to the concerned members after the approval of the Registrar, as aforesaid, has been duly obtained: Provided further that the approval or disapproval of the Registrar shall be communicated to the society within a period of six weeks and in the absence of such communication the resolution of the board shall be effective.”

“ Explanation – The power of approval conferred under this rule shall vest in the Registrar exclusively and shall not be capable of being delegated to any other officer.”

“(2) A member may be expelled in the same manner as laid down in Sub-rule (1) if, in the opinion of the board, he has done any act prejudicial to the interest of the society or has violated a lawful decision of the board despite a warning.”

“ (3) The member so expelled shall have a right to appeal to the State Government for which purpose he shall submit a written representation to the State Government within a fortnight from the date of communication of the order of expulsion.”

West Bengal Co-operative Societies Act, 2006 contains section 92 which explains the Rights of members of the society as follows:

“(1) Any allotment (including re-allotment) of a plot of land or a house or apartment in a building made by a co-operative housing society to its member in accordance with its by-laws shall entitle such member to hold such plot of land, house or apartment, as the case may be, with such title or interest as may be granted under the prescribed conditions, and, subject to the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 61 an instrument of transfer in accordance with the provisions of Transfer of Property Act, 1882 (4 of 1882) and the Registration Act, 1908 (16 of 1908), shall be the conclusive evidence of such title or interest in favour of such member.”

“(2) A member of a co-operative housing society shall not be entitled to any title or interest in any plot of land or house or apartment in a building until he has made such payment as may be prescribed towards the cost of such plot or land or construction of such house or apartment or both, as the case may be, to the Co-operative housing society.”

“(3) A plot of land or a house or an apartment in a building (including the undivided interest in the common areas and facilities) shall constitute a heritable and transferable immovable property within the meaning of any law for the time being in force: Provided that notwithstanding anything contained in any other law for the time being in force, such heritable and transferable immovable property shall not be partitioned or sub-divided for the purpose whatsoever: Provided further that notwithstanding anything contained elsewhere in this Act or in any other law for the time being in force, an heir who is a nominee in respect of a share and interest in a flat or house or plot in a Co-operative housing society shall be eligible to be admitted as a member of the Co-operative housing society irrespective of the fact whether he owns any property by his own right or inheritance or by marriage provided he declares that he has requirement for such residential accommodation: Provided also that membership of a person in a Co-operative housing society shall not cease if the member himself or any member of his family becomes owner of any land house or flat through inheritance and if he still continues to have genuine need of accommodation in the project of the society.”

“(4) Every member of a Co-operative housing society shall be entitled to an undivided interest in the common areas and facilities pertaining to the plot of land or house or apartment allotted to him.”

“(5) Every member of a co-operative housing society in whose favour a plot of land or a house or an apartment in a building has been allotted shall have the right to use the common areas and facilities as aforesaid for the purpose for which they are intended without interfering with or encroaching upon the lawful rights of other members in whose favour similar allotment has been made.”

“(6) The work relating to the maintenance, repair and replacement of the common areas and facilities (including additions or improvements thereto) shall be carried out in accordance with the by-laws of the Co-operative housing society and the building rules of the concerned municipality, notified area authority or competent authority, as the case may be, and the costs thereof shall be apportioned amongst the members of the Co-operative housing society in such mariner as may be prescribed.”

Sub-Section (1) of section 92 simlpy says that if the society provides plot of land or apartment or house to its member then he or she is entitled to hold such property as described and prescribed under the above mentioned Act. Sub-Section (2) of section 92 says that when the member makes all the payment for the property then only he or she is entitled to such property and interest. Sub-Section (3) of section 92 says that any plot or house or apartment should be heritable and immovable property which can be transferred. Any legal heir is also eligible for membership in the society. Sub-Section (4) of section 92 provides that each and every member of the society is entitled to an undivided interest in the common areas and facilities. Sub-Section (5) of section 92 says that every member of the society can use the common areas and facilities allotted to them and cannot use others facilities which are allotted to them. Sub-Section (6) of section 92 says that the maintenance, repair or any work of the society shall be carried out according to the by-laws of the society and the costs which arise for such work shall be paid by the members of society.

Case Analysis:

  1. “Delhi Epdp Co-operative Group… vs Registrar Co-operative Societies… on 29 May 2015”

“Subject to the provision 86 of the Act a co-operative housing society, which has been allotted land, before expelling a member shall give final opportunity by publishing the notice in the leading Hindi and English newspaper in the National Capital Territory of Delhi informing the affected member to be present in person or through the authorized representative before the Registrar on the date fixed for the final hearing.The Registrar shall decide the expulsion case within the period of one hundred eighty days from the date of the receipt of the resolution for expulsion of a member from the cooperative housing society and shall convey his decision in writing to such member.If the resolution of the co-operative housing society for expulsion of a member is not approved by the Registrar within the said period of one hundred eighty days, the resolution for expulsion of the member shall be deemed to have been approved and the committee shall convey this decision of expelled member and the Registrar within a period of thirty days after the expiry of one hundred eighty days time limit through the registered Post.If the approval of the deemed expulsion is not conveyed to the members and the Registrar within the above period of thirty days, thereafter, the resolution of expulsion shall be null and void. Aggrieved member shall have the right to file an appeal to the Tribunal within sixty days from the date of order of the Registrar or intimation of deemed expulsion.”

From the above case it is concluded that Before expulsion of a member, he or she should be given an final opportunity and the member should be present before the registrar on the date fixed for final hearing. The registrar should decide the expulsion within 180 days and shall convey the final decision to the member and if he fails to do so then within next 30 days he should approve the expulsion and again if he fails then resolution of expulsion will be considered as null and void.

  • “Anil vs Raj Rajeshwari on 4 October 2013 Bombay High Court”

“The appellant, being a member of the Cooperative Housing Society, filed a dispute before the Cooperative Court, Amravati stating therein that though he paid all the amounts to the society for getting a plot from the society, he was not being given the plot and the possession thereof despite his repeated demands and despite making of the payments due. The Society, however, cancelled his membership and issued a letter to that effect received by him on 22.11.1991 and that the membership was cancelled for a false reason and only due to the increase in prices of the plots.”

The dispute filed by the appellant for a declaration that he is a member of the respondent no.1-society and being a member, he was entitled to allotment and vacant possession of the plot was very well 17 lpa113.02.odt maintainable before the Cooperative Court under section 91 of the Act in the light of the proviso to section 35 of the MCS Act, which is mandatory and provides for continuance of a member with all rights and privileges till the passing of orders of approval or disapproval by the authority under section 35 of the MCS Act.”

 “The upshot of the above discussion is that the learned Single Judge erred in holding that the dispute was not at all maintainable before the cooperative court. It is clear that the learned Single Judge has not dealt with the merits of the matter as was done by the learned Cooperative Appellate Court. The Cooperative Appellate Court, however, adjudicated upon resolution dated 16.12.1991 expelling the appellant-disputant from the membership of the society and also quashed and set aside the same so also the notice of expulsion dated 05.10.1991, which is illegal in view of the conclusions drawn by us above.”

Conclusion:

The above body describes the procedures for expulsion of a member and their rights of Co-operative Housing Society. It also lays down the liabilities of the members of the society. This is a hot topic because there are many cases relating to expulsion of members by society. So, it is better to consult with the legal experts in this field.

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