MUMBAI: A housing society is not required to change its by-laws before undertaking redevelopment of its premises, the HC has ruled. Justice R D Dhanuka rejected the claim of 17 flat owners opposing the redevelopment plans of an Andheri society on the grounds that the society had not changed the bylaws to include "redevelopment" as one of its businesses and objectives.
"In my view, the redevelopment of the property may be necessitated in view of the buildings being in a dilapidated condition or in view of passage of time. The redevelopment thus would be a requirement and necessity and cannot be termed as business. The society is thus not required to carry out any amendment to the by-laws or to include the 'redevelopment of the buildings' as one of the object of the society before taking any decision to redevelop its properties," said Justice Dhanuka.
"There is no merit in the submission that the resolution passed by the society for carrying out redevelopment without the same being one of the objects or that the same being not business of the society, is illegal and cannot be acted upon."
The HC also allowed an application by Vardhaman developers, which was supported by the Krupa Prasad housing society, to appoint a court receiver to take forcible possession of the 17 flats within four weeks and hand them over to the developer for demolition.
"The contesting members who are in minuscule minority after signing the irrevocable letters of consent and after passing of the resolution by the overwhelming majority which is binding on all the members including the dissenting members cannot stall the redevelopment project," said the judge.
"The minuscule non co-operative members cannot stall the redevelopment project on flimsy grounds. This court has ample powers to appoint court receiver in this circumstances with a direction to take forcible possession from such non co-operative members and to hand over the same to the developer for demolition and redevelopment," the court said.
The society is spread over 5,075 sq m in Andheri (W), and comprises three buildings with 75 flat owners and 25 tenants. The society appointed developer for carrying out the redevelopment in 2008. While 58 flat owners and the 25 tenants vacated their flats, 17 flat owners refused to do so. They alleged violations and sought to question the ability of the builders to complete the project. The HC pointed out that the society had passed a resolution appointing the builders.