harrasment by cooperative housng society committee members

Can a Cooperative Housing society committee impose a fine of Rs 5000/- for placing small flower pots in the building OR drying clothes outside the window ?

Astt Divisional Electrical Engineer

If you don't pay this fine what will the do.

DK Sharma



No clue. However I found that as per byelaws they can charge a maximum of Rs 1000 as one time. Charge. It is sheer display of power and misuse of the same that is happening. Any solution?
ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

1.  Under the new model bye-laws (i.e. if approved by the general body and registered by the deputy registrar of coop),  a maximum of 1000/- penalty may be imposed for  "violation of the bye-laws".

2.  " placing small flower pots in the building OR drying clothes outside the window "  IS NOT A VIOLATION OF THE BYE-LAWS,  hence any such penalty CANNOT be levied.

3.  Make a written protest to the mg.committee of the society, for reversal of any penalty levied on the above clause (point no. 2 above)

4.  If the mg.committee fails to do so, then appeal before the deputy registrar, who will certainly strike-down the levy of penalty by the society.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal


Thanks a lot Hemant. May I also request your contact number an location in case I need it in future.

Placing flower pot or drying cloths inside the members own premises (his flat) cannot be objected to. But if it is done in the common premises it amounts to encroachment, though the Model byelaws are silent on encroachments.

Only the general body can impose a penalty  and that too only after giving the member an opportunity to explain his action before it. In any case the penalty cannot exceed Rs.1000/- The byelaws are also silent on breach of the byelaws of a continuing nature. For instance suppose you pay the penalty but do not remove the flower pot, what can the Society do?

In some of the posh Societies in South Mumbai, there is a ban on hanging cloths for drying even in one's own balcony, as it gives an unsightly appearance to the building from outside. There are such laws in some Western Countries also.


Dr Ramani,

Fail to understand your statement of encroachment. 

Does it mean that the premises outside your door doesn't belong to you? In such case does the comittee own the common premises? Does the comittee own the floor, window sil and other carpet areas and can impose rules for the same? This is ridiculous.




Hemant - The registrar has sent a letter stating that the committee is misusing the power they have and that the penalty imposed is illegal. The registrar hass also talked about appointing an administrator in the building.

The registrar has also called them for an explanation for the number of allegations against them.

The comittee has instigated the women in the building scaring them on the consequences of the administrator coming in and have taken a signature campaign for supporting how good the society is.

What implication would this have? There is a meeting on 16th with the registrar.

ha21@rediffmail.com Mumbai : 9820174108

1.  IF the registrar has given show-cause notice to the MC, THEN it means there is substance in the complaint and that the CHS MC is violating the MCS Act, Rules & Bye-Laws.

2.  Let the MC file its reply. In all probabilities, the registrar will appoint an Govt.Administrator who would take over the controls of the CHS for approx. 6 months.  The appointment of an Administrator, serves as a interim check-mate to the nefarious attitude's of many CHS's.  On the contrary, the CHS is run more efficiently and in a disciplined manner by the Govt. Administrator, who does not have the attitude of behaving like the Land-Lord of the CHS, like how the MC's do when the MC's sit on the MC seat.  Welcome the Administrator.

3.  IF you are looking at legal options, THEN you may persue with the Registrar, after the MC has filed its replies, by filing in an intervenor application into the matter and submitting relevant documentary evidences to the registrar.  Mass signatures campaigns are the chronic habit's of such nefarious MC's and have little or no value in court, unless accompanied by individual affadavits or individual statements recorded before the judge.

4.  You also have an option of approaching the Consumer Courts, depending on the factors of your grievances.  You have have options of file private complaints against the MC's in Criminal courts.  All these options need lots of Time, Energy & Money.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal



In a building organized as a co-operative housing society, for a member owning a flat the area within the external walls of the flat belongs to him. All the other areas outside of all the flats in the building such as compound, staircases lift and lift well; passages, terrace etc. collectively referred to as “common areas” belong to the Society. If you have the unquestioned right to use those areas, then other members can also make such claim and there will be confusion and conflict.


Managing Committee is not the Society.  But a duly elected Managing Committee is vested with powers listed or specified in the bye-laws, Co-operative Societies Act and the Rules. If a particular member wants to use any part of the common areas for any purpose, the permission of the Managing Committee is necessary. In the first place you should apply in writing to the Managing Committee for permission.  If the Managing Committee does not want to give permission, it should give in writing the reasons there for.  The aggrieved member can then complain to the Registrar. The complaint can be informal on plain paper or formal in Form P. The Registrar should call for details from both sides, and/or call them to his office to explain each side’s case and then give his decision.


The Registrar can remove the Committee, elect another Committee under his supervision or appoint an Administrator under section 78 of the Act. But the conditions to make the Registrar to Act under Section 78 have to be very serious. He won’t do that just because they imposed a penalty on you, which they had no power to do. He will just ask them not to impose the penalty. If the Managing Committee does not obey the order of the Registrar and does not go on appeal to the co-operative court within the stipulated time, it will become another case of contempt.


I suspect that you are not disclosing the whole truth. What are the “other allegations” against the Committee?  It may be that the Registrar has sent his notice on the basis of the other allegations. It is true that your entire Society will be in real trouble if an administrator is appointed. But before appointing an administrator the Registrar must explore the possibility of electing another Managing Committee. If your Managing Committee members are scoundrels as you say, the Registrar and the Administrators are no angels either. The Administrator will collect his remuneration from you and you cannot question him the way you question a Managing Committee.


If a majority of the members are not satisfied with the MC, they can bring a no-confidence motion against them at a requisitioned EGM, instead of going to the Registrar.


If you give more information I can suggest what to do.




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