Last week, the Bombay high court set aside the deputy district registrar’s (cooperative societies) order, which rejected the flat buyers’ application to form a housing society. A division bench of Justice B P Colabawalla and S C Dharmadhikari said the deputy registrar “shall decide the matter afresh, uninfluenced by his earlier observations…“
Bombay Realty, part of the Nusli Wadia-controlled Bombay Dyeing Group, had argued that the residents are part of a Condominium Association of Apartment Owners. The residents said this would allow the developer to control the property and all its future development benefits.
Petitioner Paul Parambi, chief promoter of Springs I Cooperative housing society, representing 106 of 143 flat buyers, approached the high court last August after the deputy registrar rejected their application for forming a housing society .
According to the petitioners, the deputy registrar refused to consider their application for registration under provisions of The Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act,1960. This was done on the ground that the developer had submitted the property to the provisions of the Maharashtra Apartment Ownership Act (MAO), 1970, by executing and registering a Deed of Declaration under MAO. The registrar said the cancellation of this declaration was pending adjudication in a suit filed in the high court.
The December 16 high court order said: “When they purchased their flats, the respective flat purchasers were never informed that the property they were purchasing was going to be submitted to the provisions of the MAO Act…it is clear that Respondent No.1 (Bombay Dyeing) never categorically informed the flat purchasers that the property was being subjected to the provisions of the MAO Act. The developer had itself given an undertaking to the municipal commissioner on June 11, 2010, that the ownership of the structure and other appurtenant user shall vest in all the owners and that the 1st respondent is planning to form a proposed society of the building it proposes to construct.“
As late as October 20, 2011, a receipt was issued to one of the flat purchasers, which “indicates that part of the money that Bombay Dyeing received from said flat purchaser is towards formation of the society“.
The court also observed that a “unilateral declaration“ was executed behind the back of the flat purchasers. Bombay Realty owns 1.84 lakh sq m (46 acres) in Dadar Naigaon, which once housed the Bombay Dyeing Spring Mills. Springs I is built on a part of this property.
Credits ET Realty