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Now, a redevelopment disputes between the Developers and Housing Societies in Mumbai as also its members will not be heard by a Co-operative Court, the Bombay High Court has ruled. Justice Shahrukh Kathawalla rejected a plea by a lone obstinate flat owner of a Vile Parle Society that the High Court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

Justice Kathawalla ruled that suit between a Developer and the Housing Society or its members cannot be a dispute which can be adjudicated by the Co-operative Court under Section 91 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act (MCS Act). He cited earlier judgments on the similar issues.

Justice Kathawalla stated that Sect. 91 of MCS Act covers disputes involving the constitution, management or business of a Society and that the process of redevelopment of any Housing Society by the Developer does not constitute the business of the Housing Society.

The Court directed the Court Receiver to take the help of the police, if necessary, to evict the lone flat owner in case he fails to vacate the premises by September 30, 2013.

“It is clear that the (opposing flat owner) has filed the said dispute (before the Co-operative court) with a view to wrongly obstruct the reconstruction of the property and to cause inconvenience 14 out of the 15 members of the Society who have already handed over possession of their respective flats to the Developer and are waiting for the redevelopment project to be forthwith undertaken,” said the Judge. “The building is in a precarious condition and likely to collapse and endanger the life and property of its occupants as well as other members of the public,” the Judge said.

The redevelopment of Akash Cooperative Housing Society, a 40 year old building having 15 flats, was assigned to Developers Akash Pruthvi Lifestyle in 2012. The Developer was to provide new flats to the existing owners under the scheme. While 14 of the 15 members signed the Agreement and vacated the premises. However, one flat owner refused and filed a suit before the Co-operative Court. He alleged irregularities.