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Non-cooperating/dissenting Members of a Housing Society who are in a minority cannot hold up redevelopment on flimsy and unconvincing grounds and the decisions of the majority are binding upon them as the Bombay High Court has ruled in an important order.

Justice Shahrukh Kathawalla cleared the decks for a mammoth redevelopment project in Vile Parle and directed the Court Receiver to forcibly evict the 27 opposing flat owners with police help if necessary, if they do not vacate the premises voluntarily by October 3 as the resolutions passed by the majority of the members at the General Meetings of the Society are binding on the non-cooperating members.

The Court admonished the obstinate attitude of these opposing members with a reason that the buildings are admittedly in a dilapidated condition and because of the 27 non-cooperating members; the entire redevelopment project has come to a halt. In fact, because of the dilapidated condition of the building, most of these non-cooperating members are also not residing in their respective flats but are residing elsewhere and are adopting a policy of taking baseless objections to stall the project.

The Court observed that of the 120 flat owners, 93 had vacated their flats and were staying in temporary alternate accommodation. The Developer had spent over Rs 27 crore on carrying out various works and paying rents for the transit accommodation.

The Court observed that the majority of the members have no quarrel in having the redevelopment project executed through the Developer. The balance of convenience was completely in favour of the Developer and the large number of members of the Society, who along with their family members, are out of their premises since almost a year and waiting to get new ownership premises upon redevelopment.

Under such circumstances, the grant of interim reliefs being in the interest of a huge majority of the members and their families who have left their present accommodation and are residing elsewhere since the last one year cannot be denied,” said Justice Shahrukh Kathawalla.

The Bombay High Court was hearing an application by Disha Construction against the 27 members who had not vacated their flats in Datta Ramanand Housing Society in Vile Parle (E).

In 2010, Disha had been chosen by the Society to redevelop the complex comprising four buildings with 120 flats. Later an Individual Agreement, following a Special General Body Meeting, was signed between Disha and a majority of flat owners and some of them started vacating the flats from September 2012. As the area of the rehabilitation flats was decreased by 80 sq ft, 27 members refused to sign the Individual Agreements.

The Court held that the Developer and the Society were fair and transparent in their dealings. The High Court appointed a Court Receiver and directed the 27 flat owners to sign the Individual Agreement with the Developer and vacate the flats by October 3, 2013. The Court also asked the Developer to pay all dues. In case the premises were not vacated by October 3, 2013, the Court allowed the Court Receiver to take forcible possession of the flats with police help if necessary.