Power to peo­ple

A re­cent Al­la­habad HC order has made regis­tra­tion of flat own­ers’ groups eas­ier, en­sur­ing bet­ter pro­tec­tion of home­buy­ers’ rights

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

In­de­pen­dence Day this year has spe­cial sig­nif­i­cance for 75- year- old Ma­hen­der Chowd­hary, re­tired govern­ment ser­vant and owner of an apart­ment in the Ex­ot­ica East Square group’s hous­ing project in Indi­ra­pu­ram. Apart from par­tic­i­pat­ing in the usual flag-hoist­ing cer­e­monies in his so­ci­ety, Chowd­hary is cel­e­brat­ing the suc­cess­ful regis­tra­tion of the Fed­er­a­tion of Apart­ment Own­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (Fed­er­a­tion of AOA) in Ghaziabad – some­thing for which he and oth­ers have been fight­ing for over a year.

Ex­plain­ing why this is a new chap­ter in con­sumer rights, Chowd­hary says, “When peo­ple take pos­ses­sion of their apart­ments in any multi-storey group hous­ing project, an im­por­tant is­sue they have to deal with is main­te­nance of com­mon ar­eas and fa­cil­i­ties. Many de­vel­op­ers want to re­tain their hold over the fa­cil­i­ties be­cause of the lakhs of ru­pees col­lected as monthly main­te­nance fee from the res­i­dents (de­pend­ing on the size and num­ber of other UP dis­tricts can also form an apex body on the line of the Fed­er­a­tion of AOA of Ghaziabad,” says Chowd­hary.

Ac­cord­ing to the UP Apart­ment Act 2010, a de­vel­oper has to help apart­ment own­ers in their projects to form an AOA. Once the AOA is reg­is­tered, the com­mon ar­eas and fa­cil­i­ties shall be ‘deemed as trans­ferred’ to it.

Now the Fed­er­a­tion of AOA will look af­ter the in­ter­ests of the 60 AOAs reg­is­tered in Ghaziabad and help in the set­ting up of other AOAs in group hous­ing projects.

Cam­paign­ers for the fed­er­a­tion had filed a con­tempt pe­ti­tion i n t he Al­la­habad High Court on July 9, 2013, af­ter the deputy regis­trar (firms, chits and so­ci­eties) of Meerut re­fused to pay heed to the de­mands of many AOAs in Ghaziabad to reg­is­ter the apex body (fed­er­a­tion). This, the cam­paign­ers al­leged, was a vi­o­la­tion of the Al­la­habad High Court judg­ment dated Novem­ber 14, 2013, on reg­is­ter­ing AOAs. The court had said, “In our view, af­ter the en­force­ment of the UP Apart­ment Act, 2010, no builder or pro­moter can re­sist or de­lay the for­ma­tion of as­so­ci­a­tion of apart­ment own­ers un­der Sec­tion 14 of the Act. If the pro­moter does not get the as­so­ci­a­tion reg­is­tered, the apart­ment own­ers can get such an as­so­ci­a­tion reg­is­tered af­ter a no­tice giv­ing rea­son­able pe­riod to the pro­moter, say a month, and adopt model bye- laws, if they have not adopted ear­lier.

De­fence Colony

East of Kailash Greater Kailash Kalkaji

La­j­pat Na­gar Malviya Na­gar New Friends Colony

In such case, the Regis­trar of So­ci­eties shall not refuse the regis­tra­tion of the as­so­ci­a­tion of the apart­ment own­ers.”

Up­hold­ing t he plea, t he Al­la­habad High Court, on July 21, 2014, or­dered both the regis­trar and deputy regis­trar to com­ply with the Novem­ber 14, 2013, di­rec­tive within a month, fail­ing which they would have to ap­pear in person be­fore the court and ex­plain the rea­son for the vi­o­la­tion. The court said, “Con­sid­er­ing the pub­lic im­por­tance of the judg­ment dated Novem­ber 14, 2013, in writ pe­ti­tion No 33826 of 2012, it is di­rected that OP No 2 (deputy regis­trar, firms so­ci­eties and chits, Meerut, UP) shall file his af­fi­davit stat­ing therein as to how many ap­pli­ca­tions for regis­tra­tion have been filed be­fore as­sis­tant reg­is­trars of the dis­tricts of the state un­der the pro­vi­sions of UP Apart­ments Act, 2010, for regis­tra­tion of re­spec­tive as­so­ci­a­tion of apart­ment own­ers and how many such as­so­ci­a­tions have been reg­is­tered, in the light of order of writ-court dated Novem­ber 14, 2013 in writ pe­ti­tion No 33826 of 2012.”

Within a week of the July 21, 2014, order be­ing passed, the fed­er­a­tion was reg­is­tered, says Alok Ku­mar, pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion of AOA, Ghaziabad. Not only that, AOAs in more than 15 group hous­ing projects have also been reg­is­tered in just a few days. Be­sides that, many old RWAs in ex­is­tence be­fore the UP Apart­ment Act 2010, now want to be changed to AOAs to re­main le­gally valid bod­ies of res­i­dents’ rep­re­sen­ta­tive.

PHO­TOS: THINKSTOCK

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