Maharashtra Co-operative housing society – Co-op Societies act issues and answers

Which are the items of which inspection of the Society records can be taken free of charge as per Section 32of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act,1960? Can the Members of the Society take inspection of all the records of the Society?
As per Section 32 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act,1960, the Members of the Society can take inspection free of cost at the Societies office during office hours or any time fixed for the purpose by the Society, inspection of Audited balance-sheet, profit and loss account, list of Members of the Managing Committee, register of Members, Minutes of the general Meeting, Minutes of the Committee Meeting and those portions of the books and records for which his transaction with the Society has been recorded.

In spite of requests, the Office-bearers of the Society are not showing the records of the Society. Suspection is that the records are being manipulated by Society to suit their convenience. What can be done?
As a Member of the Society you are entitled to go through certain documents/records. You are also entitled to get Certified Copies of certain documents, on payment of the prescribed Fees.
As per Section 32 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act,1960, every Member of the Society shall be entitled to inspect, free of cost, at the Societies office during office hours, or any time fixed for the purpose by the Society, a copy of the Act, the Rules and the bye-laws, the last Audited Annual Balance Sheet, the Profit and Loss Account, a list of the Members of the Committee, register of Members, the Minutes of the General Body Meetings/Special General Body Meeting, Minutes of the Managing Committee Meeting and those portions of the books and records in which his transactions with the Society have been recorded.
If you desire to obtain Certified True Copies, then you should apply for the same in writing along with the prescribed Fees. A circular has been issued by the Co-operative Department, whereby Members are entitled to inspect all the records of the Society.
Can the Society recover compound interest from Defaulters? We have passed the same in the General Body Meeting. Please inform us the maximum amount of interest that can be charged by the Society to the Defaulters.
Your attention is drawn to the provisions of Bye Law No. 72. The Society has no right to charge Compound Interest. Societies should charge Simple Interest from Defaulters. Even if you have passed a resolution in the General Body Meeting you cannot recover Compound Interest. The General Body cannot act against the provisions of the Co-operative Societies Act, Co-operative Societies Rules and the bye-laws of the Society. The Maximum amount of simple interest can be up to 21%.

Can Members incur expenses for and on behalf of the Society and later adjust the same against the maintenance dues?
Members do not have a right to incur expenses for and on behalf of the Society unless the Society authorises the said Member to incur expenses for and on behalf of the Society.

When should the minutes of General Body Meeting be circulated?
The Committee should finalise the Draft Minutes of the General Body Meeting of the Society within 3 months from the date of the Meeting and should circulate the Draft Minutes amongst all the Members of the Society within 15 days from the Meeting of the Committee at which the Draft Minutes are finalised.
Members of your Society may communicate to the Secretary their observations, if any, on the Draft Minutes within fifteen days of the date of the circulation. The Committee at its subsequent Meeting should prepare the final Minutes of the General Body Meeting after taking into consideration the observations, if any, made by the Members on the Draft Minutes and cause them to be recorded in the Minutes book by the Secretary of the Society or any other person authorised in that behalf.

What is the procedure for adoption of new model bye laws?
The adoption of bye laws should first be discussed in the Managing Committee Meeting. Thereafter a General Body Meeting should be called. The said proposal should be passed with two third majority from amongst the Members who are present in the General Body Meeting. The amendment proposal should reach the office of the Asstt. Registrar/Deputy Registrar within two months from the date of the General Body Meeting. The necessary forms (PP Form) duly filled should also be submitted to Dy. Registrar/Asstt. Registrar.

How many days notice should be given for calling the Annual General Body Meeting? How many days notice should be given to call a Special General Body Meeting? Should intimation of the Annual General Body Meeting and Special General Body Meeting be given to the registering Authority? Can a Special General Body Meeting be called with a shorter notice, if there is any emergency?
Fourteen days clear notice should be given before calling the Annual General Body Meeting. Five days clear notice should be given before calling a Special General Body Meeting. Intimation should be given to the registering Authority before calling the General Body Meeting. Yes, in case of an emergency Special General Body Meeting can be called by issuing a short notice if the Committee unanimously decides to call Special General Body Meeting.

When does the Registrar conduct an inquiry with regards to the working of the Society?
The Registrar can on his own or on an application received by 1/3 of the Members of the Society conduct an enquiry into the Constitution, working and financial conditions of the Society. Before he conducts the enquiry the Registrar may inquire with regards to the nature of allegations involved and require the application of deposit of such sum money as may be determined by him towards the cost of the enquiry.
If the allegations made by the applicant are substantially proved the deposit collected from the applicant will be refunded to the applicant. If it is proved that the allegations made are false, vexatious or malicious, the Registrar may direct that such cost shall be recovered from the applicant. If the result of the enquiry shows that the allegations were not false, vexatious or malicious but for any reason the same could not be proved then such cost will have to be borne by the State Government.
All persons including the officers, Members, past Members of the Society and other persons deemed fit by the Registrar in respect of whom the enquiry is held and/or are in possession of the information can be called upon to furnish such information, books and papers relating to the Society which are in their custody or power and all co-operation in this regard Will have to be given to the Registrar.
If the person in possession of information does not co-operate in producing the books and/or answer the question which are put to him by the Registrar or the person appointed by the Registrar then the Registrar can levy a penalty of Rs. 500.
The Registrar or the persons conducting the enquiry is duty bound to communicate the decision to the Society whose affairs have been investigated. It may be emphasised that by recent circular the power to conduct the enquiry can only be delegated to Deputy Registrar and/or the Assistant Registrar.