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Ray of hope for flat owners

Staff Reporter

Bill providing relief to GPA holders to be introduced in Assembly today

NEW DELHI: For lakhs of general power of attorney (GPA) flat owners in Delhi, there is a glimmer of hope at last as the Delhi Cooperative Societies (Amendment) Bill, 2005, is expected to be introduced in the Assembly on Friday. Among other things, the Bill allows every person who has acquired a property on occupancy right the opportunity to become a member of the society and debars those who have sold their plot or flat from having voting rights in its affairs.

The introduction and passage of the Bill -- whenever that takes place -- is therefore expected to do away with several of the anomalies existing in cooperative group housing societies across the Capital. At present the GPA holders do not have voting rights. They have to wait till their ownership becomes freehold, which however only takes place on fulfilment of various formalities. Further, in many cases even those who hsad sold off their flats or plots continued to enjoy positions in the society management on account of being original members. The Bill proposes to do away with this anomaly. The Bill also seeks to streamline the process of election of the Management Committee members by proposing the setting up of an election committee to supervise and control the electoral rolls. The Bill also restores to all flat owners the right to be a "member'' of the society. An amendment to Section 91 states that "any person who has acquired property on occupancy right in a cooperative housing society through the instrument of power of attorney or agreement for sale shall have the opportunity to become members of the CGHS concerned where the property exists on paying a transfer fee of Rs 5,000 and completing the share transfer formalities mentioned in the society byelaws to the CGHS concerned along with dues, including the dues of the apex or financial institution.'' As such it also proposes to bring down the transfer fee from Rs 10,000 at present to Rs 5,000.

Banning the charging of entry fee, declared illegal by the courts, the Bill also provides for stringent punishment of up to seven years and fine to the "committee of a cooperative society or any of its officers or employees who falsify or tamper with the record of the cooperative society or demand any sum from buyers of the occupancy rights other than as provided for in this Act''.

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