MUMBAI: Less than two weeks after an FIR was registered against three office-bearers of Walkeshwar’s A1 Cooperative Housing Society for allegedly stalling home buyer Mondreeta Sengupta-Das’s membership for almost a year and demanding Rs 20.75 lakh as transfer fees, the society this week issued a share certificate and transferred the membership to her. Sengupta-Das paid Rs 25,000 as transfer fees to the society, which is in accordance to the law.
“I am thankful to police commissioner Sanjay Pandey and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat who helped me and directed the officials,” Sengupta-Das said. “But the registrar of cooperative housing societies has not yet passed the final order even now. The registrar’s office has delayed this matter for so long. My case should serve as a lesson for other homebuyers who are being harassed by societies.”
Accusing her of making “false and defamatory statements”, Bhagwandas Bhattad, chairperson of A1 society, said, “The society had transferred the share to Sengupta-Das on the spot on May 5, 2022, itself without receiving any donation or charge. The FIR was registered on her statement to the police, which was false and defamatory, on April 23. The society can transfer the flat on receipt of deed of transfer and completing legal formalities, but she wanted it to be transferred without proper documents and no charges. She threatens us by using the names of people occupying high positions.”
Sengupta-Das, a 51-year-old widow and cancer survivor, had bought a 2BHK flat in the society for Rs 4.15 crore in February 2021, and moved in with her two children in July 2021. In her complaint, she claimed that A1 society demanded Rs 20.75 lakh for transferring the society membership and share certificate in her name, which amounts to 5% of the flat’s cost.
As per the 2013 model society bylaws framed under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, read with a circular dated August 9, 2001, issued by the state government, the premium fixed by the society for the transfer of a flat cannot exceed Rs 25,000, said officials.
She filed a complaint with the deputy registrar of cooperative housing societies.
In April, Sengupta-Das approached the police chief and subsequently the FIR was registered by Malabar Hill police under Indian Penal Code sections 385 (putting a person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) against three office-bearers of the society.