Actor Emraan Hashmi, who was refused an NOC to buy a flat in Nibbana housing society at Pali Hill allegedly because he was a Muslim, has one more quarter to turn to for help. The model bye-laws framed by the state government under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act hold that a person does not require a no objection certificate (NOC) from the society at the time of transfer of a flat.
“Bye-law No 38 prescribes a list of documents required for selling a flat, but nowhere is it mentioned that the society’s NOC is mandatory,’’ says advocate Vinod Sampat. “This being the case, there is absolutely no question of needing an NOC in the present case.’’ Sampat also cites a Supreme Court case (Sanwarmal Kejriwal v/s Vishwa Cooperative Housing Society, Churchgate) where the court had ruled that a society could not bar the admission of a member if he met with the qualifications laid down under the bye-laws.
Divisional joint registrar of cooperative societies, Mumbai, M P Kalyankar, agrees with Sampat. “The model bye-laws of March, 2001, are clear that an NOC is not required from a society,’’ he says. He adds, “The 2009 model bye-laws, which will be issued soon, do not contain any such clause either. Apart from this, Section 23 of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act clearly emphasises the concept of open membership, where there is no scope for discrimination.’’
Kalyankar also cites a Bombay high court judgment of 2000 where Justice D Y Chandrachud rejected the contention of St Anthony Cooperative Housing Society which had amended its byelaws to restrict membership only to Catholics. “The judge had clearly stated that the law was in favour of open membership,’’ he states.
THE LAW SAYS
‘Hsg societies must adopt 2001 bye-laws’
Mumbai: Advocates weighing in on the alleged discrimination against actor Emran Hashmi by Nibbana housing society in Bandra say some laws may be in his favour, and that a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the society is not mandatory for the sale of a flat.
Advocate D S Wader, former chairman of the Mumbai Housing Federation, says that a society which has not adopted the 2001 model bye-laws can continue to be guided by the old byelaws under which an NOC was needed. Divisional joint registrar of cooperative societies, Mumbai, M P Kalyankar is categorical that all societies are expected to adopt the 2001 model bye-laws. “If at all a transferor or transferee of a flat want an NOC from the society for their personal reasons, the society will have to issue it within a month of receiving the application,’’ says Kalyankar. Adds Wader, “If a society refuses an NOC, the law requires it to give its reasons in writing.’’
When contacted, J P Chhetri, secretary of the Nibbana housing society, told that he was unaware which bye-laws had been adopted by his society.