More Than Two Children? You Can’t Join Housing Society Committee, Says Court

More Than Two Children? You Can't Join Housing Society Committee, Says Court

More Than Two Children? You Can't Join Housing Society Committee, Says Court

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Bombay High Court enforces ‘small family’ rule, disqualifying committee member with more than two children

June 21, 2024

The Bombay High Court recently upheld a decision disqualifying a resident of Kandivali from his housing society’s managing committee due to having more than two children. This ruling was based on the “small family” rule introduced in the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies (MCS) Act, 1960, through a 2019 amendment.

Pawankumar Singh, a member of Charkop Kandivali Ekta Nagar Co-operative Housing Society, had challenged his disqualification after the Divisional Joint Registrar, Co-operative Societies, upheld a decision by the deputy registrar in May 2023. The deputy registrar ruled Singh ineligible following a complaint by two society members, Deepak Tejade and Ramachal Yadav, who alleged Singh’s disqualification under Section 154B-23 of the MCS Act due to having more than two children.

Singh’s counsel argued that the relevant sections of the MCS Act did not apply to cooperative housing societies, thus disputing his disqualification. However, Advocate Uday Warunjikar, representing Tejade and Yadav, contended that the provisions were indeed applicable to housing societies, and therefore Singh’s disqualification was justified.

Justice Avinash Gharote, presiding over the case, upheld the disqualification, stating that Section 154B-23 operated independently and mandated disqualification if a member had more than two children. The court rejected Singh’s claim that one of his three children was not biologically his, as he failed to produce the child’s birth certificate.

In conclusion, the court affirmed the decision of the registration authorities to disqualify Singh from the managing committee, emphasizing that they acted within their jurisdiction. This ruling reinforces the enforcement of the “small family” rule in cooperative housing societies under the MCS Act, aimed at limiting committee membership to individuals with no more than two children.