Annual General Meeting facilitates transparency between General members and Committee members of a society

The first question that comes to the minds of General Members is that why to attend the A.G.M, when a committee is already appointed for doing the various jobs in the society?

The answer to this is very simple says Adv. R. P. Rathod, The Annual General Meeting facilitates transparency between General members and Committee Members and hence is important to attend.

If your Co-operative Housing society has still not conducted the Annual General Meeting (AGM), it is time to wake up the Managing Committee members. The AGM is an Annual Meeting that is mandatory to be conducted for a Co-operative Housing & Premises society. What makes it even more important is that the AGM gives members of the society a chance to question the committee members about annual working of the society and review the same and make vital decisions for the benefits of the society.

Further the Annual General Meeting is a means of communication between the society members and the managing committee of the society. The Managing Committee works on behalf of the general body and takes several decisions through out the year. The members are the ones shelling out money for the upkeep of the society. The AGM is an opportunity to question the office-bearers; else they end up working like dictators. Through this meet, the members can take up their grievances and issues with the committee members and solve them at a Public Forum. Usually, these meetings are not well attended by all the members who depend on the Committee to act on their behalf says
Adv. R. P. Rathod. But the committee consisting of a selected bunch of people ends up taking several important decisions so a review is necessary, at least once a year if not more. If the AGM is not held, the members can take action and the Office Bearers can even be disqualified.”

Holding an AGM is important because it gives a right to the members to verify the working of the Managing Committee that works on behalf of the General Body.
Adv. R. P. Rathod emphasis that, the members cannot look after the day-to-day issues of the committee so the AGM is the time when they can have an open discussion with the committee members and review & bring up any issues of concern. The meeting is a form of a review mechanism where the actions of the committee members are checked and verified. For any urgent matter, an extra-ordinary General Meeting can be held any time in the year.

Normally, the AGM can be held anytime between April to August, but before 14th August. If not held, the members can complain to the Assistant/ Deputy Registrar having jurisdiction, which will then take up an investigation, appoint an authorised officer under Section
75(1) of the Maharashtra Co-operative societies Act 1960 or even dismiss the Managing Committee if required and call for fresh elections.

The agenda for the AGM mainly includes reading the minutes of the last AGM and any other special AGM held after that, to approve and adopt the accounts for the Co-operative Year ending in March, to appoint the Statutory Auditor for the Current year in which the meeting is held, to ratify the sale of flat with the admission of new members and also transfer of flat through nomination and also to approve and sanction Major Expenses required for the Repairs and Maintenance of the building or any other matter with the permission of the chairman. If the committee has completed the tenure, the election process can be announced and declared in the AGM for which it should be incorporated in the agenda. Also, if any expense exceeds the limit specified in the Bye-Laws, then it requires consent from the AGM, without which it cannot proceed.

In the AGM, the members can check the balance sheet and account statements of the society so that if there are any irregularities, they can be addressed in an open manner in the presence of all the members. It also helps to ensure that the money contributed by the society members is utilised in a proper manner. In very small societies, they usually don't conduct such a meeting and only show it on paper, which is indeed wrong says
Adv. R. P. Rathod. But in big societies with more than 25 flats, where a lot of work needs to be done and organized, such meetings prove very effective and essential.

“The idea is to have a transparent dialogue between the members and the committee members regarding the yearly working of the society,” adds Adv. R. P. Rathod.

As per the law, the AGM has to be conducted on or before August 14 every year. For any reason, if the meeting cannot be conducted in the stipulated period, then the extension from the Registrar has to be asked prior to the deadline giving the reasons for not conducting the meeting If the Registrar is satisfied, then he may give extension for conducting the meeting up to November 14. If not satisfied he may appoint an authorised officer of the department to conduct the meeting after August 14.” Says
Adv. R. P. Rathod

For the members, the AGM is a day to have a straight talk with the Managing Committee. So do attend & make yourself heard and get it going concludes
Adv. R. P. Rathod.

-      Adv. R. P. Rathod.