"Member" means a person joining by an application for the registration of a co-operative society which is subsequently, registered or a person duly admitted to membership of a society after registration – Section 2 (19) of Maharashtra co-operative Societies Act, 1960.
1) Associate member: An individual, a firm a company or a body corporate, registered under any law for the time being in force, who/ which is eligible to be associate member and who/which has made an application in the prescribed form for such membership, along with the entrance fee of Rs 100 is admitted as such member by the committee.
He is a member who holds jointly a share of a society with others; his name does not stand first in the share certificate. An associate member has right to stand for election of the Managing Committee. This right can be exercised by the member or by an associate member. In absence of the member, associate member can attend the meeting and vote at it.
2) Nominal member: An individual, who is an employee of a firm, a company or any other body corporate is registered under any law for the time being in force, or a sub lettee, licensee or a care-taker, who/ which is eligible to be a nominal member and who/ which has made an application for such membership in the prescribed form, applicable to him/ it along with entrance fee of Rs 100 is admitted as such member by the committee. He has no right to vote.
Whether any rights are vested in a nominal member or not: A nominal member is treated as a member of the co-operative society - K. K Adhikari v/s. T.G Kulkarni, 1980 CTJ 241.
3) Sympathiser member: means a person who sympathises with the aims and objects of the society and who is admitted by the society as such member. He has no right to vote and also he is not entitled to hold any share in the society.
Joint names: Once a joint application is made for adding the name of the present petitioner as a joint member as he has paid money towards the share and purchase of the flat jointly and he has made himself responsible jointly and severally along with the present petitioner to pay the dues of the society, he cannot unilaterally withdraw himself from the same tripartite agreement. This decision was passed by the Bombay High Court in the case of R. B. Rajput v/s. Hiralal Bhagwandas Rajput, 1989 CTJ 659: 1990 (1) Bombay CR 310.
Under provisions of Section 22 of the Maharashtra Co-op Societies Act 1960 following persons may become members of the society:
1. An Individual: who is competent to contract under the Indian Contract Act 1872, and who resides or intends to resides in the area of operation of the society and who does not own a house, a plot or a flat in his name or in the name of any of the member of his family, in the area of operation of the society, or who owns it but gives an undertaking under the bye-laws No 19(vi) may be eligible for membership of the society.
2. A firm, company or any other body corporate constituted under any law, or society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.
3. A registered society which is registered under the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act 1960.
4. State or Central Government
5. A local authority
6. A public trust registered under any law
7. Joint Hindu Family: An individual member can represent "Joint Hindu family" All members of such family may own one share in their joint name or in the name of the Karta It can became a member of a society.
Procedure for admission of Joint members and minors and persons of unsound mind inheriting the share or interest of deceased member:-
1. A Society can admit joint members if they make a declaration in writing that the person whose name stands first in the share certificate shall have the right to vote and all the liabilities will be borne jointly and severally by them as provided in the Act, rules and bye-laws.
2. In accordance with the procedure laid down in its bye-laws and rule 20 for admission of any member, a society can admit minors and persons of unsound mind inheriting share or interest of deceased members as its members through their legal representatives or guardians as are laid down in the bye-laws of the society that are consistent with the Act and rules.
Member of a family means wife, husband, father, mother, son or unmarried daughter. Section 6 (5) Explanation of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act
"Son" includes an adopted son and "father" includes adopted father (See Section 45 of Bombay General Clauses Act and Section 7 of Hindu Adaptation and Maintenance Act 1956.)
Individual desiring to be members of the society who is eligible to be a member of the society and who has applied for the membership of the society in the prescribed form is admitted as member by the committee on complying with the following conditions:
1. he has fully paid the value of at least five shares of the society, along with the application for membership;
2. he has paid the entrance fee of Rs 100 along with the application for membership;
3. he has given in the application, the particulars in regards to any house, plot or flat owned by him or by any of the members of his family, anywhere in the area of operation of society;
4. he has given an undertaking in the prescribed form to the effect that he shall use the flat for the purpose for which it was allotted to him;
5. he has furnished an undertaking in the prescribed form, if he has no independent source of income;
6. he has furnished in the prescribed form about disposal of the house, the plot or the flat already owned by him or any of the members of his family in the area of operation of the society;
7. he has furnished such other undertaking/ declarations in he prescribed forms as are required under any law for the time being in force and such other information as is required under the bye-laws of the society along with the application for membership.
The Government of Maharashtra has lays down the following terms and conditions subject to which the firm or a company may be admitted as member of a society which is federal or urban society or which conducts or intend to conduct an industrial undertaking, namely:-
1. The applicant of the firm or company for admission to the membership of the society is made as provided by Rule 19 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Rules 1961 and is signed by the person duly authorised in that behalf by the firm or company, as the case may be.
2. The head office or branch of the firm or company, is within area of operation of the society, firm or company carries on its business within the area of operation of the society; and
3. The firm or company purchases at least 10 shares of such society; and the aims and object of the firm or company are not contrary to those of the society.
Provided that in the case of urban society which is a housing society the following special terms and conditions shall apply subject to which a firm or company may be admitted as a member of such society namely:-
1. the bye-laws of the society concerned do not contain any provision prohibiting the firm or the company from becoming its member;
2. the firm or the company concerned is a corporate body or registered body;
3. the memorandum and the articles of association of the firm or the company concerned provide for the provision of dwelling houses by them to their employees;
4. the firm or the company concerned holds land or building only for the purpose of providing residential accommodation to its employees;
5. the memorandum and the articles of association (if any ) allow the firm or the company as the case may be, to utilise its funds for providing its employees with dwelling houses and the firm or the company agrees to pay out of its own funds the full cost of dwelling houses to be allotted to its employees;
6. The firm or the company concerned pays to or deposits with the society in advance, the whole of the proportionate cost of construction and other charges.
7. the firm or the company concerned gives an undertaking to the society that it shall not allow any of its employees to occupy or to continue to occupy any tenement from time to time, unless the employee makes an application through such firm or company and is admitted as a nominal member and continues to be such member of the society: - Order No CHS 1791/CR-148/14-C, dt 10-3-1995.
Care taker flats: Such a registered firm or a company must hold land or building only for the purpose of providing residential accommodation to its employees.
When a firm or a company is admitted as a member in the housing co-operative society, it nominates a person who occupies the flat of a company. He is a care-taker of such flat or a representative firm or a company. Such a person is a nominal member of the co-operative society. He has no right to vote and also not eligible for contesting election of the society or cannot become a member of the managing committee.
Refusal of membership by the society: Where a society has refused to accept the application for membership from eligible person, such person has right to tender an application to the Registrar in Form ‘H1’ together with requisite share money and entrance fee—See Rule 19A of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Rules 1961.
It is binding on the society to take decision and communicate the same to the applicant within 60 days from the date of receipt of such application and if no decision is communicated to the applicant within the said period of 60 days, the applicant shall be deemed to have been admitted as a member of such society.
If an application for membership was rejected or was not considered continuously for a particular period the person the person can file an appeal under Section 23 of the Act.
Once the allotment letter is issued, members have right to occupy the flat which was allotted to them. The society cannot deal with or dispose of the premises without the consent of the member: - Krishna Jamnadas Modi v/s. Colaba Land Co-op Hsg Society, 1979 Bom CR 398: 1980 Mah LR 58.
Cessation of Membership: A person shall cease to be a member of a society on his resignation from the membership thereof being accepted, or on the transfer of the whole of his share or interest in the society to another member, or on his death, or removal or expulsion: - Section 25. If members who had joined the application for registration, they could cease to be the members on registration - R. S. Koyande v/s. Customs Colony Co-operative Hsg Society Ltd 1990 CTJ 412.
Register of members: It is the duty of the society to keep register of members under Section 38(1). It must be in Form "I" and list of members must be kept by the society under Section 39 and it should be in Form "J". This register is a prima facie evidence of admitted or past members.
Ceasing to be a member of the Society: The bye-laws generally provide that if a member of a committee remains absent for three or more consecutive meetings, he shall cease to be a member of the Managing Committee: - narayandas Shriram v Sanghvi AIR 1966 SC 170 1965 (3) SCR 777.
Removal of names of members from membership registrar: Under the provisions of Section 25A, the committee of a society can remove of the register of its members the names of a person who has ceased to be a member or who stands disqualified by or under the provisions of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act for being the member or continuing to be the member of a society.
Registrar can direct such society to remove the name of such person, if the society does not comply with the requirements of Section 25A. The society is bound to comply with the directions of the Registrar.