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MUMBAI: In the backdrop of a detailed investigation ordered into the appointment of administrators on around 500 housing societies in the Mumbai metro region and alleged irregularities committed by them, the housing society associations have appealed to the state government to appoint anyone from among the residents of the housing societies as the administrator rather than imposing a person from outside or through an independent panel prepared by registrars.

According to experts, even the law supports the same. If appointments are made from within the society itself then no administrator and registrar can act in connivance with contractors to earn kickbacks, they add.

Vinod Sampat, president of cooperative societies residents users association (CSRUA) in his recommendation to the Chief secretary Sitaram Kunte and cooperatives commissioner Anil Kawde said there have been several instances where authorised officers or administrators from outside have virtually looted societies. “Why can’t a rule be framed that any such officer or administrator be from among the residents?” he asked.

MahaSewa President Ramesh Prabhu said in fact it is the actual provision in the law. “As per section 77 A of the cooperative Act, in case if there is no committee or no election then a registrar can give notice to the existing committee to confirm the vacuum in the society administration. Once that is done, he can again issue a public notice asking anyone from the residents to come forward to create an administrative board. If no one comes up, then he can appoint an outsider,” said Prabhu.

Even the payment to such a resident member appointed by the society can be unanimously decided by the general body. “Why cannot a simple thing like work done by an authorised officer, his attendance be compiled in a booklet form and shared with members? Weekly scrutiny of the administrator’s performance must be done by the department. Also, payment towards contracts be cleared by the members appointed by the General body and not by Authorised Officer, “Sampat suggested.

The directive to investigate the appointment of administrators and their works has been given in the backdrop of information that during the tenure of these administrators some societies had taken major financial decisions such as redevelopment through new builders. No administrator has legal powers to interfere in such big decisions.

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