MUMBAI: Dissenting members in a redevelopment project cannot claim an identity independent of the society, said the Bombay high court.

Observing that “it has been settled for a very long time, every member is bound by the decision taken by the requisite majority of the society,” Justice Gautam Patel, in an August 24 order, permitted a modification by the majority members of a housing society to a 2018 consent terms over redevelopment of Ganpati Niwas in Bangur Nagar, Goregaon (W).

The HC allowed the terms to be changed to enable the builder to sell free-sale and commercial components. The HC also deleted a requirement for the builder to furnish an unconditional bank guarantee of Rs 15 crore in favour of the housing society before the flat owners vacate the premises as the civic authority issued permission for construction on August 16.

The building was constru-cted in 1978. There are 91 me-mbers, of which 27 were the dissenting minority. The builder had entered into an agreement with society in 2013.

The new building is a proposed 28-storey tower, including two podium floors, said advocate Ameet Mehta, who represented the majority members of the society. Senior counsel Mukesh Vashi, appearing for the developer, sought the amendment to the consent term order of February 2018.

The minority members, for whom advocate Sanjeev Singh appeared, had in 2018, approached the HC to question if they can be asked to vacate their flats until the BMC has given all necessary approvals to construct up to 24 floors.

In 2018, the HC order had said that the society members peacefully vacate their premises subject to the builder paying them the promised amounts and registering agreements for their permanent new homes.

The society, through its chairman, filed an affidavit dated August 12 before the HC. He said the society is agreeable to the modifications suggested by the developer. They referred to the society’s general body resolutions, dated February 28, 2018, and September 18, 2018, approving the building plans submitted by the builder and for a modification of the February 20, 2018, order.

The HC noted that the majority members have approved the general body resolutions for modification. It thus modified its order to hold that the builder is permitted to create third-party rights over proposed basement, ground floor and first floor of commercial premises and residential premises for free sale component to avail finance to carry out the redevelopment.

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