A flat, in the joint-names of myself and my wife at Mulund Mumbai, has been given on rent since May 2008 and the copy of the lease agreementhas been submitted to society and we have been paying the non-occupancy charges. My tenant was parking his two wheeler in the compound and the society, which was charging Rs.30 per month as parking charges from all the members and Rs.45 from the non-members, payable with the monthly charges. However on 15.6.2009 the Secretary has issued a circular that the non-members shall not be allowed to park their vehicles in the open space and in case of violation of this decision, they shall be fined Rs.360 per vehicle per month and these charges will be added in the maintenance bill from 1st June 2009 onwards. Is the managing committee of the society empowered to issue such a circular and to levy fine which is 12 times of the parking charges payable by the members per month? Please let me know the remedy available to me against the dictatorial and arbitrary decision of the managing committee.
–Haridas Sambhat, R.F.Daruwala

Parking slots, whether stilt or open, have to be allotted by the society as per the provisions of the bye-laws of the society (refer Model Bye Law No.78 to 85). There should not be any discrimination in the charges payable by the members and the lessees (who could also be enrolled as nominal members) for parking the vehicles allotted by the society. However, the society shall allot parking slots first to the members of the society as per the said bye laws and, thereafter, to the lessees. The decision as per the bye laws have to be taken in the general body meeting of the society and the managing committee is not competent to take such a decision. Even the general body meeting cannot take a decision in violation of the rules, regulations and bye-laws. Any violation may be taken up with the Dy. Registrar of the Co-operative Societies for the redressal of your grievance.

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