• As a member of a SOCIETY, can legal action be taken if the office-bearers violate the by-laws?

I am member of a society formed as per the Tamilnadu Societies Registration Act 1975. It is having its own by-laws. Last month there was election to the post of office-bearers and I had stood in the election. This was a surprise for the office-bearers of the last term , who were planning to continue in office. They resented my move as I was the only individual who came forward to stand in the elections. Before the elections , I had asked for the members list. This I found was not updated (what I got was a list made in 2014) and even the members register was not updated. Many life members had passed away and some had permanently shifted from the state. These statuses were clearly not recorded even in the members register. The office bearers had always given a bloated picture of the no of members. The Phone numbers too were not updated. Only a day was provided for campaigning after the day , when nominations could be withdrawn. The society office and the landphone installed therein was used by the office-bearers for their campaigning. On the election day there was intimidation and bit notices were distributed within the office where election was conducted in favour of the office-bearers. The election was followed by a General Body Meeting, and due to some urgent personal work , I had to leave the place and go outstation. I did so after informing the assembled members. I came to know over the phone that I did not win the election. On my return after three days I had requested in writing to see the members attendance register on the election day. As per the by-laws the members register could be accessed by any member. The office-bearers had flatly refused this right of mine. In addition they have not presented the annual budget for 2018-2019 and are going ahead with a celebration programme in the month of Sept 2018. For the past fifteen years this is the pattern followed and each successive office-committee will spend almost 75% of the amount collected, on celebrations, with very little amount spent on welfare measures of the members. I had stood in the election to oppose this pattern. My argument is to prepare a budget for the coming year and follow the same , so that it will provide a guide line or frame work for the planned activities of the society. As per a by-law, for any spending in excess of Rs.10,000/- the approval has to be taken in the General Body. But in the GB held last month on election day this approval had not been taken.(which was the precedent and which I had been urging the office bearers to change). Since the office-bearers are running the society in this manner by violating the various provisions of the by-laws and provisions of TSRA 1975, as a member could I approach the court expressing my concerns and seeking removal of the present office-bearers who are disregarding and disrespecting the by-laws? Or can I get the court issue a directive to the run the society as per the by-laws?
Asked 4 years ago in Civil Law

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10 Answers

You can give complaint to Registrar of Societies having jurisdiction over your society. He will investigate the matter and give his decision. If you are aggrieved by his decision then you can approach co-operative Society court through its appellate jurisdiction.

Otherwise you can directly approach co-operative court through advocate who have knowledge of society laws.

Abhilasha Wanmali
Advocate, Nagpur
1022 Answers
1 Consultation

4.8 on 5.0

Firslty, Sir, there has been a set of rules for running the society under the Spcieties Registration Act.

Secondly, the society may have some internal rules for sure for running it more efficiently, but that too should be approved by all the members in the GB meeting.

Thirdly, the violations which you have stated in your query is the violation of the centralised rules on Societies act.

Fourthly, you should challenge it before the Society by making an application for asking the Sxociety to adhere of the rules otherwise new members will be added.

Rest, I ll feel fortunate to help you further in future.

Sanjay Baniwal
Advocate, South Delhi
5464 Answers
13 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Yes, u can give a representation to the registrar of societies for necessary action, there after you can file writ petition for a direction to the registrar for implementation of the act

Konda Srinivas
Advocate, Hyderabad
211 Answers
2 Consultations

Not rated

You can file complaint before cooperative court and seek action for removal of office bearers of society

2)take the plea that election have not been conducted in fair and transparent manner no updated list of voters prepared

3) members present and voting were not provided to members of society

4) that expenses have been incurred without approval of AGM , no audited accounts provided for

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87932 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

The solution for your problem lies with the registrar of societies if you have some like minded people you can submit your complaint to Registrar of societies regarding the functions of Management Committee to get the direction of registrarfor the day today functions of the society and schedule for general election and AGM you can also highlight the register of members to be completed along with their addresses and mobile number with email ids.

You have another option to file PIL in the High Court if you need a specific guidelines and direction from high court in this regard but depends if High Court accepts PIL

Vimlesh Prasad Mishra
Advocate, Lucknow
6848 Answers
23 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

Writ in HC is not maintainable against housing society

Complain to registrar cooperative societies

If no action taken approach ccoperative court for necessary reliefs

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87932 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. File proper grievance petition before the registering authority and pray for full investigations in the affairs of the Society, relating to the misappropriation of funds and gross mismanagement of the Society.

2. The above is the cheapest way without going to the court which in turn will be expensive and time consuming. IF the inspection report specifies any misappropriation & mismanagement, THEN the registering authority shall dismiss and disqualify the existing committee members.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

Hemant Agarwal
Advocate, Mumbai
5612 Answers
25 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

The remedy under a Writ is available only against the State and not against individuals or private organizations. You may lodge a written complaint with the Registrar of Societies You may also file a civil suit at the proper court after issuing a legal notice..

Swaminathan Neelakantan
Advocate, Coimbatore
1920 Answers
20 Consultations

4.9 on 5.0

If you suspect foul play in election and have evidence and also if you feel that all office bearers have flouted the rules, any embezzlement, misappropriation of funds, any malpractice, lack in administrative efforts, misconduct of the office bearers, not maintaining the official records intentionally and not giving proper reply to members etc., are some of the reasons for which you can approach registrar of societies if the association is a registered body or you can approach cooperative court for relief and remedy.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
78089 Answers
1543 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Fighting it alone as an individual may not fetch you the desired result.

You may to gather like minded people to support your good cause.

You may have to exhaust the remedy within by first writing to the association seeking the information desired.

Their reply refusing to furnish the information would be the cause of action for proceding further through court of law.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
78089 Answers
1543 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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