June 2019


Chartered Accountant


The Maharashtra Government has introduced the Maharashtra Ordinance No. IX of 2019 dated 09.03.2019 to amend the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act, 1960 (“the Act”). This Ordinance would remain in force for a period of six months, i.e., up to 8th September, 2019 after which it would lapse unless the Government comes out with an Amendment Act or renews the Ordinance. A new Chapter, XIII-B, consisting of section 154B to 154B-29, has been inserted in the Act specifically dealing with co-operative housing societies.


One of the complaints against the Act was that it was geared more towards general co-operative societies and did not have special provisions for co-operative housing societies. That issue is sought to be addressed by this new Chapter. While the Ordinance has made several amendments to the Act, it has introduced key changes to the concepts of membership of a co-operative society. This article examines some of the amendments made by the Ordinance in relation to membership of a co-operative housing society.



The Ordinance has introduced new categories of membership in a co-operative housing society. A “Member” has been defined to mean:


(a) a person joining in an application for the registration of a housing society; or

(b) a person duly admitted to membership of a society after its registration;

(c) an Associate or a Joint or a Provisional Member.


Thus, an Associate Member has now also been classified as a Member. A Joint Member has also been categorised as a Member. Further, a new category of membership called Provisional Member has been introduced. A house construction co-operative housing society; tenant ownership housing society; tenant co-partnership housing society; co-operative society; house mortgage co-operative societies; premises co-operative societies, etc., are all included in the definition of a housing society.


An “Associate Member” has been defined to mean any of the specified ten relations of a Member; these are the husband, wife, father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, nephew or niece of a person duly admitted to membership of a housing society. For this purpose, there must be a written recommendation of a


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