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
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.
NEW CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP
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
(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