Maharashtra: Admins of 462 housing societies under lens for major financial lapses | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: In a move to check corruption in housing societies in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, the state cooperatives commissioner in Pune has directed his Konkan region joint registrar to conduct a thorough inquiry of 462 administrators whose temporary appointment to various societies in the absence of elections or management committees has stretched for a long time.
The commissioner says there is information that during the tenure of these administrators some societies took major financial decisions, such as redevelopment through new builders. TOI was the first to report about such deals early last month.
In a letter to his subordinates, cooperatives commissioner Anil Kawde said he wants the senior officials in the department to investigate the ex gratia that administrators have been receiving from the societies, the amount disbursed by them to their subordinates in the society office, the crucial decisions they have taken such as redevelopment or building revamp in the absence of management committees, the letters or documents they have written with regard to such decisions, and irregularities or corruption in all financial dealings that they might be responsible for during their tenures.
To conduct an in-depth investigation, a committee of core officers is to be appointed and a report should be submitted within 15 days, said the commissioner in his letter, a copy of which is with TOI.
TOI was the first to report about the redevelopment and other deals early last month, following which many politicians, such as senior BJP leader and MLA Ashish Shelar, and society federations demanded a probe. Shelar demanded that a special investigation team (SIT) be formed to review the decisions of the administrators.
In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, the TOI story had revealed that 42 registrars across MMR had appointed administrators to around 500 cooperative housing societies in the region. According to Shelar, over Rs 2,000 crore worth of redevelopment was at stake as there was a move underway to grab the common Mumbaikar’s right in collusion with real estate developers.
Kawde, while talking to TOI, said a review on the report will be taken next week, based on which the line of action would be decided. According to him, his move was an attempt to ensure that only management committees or general bodies of societies take crucial decisions such as redevelopment as there were no such statutory powers with administrators, whose appointments are temporary.
Society associations such as MahaSewa had demanded an immediate stay on redevelopment proposals undertaken without the consent of the AGM or an elected managing committee.
Jeby Patel of the All India CHS Welfare Association said FIRs and prosecution should be launched against those administrators who have acted in contravention of society laws to favour real estate developers.


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