Residents of ATS Advantage, a society in Indirapuram, are in a fix over the erratic decision making of the Deputy Registrar (Meerut Zone). Following complaints from residents of the society, the district registrar (DR) passed an order on October 15, 2016, stripping the AOA of some of its rights, such as conducting meetings, taking major decisions and carrying out hefty financial transactions in the society.
However, recently, on February 2, 2017, the DR issued a letter addressed to the district magistrate with a request to facilitate the society's election as soon as possible for the welfare of the residents. In the letter, the DR mentioned that since the AOA was formed in December 13, 2015, the body’s term ended a year later. Furthermore, the AOA president was out of station for an undefined period, while the secretary had resigned from the post.
However, the DR blamed the previous AOA members for not initiating the process of conducting elections. Thus, the body had to be declared time-barred and stripped of most of its powers.
Former AOA members, however, said that before passing the order in February, the DR did not take into consideration the previous order passed in October 2016, which had already stripped the AOA of many of its powers.
Ajay Singhal, a resident of the society, told City Spidey that the decisions and orders of the DR were causing a lot of confusion, and harming the welfare of the residents as well. “The issue has to be sorted out as soon as possible,” he added.
Shedding light on the situation, Alok Kumar, patron of FedAOA, an apex body of Ghaziabad AOAs, said that before proceeding with any other decision, the residents must comply with the administration’s orders and form the AOA. “If residents initiate legal action, the court will give a favourable decision if the AOA body is already formed," he added.
Meanwhile, the DR had passed another order on November 11, 2016, for alleged violations of the October order and called the AOA members for a meeting later in the month. AOA members of the society said the DR, at the meeting on November 28, had revoked his earlier order and empowered them to function as a regular AOA once again.
An AOA member, however, said they could not continue as the society's resident body, as the DR's office was yet to send them a formal order.
The residents filed an RTI to obtain the minutes of the meeting and the official copy of the order supposedly passed by the DR.
The RTI asked for:
1. A copy of the order and the minutes of the November 28 meeting, along with the letter number (in case they were already sent by post).
2. A clarification on how the DR could strip the AOA of its rights before it could complete its tenure.
3. A copy of the sections of the UP Apartment Act, 2010, which empowers the DR to stop an AOA from conducting general body meetings in the society.
However, AOA members maintained that the response to the RTI avoided the main issue.
1. After November 28, 2016, a letter had been issued to the district magistrate according to Section 25(2) of Societies Registration Act, 1860. It was accompanied by a registered post number of the letter.
2. For queries 2 and 3, the AOA was stripped of its powers in response to the complaints from residents.
Lipika Bhushan, former secretary of the society, said she was dissatisfied with the response, as it completely drifted from the RTI queries. “It is a mockery of the provisions of the Right to Information Act. We will soon appeal to the registrar in Lucknow or initiate legal action at the Allahabad High Court,” she added.