An octogenarian woman and her daughter have alleged that the managing committee of their housing society on Pali Hill in Mumbai’s upmarket Bandra neighbourhood is misleading homeowners and pressuring them to sell 60 per cent of the premises to actor Aamir Khan, who apparently wants the land to build a bungalow for himself.
Dr Pamela de Sa, 87, and her daughter, Dr Geneve de Sa, 50, complained to the deputy registrar of co-operative societies last week that the society managing committee has been pushing Khan’s proposal, which they said was a “falsely conceived redevelopment scheme”.
“The Managing Committee is favouring the acceptance of a proposal from Aamir Khan who is trying to purchase 60 per cent of the flats for his own residence by forcibly dis-housing the existing members of the society and compelling them to search new premises,” the de Sas wrote to the deputy registrar on March 11.
The society in question — Virgo Co-operative Housing Society — has 23 members, and comprises two ground-plus-three-storey buildings, Marina Apartments and Bella Vista, each of which has 12 flats. Khan owns two flats in Marina and one in Bella Vista, and first expressed interest in acquiring a part of the plot in December 2011.
Pamela de Sa owns two flats in Marina, and Geneve de Sa owns two garages in Bella Vista.
A spokesperson for Khan said, “Mr Khan has indeed sent an offer to his society after the society requested him to make an offer. We assume that the society will assess all offers received, and members will then decide on how to proceed, which is the normal process.”
Khan has offered to buy 20,000 sq ft of the 36,207 sq ft (3,364 sq m) property at the rate of Rs 70,000 per sq ft of carpet area from society members interested in selling their flats or garages to him.
His offer letter to the society, dated December 28, 2011, states that, “of the caveats/conditions in the offer is that minimum carpet area floor space index (FSI) of 20,000 square feet and proportionate 1:1 land area of the society should ultimately belong to me for this deal to go through”.
This means that a certain minimum number of members should be willing to sell their premises outright, so that Khan has at least 20,000 sq ft of carpet area for himself.
For members not interested in selling, Khan has offered to build a separate building on the rest of the plot.
Virgo Co-operative Housing Society member secretary Kondon Sabloak said Khan wanted to buy 60% of the property to build a bungalow for himself. According to the minutes of the meeting held in the society on December 22, 2013, 18 of the society’s 23 members voted in favour of the redevelopment scheme, while five voted against.
However, Geneve de Sa said: “Of the 23 members who voted, a quorum of at least 75%, or 17 members, must be physically present. In this case, only 14 were present in the meeting, while the rest sent their votes in sealed envelopes, which is like a proxy vote. This is in gross violation of the redevelopment rules.”
Sabloak denied the allegation. “Such allegations are baseless and are intended to spoil the development of the society by some members who have not given their consent for redevelopment. The voting was done in a fair manner and the entire process was recorded on video camera,” he said.
Sabloak added, “While Aamir Khan has offered to buy a majority of the flats, he will construct a separate building for the remaining residents. This is a proper redevelopment scheme.”
In their letter to the deputy registrar, the de Sas have written: “Without placing a general body feasibility report, the committee has obtained a majority vote supposedly for proposed development. But the mandated government guidelines for redevelopment have not been followed.”
Geneve de Sa told The Indian Express: “The scheme proposed by Aamir Khan is not for redevelopment and re-accomodation, it is actually for selling the society’s property to Aamir Khan and also de-registering the society. The appointment of the architect for proposed development is not done, including failing to call tenders for inviting developers for proposed redevelopment.”
Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Housing Societies S M Patil said he was yet to go through the complaint “in detail”, but it appeared prima facie that the proposal did not qualify as “redevelopment”.
“This proposal cannot be considered a redevelopment proposal as it involves selling of a majority of the plot. Under Section 79 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Housing Societies Act, redevelopment must include majority vote of 3/4th of the members and all members must be re-housed in the new building. It also mandates that a developer has to be appointed for the same. However, I will have to go through the letter in detail before taking any action in this case,” Patil said.
Shirish Sukhatme, president of the Practicing Engineers, Architects & Town Planners Association (PEATA) and head of the redevelopment cell of the body, said: “Any redevelopment scheme involves re-accommodating all tenants in the new building. In this case the mandatory appointment of an authorised officer from the office of the registrar under redevelopment rules has not been done. The society cannot blindly sell the majority of flats to any one person, instead a society must invite private builders to redevelop a plot.”