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Hopes clubbed: heirs not entitled to membership,says HC

If your parent is a platinum club member,do not hope to inherit his or her membership.

Written by Krishnadas Rajagopal | New Delhi |
May 10, 2009 12:32:49 am

If your parent is a platinum club member,do not hope to inherit his or her membership.

The Delhi High Court on Friday made it clear that “the death of a member of a club or an association does not confer any entitlement on any of his legal heirs to the membership of that club or association”.

A division bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur observed that the same applies to membership of a housing society. “The membership of a society cannot be termed as an estate of the deceased that can be inherited by legal heirs. A parallel situation arises in the case of clubs and associations.”

The bench passed this ruling on a petition filed by the Swayam Sidha Co-operative Group Housing Society of 6,Bhagwan Dass Road,which is an endeavour towards the provision of housing for homeless widows with an income less than Rs 1,500. Land for the project was acquired from the slum wing of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).

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Ganesh Devi fulfilled all the criteria for becoming a member of the society but died before she could be allotted a flat. Her son,R S Bairva,took the society to the consumer forum,claiming that it had refused to hand over the flat meant to be allotted to Ganesh Devi to him,her legal heir.

Though the district consumer forum threw his claim out,the Registrar of Co-operative Societies later recognised his right to Devi’s flat as her legal heir.

However,the Swayam Sidha Society approached the High Court on the ground that it only worked for homeless widows with a meagre income,and Bairva did not fit the bill. It also submitted that he had no claim to Ganesh Devi’s membership,because it ended with her and could not be inherited.

Seeking a general clarification on the point,the society also impleaded the Delhi Financial Commissioner,Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and the Registrar of Co-operative Societies in its appeal.

Revoking the Registrar of Co-operative Societies order,the bench denied any relief to Bairva. But it observed that had Ganesh Devi died after she was allotted a flat by the society,her son would have been entitled to the property as a legal heir.

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