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'We're being arm-twisted into selling our flats'

Members of Devdut CHS at Bandstand claim they are being threatened into agreeing to a redevelopment project, allegedly at the behest of a politician

Following a number of complaints by the members of an upscale housing society at Bandstand in Bandra (West), the Registrar of Cooperative Societies has appointed an administrator to investigate the claims of irregularities in the society's functioning.

Several members of Devdut Cooperative Housing Society (CHS), which accommodates Bollywood personalities, advocates and political leaders, have alleged that they have been receiving threats against interfering in a redevelopment proposition for their building, because a politician is interested in investing crores in the project.

"We have been receiving threat calls in the name of a political leader. We have been informed via sources that the neta wants to invest Rs 1,000 crore in the redevelopment of the building. We have also been warned that if anyone dares to oppose the proposition, they might face dire consequences," said a society member, requesting anonymity. According to sources, one of the society's members is a relative of the said politician, and is possibly being used as a medium to invest in the redevelopment project.

Out of the blue
The society members said they were taken aback when the chairman of the society, Haroon Mirza, asked for their signatures on a blank paper, telling them that a developer would pay a handsome amount for the flats.

Since he did not divulge the developer's name, members got suspicious and refused to sign. They alleged some committee members wanted the residents to sell the flats at cheap rates, and hence, were pestering them.

"The society does not even have a lift, but our maintenance charges touch the sky," said a resident, adding, "We have had no elections in the last 15 years for the society chairman's post."

Tired of the committee's monopoly, residents recently registered a third complaint (copy with MiD DAY) with the Cooperative Societies' Registrar, alleging that Devdut CHS had failed to follow regulations, and has two registration numbers. Follo-wing the complaint, the Registrar appointed an administrator to look into the irregu- larities on August 12, 2011 (order copy with MiD DAY).

"It is true that the Registrar has appointed an administrator for the building," confirmed defence lawyer Dinesh Mishra.

Incidentally, on March 19, the Registrar had served the society a show-cause notice, to which it is yet to reply. Spread over 3,000 yards, Devdut CHS is a two-storey tall structure and has 17 flats.

The Other Side
Haroon Mirza, the chairman of the society, said, "I was out of India and have returned recently. I have no idea about the administrator. You should ask the politician about the investment in this project."

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