It is mandatory for every housing co-operative to hold an Annual General Body Meeting according to Model Bye-Laws set in place by the government of Maharashtra. Such meetings take stock of the yearly activities of co-operative housing societies in Mumbai, keeping the members apprised of the critical developments and overall financial accounts, thus fostering accountability, transparency and smooth functioning of the society on the whole. Any pertinent or pressing issues are openly discussed and every member’s participation is encouraged, which enables collectively agreeable solutions and a general sense of unity and co-operation.
This article will help you familiarise yourself with the basic rules and structure of an Annual General Body Meeting.
When should the Annual General Body Meeting be held by societies in Mumbai?
The Model Bye-Laws state that a co-operative’s Annual General Body Meeting should be held on or before 30th September of every year. The society’s management committee is responsible for ensuring that the Meeting is arranged before the given timeline. Upon a collectively agreed date and time by the committee members, the Society’s Secretary is required to sign a notice that should be given to the members 14 days before the meeting, not counting the day the notice is given and excluding the day of the meeting.
Who should attend the Annual General Body Meeting?
Ideally, every member should attend the Meeting in order to stay updated with the affairs and activities of the co-operative. The quorum (minimum number of members required for the meeting to be considered valid) for every general body meeting of the Society is 2/3rd of the total number of Members of the Society or 20, whichever is less.
A member who has not attended a single general body meeting for a period of five years consecutively is classified as a non-active member and has no right to participate in the Annual General Body Meeting.
In case of co-ownership of a flat/house, the first name on the share certificate is allowed to attend. In case they cannot, the second name can attend with written permission from the first name. No proxy or a holder of power of attorney or letter of authority is eligible to attend an Annual General Body Meeting of the Society on behalf of a Member of the Society.
How to Conduct the Meeting
The meeting usually takes place on the premises of the society, usually the community hall. Minutes of meeting from the last year have to be read before the proceedings.
Finance Report: The foremost on the agenda is the finance report of the society which shows the income and expenditure account of the previous year along with the balance sheet and audit report. The President, Treasurer and Secretary must remain present during the meeting and sign upon the audited reports. The Chairman presides over the meeting. In case he/she is unavailable, members can agree upon a substitute to take care of the proceedings. The next year’s Annual Budget is discussed and agreed upon and an Auditor is appointed. After the finance report and associated decisions, other matters of importance are discussed. The committee members are expected to be well-versed with the finance report and be prepared for any questions the members may raise.
Improvement of Society: Any decisions or rules/laws made in the previous year to enhance or improve society’s functioning and manage its day-to-day affairs are discussed.
Community Concerns: Member’s concerns, queries or complaints about parking spaces, common areas, lifts, security measures, among others are discussed.
Facility Staff: Any matters related to the maintenance crew are addressed, including but not limited to their hiring, salaries, timings, and responsibilities.
Dues: Pending dues by defaulting members and actions necessary to rectify or prevent such behaviour are taken into consideration.
Upcoming Events: A calendar of events, festivals or special days to be celebrated in the next year is to be created. This can be revisited or modified in the follow-up meetings.
External Communication: Any communication received from the government authorities such as from the Registering Authority, the Statutory Auditor, Government, Collector, Local Authority or any other Competent Authority are to be discussed.
Members’ Conduct: Any matters related to a general code of conduct or misdemeanors/ violations committed by members that may threaten the workings of the society.
Election Dates: Date and conduct of election of its Committee when due, is to be declared.
There are no restrictions on what can be discussed during the meeting, with the permission of the Chairman. However, the following matters cannot be discussed without prior notice:
– Removal of any member of the society
– Amendments to the bye-laws
– Divisions or amalgamations of the society
– Transfer of property
Once the meeting is over (or even before the meeting starts) all present members are required to sign their attendance against the number of their house/flat.
If, within half an hour of the appointed time of the meeting, the required quorum is not present, the meeting should be reconvened to a later time of the same day or any other day (after seven days and before thirty days of the originally planned date of the meeting.) A notice about the reconvened meeting should be issued to all members.
If all the items on the agenda were not completely discussed due to lack of time or any other reason, the meeting can be continued at another date within 30 days.
The Committee is responsible for preparing a draft of the Minutes of Meeting and circulate it among the members within the first 15 days. The members may reply in 15 days if they have any observations. The final Minutes of Meeting have to be recorded in the Minutes Book by the Secretary or any other person designated for the job.
For an active member of the society, it is not only recommended but also conscientious to attend Annual General Body Meetings in order to be aware of the annual finances in which you have a stake, to forge stronger relationships with fellow members, resolve or highlight any problems or inconveniences, and contribute towards forming a healthy co-operative.