Resident Welfare Associations: India

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HC: tenant scanned vote

Pankul Sharma, Sep 20, 2022: The Times of India

DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand HC has allowed all residents of colonies that have resident welfare associations (RWAs) to participate in the management committee polls . The court observed that residents pay for services and, therefore, they also have the right to elect RWA members of their choice. Till now, only the owner of the flat or house was allowed to vote. The court gave the directions after hearing a matter related to Deecon residents’ welfare society in New Tehri of Tehri Garwal district on September 15.

The petitioner's counsel, Dushyant Mainali, told TOI: “This is a historic judgment which will be binding on all the lower courts across the country. This is a first of its kind judgment that is likely to help tenants a lot, especially in NCR and metro cities where they often are at the receiving end.”

The Deecon residents’ welfare society had decided that a resident, Nitin Dev, was not entitled to participate in the election to constitute the managing committee since he was not a flat owner. Following that, Dev approached the high court.

The double bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe, after hearing the matter, observed, “To say that only the registered owner would have the right to vote would defeat the purpose of the constitution of the society, which is to promote and protect the interests of the residents.” The judges said in the order, a copy of which is with TOI, that “in case the owner of the registered flat is not a resident, he would not have any stake in ensuring the achievements of the objectives of the society. The situation that the residents, whose interests are sought to be protected by the society by having the objectives as aforesaid, would not have the saying in the management of the society, would be paradoxical... We, therefore, direct that in case the registered flat owners are themselves residents of the colony, then they would have right to participate in and vote in the election process to elect the managing committee of the society.”

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