Managing committees of housing societies have too much power, says Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey

The city police chief added that there have been instances after he took charge where strict action has been taken against high handed managing committee members.


Taking note of increasing instances of disputes between residents and members of managing committees of housing societies, Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Pandey on Wednesday said that there is a need to rethink the structure of housing societies in Mumbai and that he would be bringing this to the government's notice.


The city's top cop addressed a YouTube live session for half an hour on Wednesday evening, where he fielded questions on a variety of topics related to policing from several citizens. He also stated that there would be more such sessions in the days to come.


One of the questions that were asked during the session was about disputes arising from unreasonable rules and regulations imposed by managing committees of housing societies, like not giving parking space to tenants on the society premises.


Mincing no words, Pandey said that under the existing rules, the managing committees had too much power and that this needed to change. “Committees of housing societies are elected to ensure the smooth functioning of the society and the welfare of the residents. However, the members of these managing committees seem to think that they own the building and can do whatever they want. The reason behind this is that under the Cooperative Societies Act, the committees have too much power. There is a need to rethink the current structure and I will be bringing this to the notice of the government,” he said.


The city police chief added that there have been instances after he took charge where strict action has been taken against high handed managing committee members.


“Wherever applicable, we have registered offences against them, charging them with sections like extortion or cheating under the Indian Penal Code. We have also designated the Police Inspector, Public Relations of each police station as the point of contact for such disputes. Suppose a person has lost his job during the pandemic and is struggling to make ends meet, however, the managing committee is still pressurizing him to pay maintenance charges. How is this fair?” he said.


Several other citizens also asked questions relating to traffic problems, corruption and the nuisance of bikers at night. Answering a question about alleged corruption by traffic cops, Pandey said that while corruption is doubtless intolerable, it is also the citizens' duty to report it to the authorities. “I keep getting these complaints but I would just like to say that it is a two-way street. If you don't give a bribe, cops won't be able to take it. I am not pointing fingers here, but I must point out the transactional nature of corruption.”


He also stressed the fact that all police stations have been instructed to immediately register complaints whenever a citizen approaches them, and that there is a zero-tolerance policy for non-registration of complaints