Earlier I had sought help from Mr. Abhay Datar who then directed me to Mr. A. V. Shenoy who has stated the matter being legal I should post in on ML for its legal experts guidance.
Subject: Life Membership - Garware Club House
Re: Imposition of Annual Maintenance Fee of Rs. 3000 plus Taxes W.E.F. 2016
Ref.: Clubsï¿½ Circular (Ref.: No. GCH/35/1126-2016) Dated: 20th April 2016
The referred Circular states that due to inflation and exorbitant increase in utilities & huge increase in the BMC Property Tax on the existing club building, the additional new building called Phase II, accounting from 2010 is Rs. 14.95 Crores. Further, with completion of the Phase III (3rd Building) future property tax out going for all three buildings will amount to approximately Rs. 6 Crores per annum. The circular further states that due to such unexpected increase the Managing Committee is constrained to levy Maintenance Fee of Rs. 3000 + Service Tax on all Members/Associates every year.
I became Life Member of Garware Club House in 1974 paying a onetime fee of Rs.10000, a large sum in those days but one that obviated remembrance and ordeal of paying monthly subscriptions. One of the inherit benefit of a life member that I am not expected to pay any other charges except the actual catering bills or fees for use of specific facility.
On or about 18th June 2016 I received the Bill for Maintenance Fees for Rs.3000 + ST Total Rs. 3435.00. And I wrote to the Club on 26th June 2016 that I am not liable to pay any Maintenance Fees being a Life Member. They wrote back saying that non-payment can lead to action by the MC.
The development of all Phases of the Garware Club were planned projects which must have been studied & deliberated in all aspects and in the collective wisdom of Managing Committees decided the requirement of all three phases. The claim for the amount is neither voluntary nor a onetime request, there is every probability that it may increase in years to come. The referred Circular is not talking of the levy of Maintenance Fee being discussed and passed in a General Body Meeting. The Managing Committee has mandated it as an annual Maintenance Fee!
Thank you, Cordially.
PS: I can attach undernoted but see the option to.
1) Clubs Circular Dated 30th April 2016
2) My mail to the Club Dated 18th June 2016 & Club's mail Dated 12th July 2016
Usually, life members do not have to pay annual fees. But if the house so deems, there will be a confrontation. The majority, if of non-life members, may ask the life members to pay.
So, we need three things, the constitution rules and regulations and last three years' balance sheets. If possible, the break-up of the types of members. If you have the support from enough of life members and the constitution explicitly says that life members do not have to pay then you may be able to take a collective stand.
If the management is stubborn and you have no support, there is nothing much you can do unless you decide to go to court on your own. That will be far more expensive than the Rs3,000 you will need to pay to retain the membership.
Even otherwise, if there are plenty of active life members who feel as strongly as you, you will need to play the role of an activist and get them together to put up a fight or confront management. There is no other option.
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