In a recent case of Chembur housing society the Consumer Forum has directed RNA Park Cooperative Housing Society Ltd to rectify the leakage of the roof within four months and pay Rs 5,000 as costs of the complaint to Dr Praveer and Tripti Banerjee.
The cases of “care-less-ness” on the part of C H S management especially about leakages are on the rise. Having paid the flat price through nose, a member undergoes a lot of inconvenience for months together and only a few dare to approach Consumer Courts, though success rate is quite high.
The couple owned two flats on the seventh floor, and above them was the terrace, at Vashi naka. In the complaint filed before the Additional Mumbai District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in July 2011, the couple alleged that the flats had a persistent leakage problem. This had caused severe damage to the interiors. The C H S management ignored their pleas. Genuine grouse of the Banerjees was that despite paying maintenance charges and all other fees, there was no end to the woes. They alleged that on the contrary, the society management instead found opportunities to defame them and demanded unnecessary expenses from them.
The society alleged that the Banerjees were always working against the housing society’s interests and had filed the complaint to grab money from it. It alleged that the building was 15 years old and, at an annual general meeting, it was decided to allot Rs50 lakh for repairs. Hence, it was incorrect for the complainants to allege that nothing was being done about the leakage, the housing society said. It claimed that it had even changed pipelines and made every other attempt to stop the leakage.
When the Banerjees produced photographs to the forum to show the damage to their walls and furniture, it said they clearly showed the issue. It pointed out that the housing society had carried out repairs to solve the problems. But the housing society had no answer with respect to how the problem persisted in 2013, despite extensive work by a contractor in 2006-12. It pointed out that the society had not even tried to seek answers from the contractor. The forum said the society was guilty of deficiency in service as it had been unable to solve the issue.
Banerjees may be well advised to look up to provisions of Section 73[1AB] of the M C S Act 1960 read with Bye-Law No 136 (reproduced below) and demand the Society to initiate proceedings to recover Rupees 5000 from the members of the Committee as otherwise they themselves share a part of Rs 5000 if it is paid out of Society funds. They can write to the Registrar themselves.
Bye-Law No 136 reads: “The members of the Committee shall be jointly and severally liable for making good any loss, which the society may suffer on account of their negligence or omission to perform any of the duties and functions cast on them under the Act, Rules and the bye-laws of the society.