Cctv in co-operative housing society


Hello,

I'm sorry if I've posted this question in wrong category...

I'd like to start-off with a detailed descripttion of the situation, and then request for some clarity on queries and concerns that I have ... I apologize for the post being so long, but i feel a detailed explanation would help elicit more appropriate advise..

I am a share-holding member of a Coperative Housing Society... We're not a very rich society ... we do have funds, but not in abundance ... Most of the members are retired senior citizens ..

Around 3 months back, a new Managing Commitee was formed, not as much by being voted-in by majority but more by default... Only 6-8 memebers could attend the voting, and those who attended voted for themselves.. Some of the new comittee members have been living inthe building for just a year or 2.

Now, the new Managing Commitee has started speding funds on things like a Laptops, printers (they say it's for accouting , and other building work. These are being kept by the secretary. We already have an accountant who hsa been doing this for year, without having a laptop or printer), CCTV etc, which some of the other members such as myself, deem as un-necessary and not urgently required. We feel that there are other urgent requirements such as Building Repairs, a gating/fencing, security etc, that need more attention and funds... 

Here's what has happened ...

  1. The laptop/printer was acquired (@  Rs.40000.00), even before being approved by the other members, at the AGM. Prior to the purchase no quotation for the laptop/printer was circulated or made available to the other members..Upon being questioned by other members, the Managment Committe argued that they have the power to make expeneses upto Rs.50000.00 without prior approval of other members... However, since it was already purchased, the other members had to ratify it...
  • Before the recently held AGM, the agenda of the AGM was circulated. There was a point in the agenda stating that the decision for the CCTV would be made, via a vote... The majority of the members present at the AGM voted in favour (since most of them are senior citizens)... However, the Soceity rent bill, which was given before the AGM took place, included the distributed cost/flat for the CCTV.... 

My Queries : -

  1. Is the Managing Committe (MC) right in deciding to purchase the laptop/printer, and then having it ratified by vote in the AGM...It is not known whether a proper quotation acquirement process was followed, if at all. What can be done about this ?
     
  2. Now, my most important concern is about the CCTV.... The amount for the CCTV was included in the monthly society rent, even before the AGM (where it was later put to vote, and the memeber voted for it)... Is the MC within it's right in doing this ? What action can be taken... A minority of the members are against the CCTV, as there are several concerns regarding the same, and would like to know how we can stop the installation of CCTV... There are several glaring concerns such as ....
    1. We don't have any security personnel. So, who will monitor the CCTV feeds in real-time.... Upon posing this question to the MC, we were told that any  member COULD install an APP on their mobile, and monitor the live CCTV feeds ? which brings me to my next query 
    2. Who does the recordeds data belong to ? and is it right or legal, for memebers/residents  to be allowed OPEN access to this data (in realtime or recorded) on their personal devices (Mobiles, laptops, etc..
    3.  Under what circumstances would a someone be allowed retrieval of the recorded data ? What is the process for retrieval, and Who gets to decide this ?
    4. The MC is planning on connecting the DVR to the public internet.. This raises several data security and privacy concerns, which have not been addressed by the MC, even upon being questioned,..
       
  3. We have an elavator in the building, which belongs to our co-operative housing society, and hence every member is within his/her right to use the elavator, for personal use (Transporating themself, and at times their personal belongings too)... So, would this same logic/law apply to the laptop/printer procurred by the MC ? As a member, am I within to the right the ask for the laptop/prinrter and use it ?

I am not against this Management Committee   I am against the improper way in which they have carried out the above, and the improper way in which the funds have been spent... I feel things like preventive security (gating, fencing, guards), building repair-work etc, are more urgent issues... I am not easily swayed by the recent heard mentality in installing CCTVs.... Please advise what action I can stop the MC from make these un-necessary expenditures....

 
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Hello, Anyone willing to respond ? I understand, this is a very long post, and I appreciate your time...
 
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Hello,

Is there any particular reason why this thread has received no responses, from any of the esteemed members from the law/legal fraternity ?  Am I doing something wrong ? Please advise..

 
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Scientist/Engineer

 

Mr. Arthur Dent:

I also reside in Mumbai and I stay in my flat in a CHS building like you. I am also a senior citizen but I grew and aged and became senior citizen in the flat. I shall try to answer some of your queries.

“Around 3 months back, a new Managing Committee was formed, not as much by being voted-in by majority but more by default... Only 6-8 members could attend the voting, and those who attended voted for themselves. Some of the new committee members have been living in the building for just a year or 2.”

Between 2013 and 2016 the Maharashtra Government has brought drastic destructive amendments to the Co-operative Societies Act. It has made CHS’s undemocratic. Previously the outgoing Managing Committee was to conduct elections for the new MC. Now the law is that the outgoing committee should inform the Election Authority (EA) of the Government and their representative will come and conduct elections. The term of our MC expired in 2013 and the MC duly informed the EA. The EA took its own time and sent their person in 2015. Until then the old MC continued though their term had expired in 2013.  Our then Secretary informed us the date of arrival of the EA representative.  Somehow I forgot and missed the date. Later I came to know from the Secretary that only a few people attended the meeting and the EA selected (not elected) the required number of members and formed the MC on the spot. One of the members selected was a known vagabond and drug addict not even able to talk coherently.  We have to suffer this new MC until 2020.

Previously if a casual vacancy occurred in the MC due to resignation, death or other reason,  the remaining members could  co-opt to that position any eligible member of the Society. Now that is not possible. You have to inform that worthy called Election Authority and he may or may not act at his own sweet will. Ours was one of the best managed societies for the past 50 years. But now there is virtual anarchy. If our country is being run by Tuglaks, what can we do?  Probably one can file a writ in the High Court saying that the new amendments to the Act are undemocratic and unconstitutional. Who will bell the cat?  Mercifully we have a good able Secretary. He was trying to migrate out of India. But that came to naught.  We Society members are thankful to Trump for that.

Your complaint regarding laptop, CCTV etc.

In Societies there are three types of expenditures 1. Routine mandatory expenditures. 2. Non-routine needed expenditures 3. Special expenditures  (These are my classifications.)

  1. Routine mandatory expenditures. These are like Municipal tax, water charges, common electricity charges etc. There is no question of any approval for these expenditures.

  2. Non-routine needed expenditures.These are mostly like repair expenditures. There is a limit up to which MC can spend on this without the approval of the General Body. Once upon a time it was Rs.25000/- I do not know how much it is now. It may be in lakhs.

  3. Special expenditures.Those which do not fall into any of the two will come under this category. Your laptop and CCTV will be under this heading. If your Society does not have security staff appointed, that will also come under this category. The byelaws are silent on this. In my personal opinion these should have the approval of duly convened general body meeting. The words ‘duly convened’ is important. The notice convening the general meeting should contain this as an Agenda item giving full details of costs, quotations received etc. Otherwise I will call it back-door approval

     

     

    Your concern regarding invasion of privacy is very pertinent. What is captured by CCTV should not be available on one’s mobile phone at will.

     

    A CCTV is not a preventive measure. It is useful only post-event. For instance if a theft or an untoward incident happens it will be useful for the police or anyone else to investigate  post-event.

    Have I answered all your concerns? If not you are free to send me a PM>

 


Total likes : 1 times

 
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Hello Dr. Ramani,

Firstly - Thank you for taking time to go through my post, and provide an answer ...I appreciate it...

But now there is virtual anarchy. If our country is being run by Tuglaks, what can we do? -  I completely agree with you... Also, also agree with you, when you say "Who will bell the cat" ... No one, or very very few... Infact, one of the memebers of the new MC, is a very new resident (less than 2 years) in our Building, and is a lawyer.. So, he keeps throwing around legal jargon, trying to intimidate people.. He seems to have convinced some of the senior members that the Mumbai Police has made it mandatory for CHS to install CCTVs... 

The cost of the CCTV was included, even before it was put to a vote in the AGM... Likewise, the laptop and printer (both, CCTV + Laptop/Printer amouting to more than Rs.60,000..00) ... 

I feel, even the CCTV implementation has not been done properly ... There is an entry-point, from where there have been several intrusions into our building/building compound, over the years, has not be covered by any CCTV... 

Sir, my first question is - if allowing free access to CCTV footage/feed is a pertinent concern, what action can I take, to stop this ? 

My next question is - The purchased laptop and printer has been housed with the secretary of the building ... How do we make sure that these are not used by the secretary for his personal work ? What assurance do I have, that it's not been used for personal purpose ? If the laptop and printer belong to the CHS, should other members have access to it, just like other resources such as lift, water etc ? Is this a valid point, I am raising ?

How to I make the MC, accountable for these actions ?

 
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Scientist/Engineer

You ask your lawyer member the following:

1. Show the police order making it mandatory to instal CCTV in CHSs.

2. Under which section of the Bombay Police Act or any other Central or State Legislature the police got the power to order CHSs.

If he is not able to answer tell openly that he is bluffing. And he is bluffing.

As regards CCTV and laptop please let me know the following:

Did the notice for the General Meeting

(1) clearly show these as agenda items

(2) did it give estimated cost of the items.

If the answer to any of the above 2 questions is negative the resolutions passed at the GM are null and void. Members who did not attend the GM can say that if they had known the answer to the questions they would have attended and voted against the resolutions.

Has your Society got a separate office?  Where are the books, files and computer kept?

Who does the accounting of the Society, prepares bill for each member and send it?  In our Society the accounting is outsourced and we do not have an accountant. I had donated my computer to the Society. But is lying there unused.

You write to the Secretary that computer is not required for the work of the Society. If it is required for the work, ask him for which work computer is required. If he says it is required for accounting ask him who is the accountant. What is his knowledge regarding use of computer?  What is the software used?  If the computer is used for any other work, what other work?  If the Secretary is using the computer it is not that bad. Actually his children or grandchildren may using it to play games.

Computer or any other thing purchased for the work of Society can be used exclusively only for the work of the Society and not by the Secretary or any other member for his personal work. If the Soceity has a common room where computers or other things are provided for general use any member can make a claim.

You make the Secretary give it in writing that CCTV footage can be viewed through mobiles. If he gives it in writing write a complaint to the Registrar. Registrar will not take action so easily unless you doggedly follow it. If he does not take action within 2 months make a complaint before the consumer forum.

 
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Hello Dr. Ramani,

I had posted a detailed reply to your last post, but my net connection went down, and I lost whatever I had typed... Please bear with me, while I re-type everything, once again...

 
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