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Tino Sequeira   17 January 2019

Alleged criminal conspiracy in u/r apartments association

Background of the unregistered apartments association in Goa:

  • The builder allegedly favored a few original buyers with some benefits which would not be available to most other buyers and subsequent buyers. In other words in the colony of 45 members where I purchased a flat, some (around ten percent) of the original buyers were favorites of the builder AND were given reserved parking, covered parking, commercial shops, etc. But, strangely there was no provision made for these 10% of members who own flats and were given additional assets to pay towards the maintenance of these added assets. Even for their three bedroom flats they are not paying the correct maintenance fees and other costs, i.e. paving, etc.
  • Many of the original buyers have allegedly entrenched themselves in the "Managing Committee" and thus conduct themselves as owners of the colony. The committee is recycled with the same committee switching roles.
  • Many of the members who own three bedroom flats and other assets have allegedly not registered their documents and therefore do not want to disclose the sqm of their flats and pay the higher maintenance compared to those who only have two bedroom flats.
  • Maintenance fees are demanded uniformly for every member even though at the AGM meeting a resolution was passed stating that these would be charged according to sqm ownership of assets (flats + covered parking + commercial units)

Are the following facts justification for Criminal Conspiracy case (more details available separately) in an unregistered apartments association?

A ““group”” of around 10+ people who received unusual benefits of commercial shops and covered parking (not received by the rest of the 35 members) at an unregistered housing collectively carried out the following actions:

  1. The “group” decided not to pay from the beginning the annual maintenance charges towards lighting, water, cleaning, security, garbage pickup, etc for the assets that they were provided by the builder.
  2. The “group” did not pay the transfer fees that was supposed to be paid when they sold or bought the commercial premises as is required by Section V of the Byelaws of the Association. But, the “group” demanded and harassed a member to pay the transfer fees even though the transfer fees is to be paid by the seller as per the Byelaws of the association.
  3. The “group” had their own “management” meetings and took decisions but did not publish the minutes of those meetings.
  4. The “group” refused to register the Association with the Registrar of Coop Housing Societies and kept on having many “circus” meetings to show they were serious to register and kept on insisting to appoint subcommittes to do the work even though there are four committee members who do not have any responsibility other than attending the meetings and forming a toxic majority to shout down any members’s issues. When a member did provide the “group” with the requirements for register the Society, the “group” failed to do anything to register the association.
  5. The “group” directly and indirectly forced the 2BR flat owners to pay 33.33% more towards annual maintenance fees. And 2BR+Terrace and 3BR flat owners having covered parking and commercials paid the same annual maintenance as simple 2BR flat owners.
  6. The “group” got themselves entrenched in the committee by recycling among themselves for around 20+ yeas and did not allow new members to join the committee by bullying neutral members at the AGMs.
  7. The “group” was responsible for forcing the members to pay Rs.40,000 towards paving on builders land. (i) Furthermore, there was a resolution to charge call money based on the sq.m. of individual flats, but, the “group” forced all members to pay a uniform amount of Rs.40,000. (ii) The paving was carried out in a hurry due to suspicion reasons of one member of the “group” having his son arrive from abroad. (iii) There were other cheaper options to do the paving, but, the “group” decided to use the most expensive option.
  8. Paving was carried out in front of the shops even though the “group” did not pay for the paving. But the “group” refused to arrange paving in front of buildings 2(3) and 3 because some members did not pay the “illegal” Rs.40,000.
  9. The “group” insisted on doing the paving and did not take care of the leaking roofs and chaggas, etc. inspite of several complaints.
  10. Because one member who is a senior citizen with heart problems did not pay for the paving, a false police complaint was filed against him and he collapsed and was seen at Campal hospital.
  11. The “group” dominates all the meetings and does not allow active participation when neutral members raise issues about the financial statements, or incorrect calculations or when salaries of watchmen are doubled, etc.
  12. The “group” distributes minutes of the meetings which are incomplete and adulterated and not approved by the general members.
  13. The “group” does not entertain items to be discussed at the meetings from members who are not part of the ““group””.
  14. The “group” allows proxies who are not legal members to hold office as committee members because they “appointed” them.
  15. The “group” insists on appointing “sub-comittees” to carry out any issues brought up at the meetings (e.g. getting information from the registrar, or measurements from the Panchayat office, etc.) even though there are 4 committee members appointed by the “group” who have no other job other than to attend the meetings and form the majority to shout down other neutral members.
  16. The leader of the “group” who owns commercial shops, covered parking and has not paid the annual maintenances for 20+ years introduced a motion to increase the annual maintenance due to urgent repairs. There was no need to increase the annual maintenance if the “group” had been paying their dues.
  17. Since members of the “group” had covered parking, they refused to allot parking spots to all members. Thus the family members of the “group” having more than one car continued to park anywhere which was convenient and when members who did not own cars, but, had rental cars, they were not allowed to park in the compound nor did they have parking spots allotted to them.
  18. The “group” allowed an ex-committee member to enclose the covered parking which is against building codes.

If in fact the above information supports the presence of Criminal Conspiracy, what is the procedure to follow legal remedies and how much would it cost?

P.S. Is there any lawyer who would be willing to take up the case?

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