Case against housing society in consumer court


Respected Members,

 

Background of the matter:

I have a flat in co-operative housing society in Thane District. The Managing committee members have abused their position during their term and has harrassed pople like me who raised questions on their mismanagement and corruption.

From last one year I have been fighting this corruption by filing complaints to Dy registrar and other authorities like Municipal corporation. 

The result of all this effort is that, the Dy. registrar had an enquiry U/s 89A of MCS Actand found several descripencies and violations. An order was issued for dismissal and disqualification of Secretary. the term of thier committee also expired in this April and othr MC members resigned as per the direction of Dy. Registrar.

The registrar under section 77A of MCS Act , authroised 3 member care taker committee for next 6 months to normalise the operations ofsociety and conduct lection so that new formal Managing Comittee can be appointed.

My query:

I have sent couple of legal notices to the earlier managing committee regarding their deficiency in services like, non supply of documents, non maintenance, biling legal charges in my maintenance bills, not providing servics for which they have charged, not addressing the leakage problem etc. 

Since there has been no resolution by the and neither I have been provided with any documents including my account statement. I would like to go ahead with filing case in consumer court. 

Since the case will be against the co-operative Hsg society, should the party to be mentioned in the case will be Ex-Managing Committee/Secretary or the newly appointed care taker committee?

Since all the deficiency was from the Ex Managing committee, is it advisable to make party to them individually mentioning them as Ex Managing Committe?

would appreciate your guidance.

 

Thanks & regards,

Awadhesh

 

 

 
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Retired

Apply to the Administrator under RTI and get the documents. Life will be miserable if you go to civil or coop court. 15-20 years is normal. Do you have the resources to fight the battle - time, money and inclination. Remember frustration will drive you nuts.

 
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Advocate

If the deficiency of services is noted with the society, then the present committee or office bearers only can be impleaded as parties to the suit or case before consumer forum because you have grievances against the  society and not  against any individual.

 
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Retired

I still advise you to forget it
 
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Scientist/Engineer

There are many cases against co-operative housing societies in Maharashtra, particularly in Mumbai. According to me the Consumer Protection Act cannot apply to Cooperative housing societies for the following reasons.

A society member is not a consumer under the Act because he does not get the service for a consideration. The society does not charge any consideration from its members. Whatever they collect from members are only actual expenses incurred by them for various services, common electricity etc. and nothing more.

Any service  provided free of charge is not a service under the Act. A society is a middleman who does not charge any commission or profit for himself and gives a free service . Managing Committee members do not normally get any remuneration. Even if they were given remuneration they are just employees just like sweepers and watchmen.

Many cases are being entertained and judgments given in Mumbai due ignorance and incompeence of Societys' lawyers and the judges of the consumer courts.

I am not a lawyer. But if I were lawyer representing a Society, I shall flie a writ in the High Court against the Forum. There are cases of writs being filed against forums for other purposes.

I do not say that society members cannot have grievances against the Society. I only say that the Consumer Protection Act in its present form gives no jurisdiction to consumer forums.

I request  the learned advocates here to read the definitions of 'consumer' and service provider under the Act and give their valuable opinion. It is also necessary to have a knowledge of working of a co-operative housing society.

I give no opinion on the post here.

 
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