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Do co-operative housing societies and consumer courts

Page no : 2

Dorai Raj (NIL)     29 April 2014

I agree.  Supreme Court is not infallible.  Not all the judgments are right. A glaring case is the order holding telecom disputes outside the province of the consumer forums. However, since there is no appeal possible, its order – right or wrong – is final.  The only way to undo a wrong judgment is to amend the law.  Our legislators act promptly and even go the extent of issuing an ordinance to undo a an S.C. order if it affects any of them adversely.  They sit back coolly and watch if public interest suffers by a wrong judgment.    

Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     29 April 2014

Nowadays consumer courts are circumventing the Supreme Court case on telecom disputes. I am surprised how the Supreme Court could set aside the exemplary judgment of the Kerala High Court. One of the authors of the Supreme Court judgment was Justice Markanday Katju, who became "famous" after retirement. I feel the instead of circumventing the Supreme Court judgment should be hit on the head. Section 7B was inserted in 1959. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister. The slogan was for taking socialism to commanding heights. It was sheer arrogance of the Government and enlightened legislation like the Consumer Protection Act would not have been thought of then.

piyush sharma (Lawyer)     05 November 2014

Arguments are strong but anyone has some judgements on it.. I too have an interest on this issue. 

Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     05 November 2014

Which arguments do you mean? Do you refer to my arguments that a Co-operative Housing Society is not a service provider under the Consumer Protection Act? If so and if you look for judgments you will be disappointed. The judges in this country (I do not know about other countries) are not paragons of wisdom. Judgments get decided by the lawyers of the parties on the court floor. Judges do not do any home work on their own. They give judgments based on the arguments they hear from the lawyers. So if you want to win a case hire a good and able lawyer. The merits in your case are inconsequential. What happened in the Mithul Co-operative Housing Society case? A member of the Society complained before the Consumer Court that water was flowing from the upper floor to his lower floor. Well water will flow only downwards. Neither any Society not any court can make it do otherwise. The Court ordered the Society to pay cash to the member. The court said it cannot order the upper floor member to stop the water flow or rather to do anything, as he did not come under any of the definitions under Section 2 of the Consumer Protection Act. A technical question was involved. The question was how to stop water flowing from the upper floor to the lower floor? Judges have no technical knowledge to answer that question. Well if they did not have technical knowledge they could have called technical experts as witnesses. The judges did no such thing. In anticipation of getting money from the Society the lower floor member carried out repairs within his own flat. He did not go up and stop the water flow from the upper floor. He could not do it because the court has given no order to the upper floor member. After the repairs within his own flat, he preferred a claim for reimbursement from the Society. The Society called a General Body meeting. The Committee said that the General Body is the Society and they should share the cost. The General Body refused to pass the resolution. Their stand was that the Committee members should share the burden among themselves. The case has gone on appeal before the State Commission. If you are interested and you are in Mumbai you can attend the court hearings. Probably you can also ask for the permission of the court to intervene as public interest is involved. Good Judgments do not come on their own. They have to be sought out.

Hemal ganatra (Proprietor)     25 January 2015

In my opinion society is service provider. As seen in many societies majority members agree many times with illegal resolutions for their own benefit. In this case a minority members who is paying all charges and not enjoying facilities available to other members can approach consumer courts as he is a member paying all charges whether willingly or under protest and other members are paying either under ignorance or threat or just for their status. Thus a minority member can approach consumer court in my opinion even law breaking members agree to illegal resolutions and minority member is put to hardships and monetary as well mental loss due to acts of majority members which is well included within the definition of Consumer Protection Act.also remedy to Consumer Courts is in addition and not in derogation.

Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     26 January 2015

I do not say that a particular member or a group of members do not have a case against Housing Societies. I only say that Consumer courts are not the Forums to resolve them. I have quoted Section 2(o) of the Act to show that the definition of Service Provider does not cover Housing Societies. Similarly I have shown that definition of Consumer given under Sections 2(d) (i) and (ii) do not cover members of Co-operative Housing Societies. If one wants fight a case against a Society in a consumer court let the law makers amend those Sections. When cases go before Consumer Courts one gets distorted decision. The case first cited by me, that of Mithul Co-operative Society, is a typical case. An upper floor member did some work in his flat resulting in leakage into the lower flat. The lower floor member went to the Consumer Court against the upper floor member and the Society. The Court strangely asked the Society to pay damages. The upper floor member was let off not because he was not responsible for the leakage (he was very much responsible), but because the Consumer Court felt that he did not come under the definition of a 'Service Provider'. Is this not atrocious? I have gone through all the submissions and judgments of the case. The lawyers of the Society were incompetent and have miserably failed them.

Hemal ganatra (Proprietor)     26 January 2015

Society should be fined . It failed to collect deposit from upper flat and noc from lower flat

Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     27 January 2015

Where will the money come from to pay the fine? Society will have to collect the money from members including the one who complained.

Hemal ganatra (Proprietor)     27 January 2015

If the  aggrieved member has consented and then cause of actionn society to be fined including aggrieved member. If member has not consented oximetry excluding the on consenting aggrieved member should be charged.

Dr. MPS RAMANI Ph.D.[Tech.] (Scientist/Engineer)     27 January 2015

Things cannot be done according to one's own whims and fancies. Law must be there for everything.

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