Consumer forum directs housing society to pay flat owner ₹50,000

The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Bandra recently directed a housing society in Ghatkopar (West) to pay ₹50,000 as compensation to a flat owner for causing mental agony by failing to carry out repairs, and ₹25,000 as litigation cost.

Vinod Natesan, resident of Mahindra Park Cooperative Housing Society Limited, informed the society of leakage in his flat in 2013.

The society appointed Arif Chunawalla to handle the complaint and Mr. Natesan briefed him about it on June 17, 2013, and also sent him an email. Mr. Natesan said the leakage had damaged furniture and created an unhealthy ambience. He paid ₹8.75 lakh for repairs and on October 4, 2014, informed the society that repairs were not carried out as per the contract and requirement of the members.

To avoid further damage, Mr. Natesan carried out waterproofing, which cost him ₹97,500. On June 19, 2015, he emailed the society about the leakage causing damage to the walls. He also sent a notice to the society reminding it about his duties under Section 78 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies (Amendment) Act, 2013.

Mr. Natesan said the leakage continued till 2016 and he had to shift to a rented accommodation, which cost him ₹3.6 lakh. The society also turned down his request to bear half the cost of the repairs and waterproofing.

He then filed a complaint against the society under Sections 11 (jurisdiction of the district forum) and 12 (manner in which complaint shall be made) of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) for negligence and causing mental agony.

A Bench, comprising president R.G. Wankhade and members S.V. Kalal and Shivcharan Shere, heard the matter. The Bench said, “Though it is true that damage has been caused to furniture and other parts of the flat due to leakage, the complainant would not be entitled to get damages as stated above, under provisions of the CPA, except compensation on the count of mental and physical agony.”

The Bench said Mr. Natesan could have prevented further damage by seeking the society’s permission to carry out repairs. “As stated above, It is clear that there was negligence on the part of the opponent [the society], which clearly shows that there is deficiency in services for which the complainant should be awarded the damages on count of mental and physical agony.”

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 11:26:56 PM |

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