The Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB) cannot disconnect water and sewage connections to an entire apartment complex just because some of the residents had failed to remit the necessary charges, the Madras High Court has held.
Justice C. Saravanan said the amount due from individual residents could be collected by initiating proceedings under the Revenue Recovery Act, 1890 and that all residents of an apartment complex could not be put to inconvenience due to default committed by a few.
The orders were passed while allowing a writ petition filed by S. Vasudevan, a resident of an apartment complex at Mylapore in Chennai. The petitioner had stated that though 15 families were residing in his residential complex, only one had failed to remit water and sewage charges.
He argued that all others could not be put to hardship because of the default committed by one resident and the judge concurred with his submissions. Since the CWSSB Act of 1978 permits collection of dues by considering them as land revenue, he said the officials could invoke the 1890 Act.
The judge restrained CMWSSB from disconnecting petitioner’s water supply and the sewage connections.