Legal action to be taken against Society
Hi, We have been facing a severe leakage in our flat in chandivali mumbai. Water drips from the toilet of the floor above and seeps through the adjacent room wall and fan. Repeated requests to the society and the owner above have gone waste. What legal action can I take against the society and/or owner upstairs?
In case of harassment or unfair discrimination by the society, as clearly seen in this case, you should approach the cooperative court , if you are the owner. However, if you are not the owner and just a tenant, you need to approach the court along with the tenant.
If, on the other hand, the tenant is harassed by the owner or refuses to accompany him to the court, he can approach the police as well as the civil court. Cooperative courts are set up by the state government in some districts, but if there isn't one in your state, you can approach a consumer/civil court.
I will advise you to file a case in a a consumer court as matters are resolved very quickly, the charges involved are relativley very less and consumer laws in India are very liberal, thus increasing your chances of claiming justice.
As seen in the case of Pramod K.O. V. THE JOINT REGISTRAR OF CO-OPERATIV SOCIETIES (GENERAL) (2014), WP(C).No. 34707 of 2014 (K) , High Court of Ernakulam, you can file a consumer case against co-operative housing societies in case you have not been provided with proper services- as is clearly seen in this case.
You are advised to approach a consumer court and file a complaint via-
· Official Contact Number of Consumer Cell : 1800-11-4000
· File through call or wasapp: 8054136633
· The government runs a portal called the Consumer Online Resource and Empowerment Centre (core.nic.in), available at http://consumerhelpline.gov.in/ . It is a complaint and grievance redressal system run by the Consumer Co-ordination Council and supported by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Government of India. To lodge a complaint, the consumer has to first register on the site. The online registration form has to be filled in with the name, email, address and phone number of the complaint. and an user id and password have to be created. A complaint can be filed against any registered brand or service provider. The online complaint system has a dropdown menu of sectors, segments and brands, which includes all brands registered with the Department of Consumer Affairs. The nature of the complaint, the details of any people involved and supporting documents can be attached to the online complaint. The consequences and relief sought can also be indicated Once submitted, complaints are assigned an electronically generated number. This can be used to track the status of the complaint until it is resolved. Multiple complaints can be filed using the same log in credentials and can be tracked online. Complaints can be filed in both Hindi and English.
· File the case yourself or via the services of a lawyer in a consumer court following these steps-
STEP 1: At first identify the Jurisdiction of the Forum where the complaint is to be filed. This issue needs to be identified from two angles of jurisdiction i.e. Territorial and Pecuniary.
The Consumer has to take into consideration both the territorial and pecuniary jurisdiction of the tribunal in mind before filing his complaint and has to choose the correct forum.
A complaint shall be instituted in a District Forum or State Commission or National within the local limits of whose jurisdiction,—
a) the opposite party resides or caries on business or has a branch office or personally works for gain, or
b) If there are more than one opposite aprty, then any one of the opposite parties resides, or carries on business or has a branch office, or personally works for gain,
Provided that in such case the permission of either District Forum, State Commission or National Commission as the case may be, or the opposite parties who do not reside in such place or carry on business or have a branch office or personally works for gain as the case may be, must be obtained , or
c) the cause of action arose.
PECUNIARY JURISDICTION OF CONSUMER FORUMS-
District Forum- Upto Rs. 20 Lakhs
State Commission- Rs. 20 Lakhs to Rs. 1 Crores
National Commission- Exceeding Rs. 1 Crores
Step 2: You will be required to pay a prescribed fee along with your complaint before the District Forum, State Commission & the National Commission as the case may be.
Step 3: Then you have to draft your complaint stating facts necessary to establish a cause of action.
Step 4: At the end of the complaint you have to put your signatures. In case any other person is authorised to file the complaint then complaint has to be accompanied with authorisation letter.
Step 5: Don’t forget to mention the name, description and address of the complainant and the name, description, address of the opposite party or parties against whom relief is claimed.
Step 6: Copies of all the documents supporting your allegations. In this you can put on record the copy of the bill of the goods bought, warranty and guarantee documents and also a copy of the written complaint and notice made to the trader requesting him to rectify the product.
Step 7: You can also ask for compensation costs which should be specifically alleged in the complaint. Besides compensation, a consumer can also ask for the refunds, damages, litigation costs, and interest amount. You must give the breakup of amount claimed under different heads but do remember to claim compensation or other relief as per the pecuniary value of the forums.
Step 8: Explain in your complaint as to how the case falls within the jurisdiction of this forum.
Step 9: Complaint must clearly state as to what relief is sought against the opposite party.
Step 10: The Act provides for limitation period of two years from the date of cause of action. In case there is delay in filing the complaint, please explain the delay which can be can be condoned by the Tribunal.
Step 11: You are also required to file an affidavit along with the complaint that facts stated in the complaint are true and correct.
Step 12: The complainant can present the complaint in person or by his/her authorised representative without engaging any advocate. The complaint can be sent by registered post. A minimum of 5 copies of the complaint is to be filed in the forum. Besides this you have to file additional copies for each opposite party.
You can also file a complaint with the Commissioner of the Co-operative Housing Societies Federation Ltd,. located in your State.
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