• Disconnected hot water supply to my apartment

Hi Team,

I am a retired Government employee, residing in a government built apartments from 2013.

Previously all the maintenance is carried by government board and many people have not paid the same. I have completely paid all the maintenance to the government body. From April 2017 association took over the maintenance payments and it has spread a word saying maintenance should be paid from now, old dues might not be considered. For this reason we have stopped paying maintenance to this association from then. Association has disconnected my hot water supply since Nov 2017. All the members who are pending with old maintenance payments to government is almost 29 lakhs. I have been paying since 2013 and what was the purpose of my payment if old dues are not meant to be payed. Government has also gave multiple notices to association regarding payment and they have not responded. Even I have dropped multiple written complaints to answer my question which they have not replied. 

I am the only person whom they have disconnected hot water supply in entire building as i am pending around Rs. 12000. Where as people in the apartments including association members have not paid maintenance during government maintenance period around RS.50000 each. 

Though they have not paid dues they are enjoying facilities and as I was not paying for this association for failing to collect previous bills , they are targeting me individually. 

I would like to know is it legitimate to file a complaint against them and what are the steps to be followed.
Asked 4 years ago in Property Law
Religion: Hindu

7 answers received in 1 day.

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14 Answers

1) water is an essential service and cannot be disconnected by the association

2) file police complaint against association committee members for disconnection of your water supply

3) you can complain against association before consumer forum for deficiency in service and seek orders to direct association to restore your connection and recover outstanding dues from other members

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87911 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hi,

You may file complaint against the committee and its office bearers. You may file criminal as well as civil suits for injunction etc. and ESMA(essential services maintenance act).

Ganesh Singh
Advocate, New Delhi
6646 Answers
16 Consultations

4.5 on 5.0

Sir,

You have many remedies but the questions how speedily the concerned forums comes to your aid. Any way try to file a Consumer Complaint in Consumer Court followed by a complaint with police. the following link may be visited.

http://law.telangana.gov.in/pdf/go45.pdf

Kishan Dutt Kalaskar
Advocate, Bangalore
6050 Answers
381 Consultations

4.8 on 5.0

You can file complaint against MC before consumer forum for deficiency in service

2) Supply of Water & Electricity is covered "as a public service" and is under the parameters of the "Essential Services Act", and it is a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment, IF such disconnection of the Essential Services is done, by private persons, other than the competent authorities after following due procedures of law.

3) lodge police complaint against members of managing committee of society for criminal intimidation under section 506 of IPC

Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
87911 Answers
6207 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. You can not stop payment for maintenance of your buildings for the sole reason that the association has not collected the outstanding dues from the defaulters.

2. The Association has been formed by the flat owners and you have every right to raise your objection in the meetings regularly held by the association or you yourself can convene a special general meeting by giving notice to the convener/secretary in this regard and discuss the said issue.

3. You can also file a complaint before the Registrar (if the Association has been registered) and pray for direction upon the Association not to waive the outstanding payment of maintenance.

4. If the Registrar fails or refuses to act, you can file a Writ Petition before the High Court against the inaction of the Registrar making the Association as private party, seeking appropriate relief but you can not stop payment of maintenance on the stated ground.

5. Similarly, the Association also can not stop providing basic facilities by disconnecting the hot water supply with out due process of law.

6. The Association is expected t file a Money Suit against you claiming your unpaid maintenance amount with interest, damage and cost and if you still refuse to pay the said amount even after being directed by the Court, the Association can seek leave from the Court to disconnect all community service facilities provided to you for want of the maintenance amount from you.

7. Only after getting order from the Court, the Association can disconnect water supply along with stoppage of providing other services to you, otherwise not and there is a clear Judgement passed by the Supreme court in this regard.

8. You can lodge a police complaint and also file a damage suit claiming damage from the Association for their said act & file an application praying for immediate direction upon the Association to reconnect the hot water supply line and do not disconnect it till the suit is disposed of.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
26602 Answers
726 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

1. You shall have to first lodge a police complaint against the personal names of the Chairman and Secretary of the Association since criminal complaint can not be lodged against Association. You won't have to mention any section or category while lodging police complaint. Just explain what has been done to you.

2. Thereafter file the Money Suit claiming damage caused to you for the said act of the Chairman and Secretary of the Association since even if the Association has passed a resolution to disconnect your water supply the Chairman and Secretary should not have enforced the said resolution since it is a resolution for committing an illegal act on you as per law.

3. You shall have to engage a local Lawyer for filing the above cases as suggested in this and also in my earlier post.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
26602 Answers
726 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Hi

It is unfortunate that the members of the flat owner's association who themselves owe Rs29 Lakhs due to the government are now resorting to illegal acts such as disconnecting water supply (The disconnection of water supply was a deprivation of the fundamental right to livelihood guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution).

You are well within your right to file

a) a Criminal complaint under section 430(Mischief) r/w 34 of IPC and Section 506(Criminal Intimidation) of IPC in the nearest police station and

b) a Civil complaint in the city small causes court against the association and claim compensation for damages, mental stress etc.

c) It is also advised that you should obtain interim orders for resumption of water connection by the association till the time of disposal of civil suit at the time of filing of complaint and if the court requires you to pay the maintenance to the court till the disposal of suit, you may consider to pay the maintenance to the court till the matter is resolved.

Hope this information is useful.

Rajgopalan Sripathi
Advocate, Hyderabad
2169 Answers
394 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

If you have been targeted you may initiate a civil injunction suit against the association.

You may even drag the association to consumer forum seeking relief and remedy.

You may first issue a legal notice to the association demanding the relief,failing to invoke any response you may take steps to file appropriate case in an appropriate forum

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
78070 Answers
1543 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

You can file an injunction suit or a complaint before consumer forum.

If the association is a registered body then you can file a suit in the cooperative court itself.

T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
78070 Answers
1543 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Their act of disconnecting hot water supply to your apartment is illegal.

You cannot be singled-out from other who have also defaulted in making payment of the dues.

Also, your protest behind non payment of maintenance is genuine and needs to be addressed.

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
9426 Answers
245 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

Send a legal notice to the Association calling upon them to forthwith restore the supply of hot water to your Apartment.

If the legal notice is not complied with, approach the consumer forum and file a consumer complaint.

Vibhanshu Srivastava
Advocate, New Delhi
9426 Answers
245 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

File a consumer complaint aganist them.

P V Reddy
Advocate, Hyderabad
422 Answers
3 Consultations

4.2 on 5.0

File a Complaint with Dy Registrar of Co-operative societies immediately he will entertain your Complaint and issue directions to the society.

Prashant Nayak
Advocate, Mumbai
27245 Answers
88 Consultations

4.4 on 5.0

1. File Grievance complaint before the local Consumer Court, for disconnecting water supply and causing social & physical harassment to you and claim damages and compensation.

2. File Police complaint for Harassment and Intimidation.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal

Hemant Agarwal
Advocate, Mumbai
5612 Answers
25 Consultations

5.0 on 5.0

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