Disagreement in the maintenance model in a non registered residential society association

Hello Sir, I am resident of a Private Society in Bangalore, Karnataka. We have RWA in our society which is run by few residents on the society, however its not registered under any law. Currently we are facing issues with the Maintenance Model. So far we had SqFt model, but now we are being forced to move to Flat Maintenance Model where each flat's water usage is also considered equally in the maintenance. We have raised our concern to RWA that every residents water usage is different so please get Water Meters installed and then only move to Flat Maintenance Model, but nobody is listening to this because when voting was done to choose the maintenance model, 2/3 residents have opted for Flat Maintenance Model. Also, RWA is saying if we don't pay maintenance as per new model within the specified time, they will stop our water supply, then electricity and then generator connection also. Now, I want to know from you is it possible to take legal action against this? Out of 160 flats, 107 agree to Flat Maintenance and rest are not. But, RWA is not agreeing for a GBM also to discuss the concerns. Please suggest what legal action can I take? Regards

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I would like to suggest that until and unless your society gets registered as per the laws applicable in your state, namely: THE KARNATAKA APARTMENT OWNERSHIP ACT 1972, THE KARNATAKA SOCIETIES REGISTRATION ACT, 1960, KARNATAKA CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETIES ACT 1959, no one (claiming to be a chairman of the association) can force you to pay the maintenance charges of your apartments. Also it is just a mutual agreement amongst all the members of the association in the condition of non-registration of the welfare association.

Further, a Resident Welfare Association (RSA), membership is voluntary and the members who are not willing to pay the voluntary subscription fee for any year are deemed to have opted out of the particular setup and from that time specific, will be considered a non-member of that association.

RWAs are made to protect citizen interests and not to direct them to do an act against their will. However, once you opt out of the association, you can no longer vote in the general body meetings of the association, thereby seizing your voting rights.

Regarding your issue specific, with the maintenance model – each and every individual has got a right to differ in his/her opinion from that of the RWA.

There is one act applicable to such arrangements as yours, in Karnataka, by the name of Karnataka Co-operative Societies Act 1959, but it will not be applicable in your case because it merely deals with registered societies only and not an RWA like yours.

In addition to what I have already mentioned above, the RWA has absolutely no right rather no “legal right” per se to stop your water supply, electricity and generator connection merely because you tend to opt out of the arrangement.

You have a right to take a legal action against them. Legal action refers to seeking both, a civil as well as a criminal remedy.

Civil action:

In the form of filing a complaint under the Consumer dispute redressal forum for the damages suffered.

It’s also a violation of your basic Fundamental rights as per the Constitution of India, thereby activating your right under Article 21 of the Constitution by approaching the Hon’ble High court directly through filing a Writ Petition under Article 226 of the Constitution.

Temporary mandatory injunction under Order 39 Rules 1 and 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. This particular right grants you a stay, over the restoration of supply of electric supply in your apartment.

Criminal Action:

Criminal complaint under sections 425, 426 and 430 of the Indian Penal Code which talks about causing Mischief – by way of stopping your water supply, electricity and generator connection.

And because the association is not an elected body with a recognised chairman etc.(as these are the rights and privileges of a registered society), so to say, in order to file a case against them you need to file it against the specific persons responsible behind forcing you to pay maintenance as per new model. If it would have been registered, you may have taken an action against the association directly.

Answered on September 18, 2016.
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