The chairman and office-bearers of a Ghatkopar-based housing society were booked after a resident pressed charge against them. Police commissioner Sanjay Pandey, in a Facebook Live session on Sunday, has now nominated an inspector from every police station to specifically cater to complaints concerning cooperative housing societies.
The member should submit a written complaint explaining the dispute/complaint in full detail to any office-bearer of the society. In the next committee (after the complaint is received), the Managing Committee reviews the complaint, takes a decision and communicates it to the member within 15 days. But if the committee itself lobbies or harasses the resident then they can approach the police station and make a complaint against the society office-bearers.
If the members do not receive any communication from the Committee within 15 days, they can approach any competent authorities for redressal of their complaints. A copy of the original complaint letter should also be attached to the escalation complaint.
RTI activist Shailesh Gandhi said, “I think the initiative is good, but they need to be accountable. The police should publish monthly reports on the complaints received and their follow up or else Initiatives like these become useless if they are not monitored properly.”
Advocate Shirish Shanbhag said, “You can make a complaint to the Police Station under Bye-law No. 1174(E)(i), for the misbehaviour with society’s members and their family. For these complaints, you have to follow up with the respective department from time to time. Having a police station is not enough, what we have is serious authorities to look into the matter.”
Advocate T Sudhakar told Afternoon Voice, “Most of the housing society committees are very inhuman, they take the electoral power to their advantage by dominating the residents. There is always a target and favouritism. It’s another level of politics. Even some residents are also not law-abiding and they create trouble. A dedicated police station is a better idea but it should not go in Lokpal way.”
A resident of Navi Mumbai said, “I have been living in a cooperative housing society since 2002 in Navi Mumbai. We have one committee member who is an alcoholic and womanizer but supported by many members being part of his lobby, he takes pride in misbehaving usually with any member of society. He causes every inconvenience and harasses members; I think this announcement is a relief to book such arrogant committee members.”
They should propose addressing major issues like leakages, and structural strength of the building. But in some societies, greater priority is given to events than buildings longevity and welfare. Residents steady maintenance money is put to misuse, said Rupal Mistry, resident of a society in Borivali.
Maria Rodrick, resident of the housing society in Shantivan Borivali said, “There are some cases which happened in our society, even many of society members have complaints against the committee because they take those limited period powers as supreme powers and dominate the helpless owners. They misuse their powers to feel powerful at the cost of residents, if they get punished at least the level of atrocities can come down.”
Rupali Shastri, a resident of Borivali, one of the housing societies said, “Singles and having no families become really the prey of Committee carnages. Even in general body meetings, the lobby has its proposers and seconders. Others hardly have any say, even if someone manages to talk to the lobby and silence them tactfully. These people are a blot of the democratic system. Let’s hope these dedicated police stations do some good. In our society, we have become catalysts because we are victims of committee atrocities and still have our individual voices which bother the lobby and their agents. So, they restrict our entry on the terrace, or they will hassle us for parking, some of the other ways they softly brutalize us.”
But but but…who will attend to Managing Committee grievances against abusive uncooperative members. Managing Committee is often used as a punching bag. Whoever wishes can punch the MC as and when he wants. Managing Committees are toothless tigers. We all know that MC can please all the members for some time , some members for all the time but never all the members for all the time. No one comes to rescue MC.
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