Mumbai Housing Society Refunds Fee Charged To Dog Owners
24 Nov 2014
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In a success story post the release of the Circular by Animal Welfare Board of India, the Maharashtra State Consumer Commission directed a co-operative housing society in Mahim to refund charges of INR 500 per month that had been charged to dog owners. In a Central Mumbai district consumer forum order released, the Commission observed that there was no ruling that stopped housing societies from levying additional charges on pet owners for use of lifts.
In 2009, two society members - Allwyn D'Souza and Eleanor D'Souza had approached the Central Mumbai District Consumer Forum seeking a direction to the housing society to not levy additional charges of INR 500 on them for the use of elevator by the pet. They had also sought a refund of the charges already collected by the society.
The district forum ordered the housing society to refund the additional charges recovered from the members and also dealt with the society’s contention of levying additional charges and observed that since there was no ruling prohibiting a housing society from passing such a resolution and dismissed the appeal filed by the housing society. The state commission also directed the society to pay a sum of INR 5000 to the complainants towards litigation costs.
Similarly, in many cities, the Resident Welfare Associations of various societies have set up their own regulations by mentioning that the same have been defined by General Body Meetings held within the society hereby letting people assume that the rules set by the RWA cannot be superseded. However, since the arrival of the
AWBI Circular, many people have gained confidence to stand up against their society with the backing of Consumer Forums and Justice courts.