Tit-for-Tat! Apt Owners Assn Clarifies ‘True Facts’ on ‘False Issues’ alleged by a Apt Owner Couple

Tit-for-Tat! Apt Owners Assn Clarifies ‘True Facts’ on ‘False Issues’ alleged by an Apt Owner Couple

  • Tit-for-Tat! Mauriksha Park Apartment Owners Association clarifies the ‘True Facts’ on ‘False Issues’ alleged against the Association by an elderly apartment owner couple, Shantaram Prabhu (57), and his wife Veena Shantaram Prabhu

Mangaluru: Recalling the exclusive story published in a Daily a couple of days ago, where it stated, “It has been endless humiliation and candle-light dinners since 15 days for this middle-aged couple waging a lonely battle against the Maurishka Park Apartment Owners’ Association. The couple, Shantaram Prabhu (57), and his wife Veena Shantaram have been facing harrowing experiences after the power supply to their apartment was disconnected by the Association on October 6, for not paying Rs 26,650 (maintenance fee and sinking fund) in advance. Without power (the backup generator facility was also disconnected), the couple have been forced to buy drinking water, food and give clothes to the laundry.

“My diabetic husband’s health has worsened and he once slipped and fell due to poor visibility inside the house. He is now forced to keep insulin vials in the neighbour’s refrigerator and while I am forced to charge cell phones in the flats of neighbours, who are willing to face the wrath of the Association,’’ informs Veena. The couple’s appeals on restoring power supply made to Mescom (Mangalore Electricity Supply Company) and Commissioner of Police yielded no response so far. While Mescom clarified that they had little control over sub-meters installed in the buildings, the Kadri police and Assistant Commissioner of Police (Central) dismissed the woman’s complaint and declared that it was a civil matter”.

“While Veena’s relative Damodar Shenoy had said that the humiliations began when the couple, into freelance accounting, felt the steep maintenance fee (Rs 1.5 per sq ft) and sinking fund of Rs 10,000 (to be collected every six months in advance) was unjustified. “Each apartment owner, additionally, had paid Rs one lakh to the Society (there are 360 flats), Rs 55,000 for electricity and about Rs 17,000 for water connection. Yet no Society was formed. The money, about Rs 3.6 crore, collected from owners has not been utilized yet. “The Association’s pending water bill is around Rs 3.6 lakh. In addition, residents have to pay for gymnasium and other facilities which were built in the area reserved for parking,’’ said Shenoy.

Apartment owners said that the Association had turned a blind eye to complaints against the beauty parlour, PG hostel and cleaning of garbage trucks on the apartment premises. But they had gone ahead and disconnected the power supply. Association president Dayanand Rai said the Deed of Declaration (DoD) of the Maurishka Park Apartment Owners Association was registered under the Karnataka Apartments Ownership Act (KAOA). “The Act in Karnataka is a special enactment and even Supreme Court orders are not binding on it. Local courts also had directed defaulters to pay first, before dismissing their cases. Under the Act, we have powers and so, disconnected electricity. When a judge, income tax commissioner and all others in the apartment had paid the building maintenance fee, is this woman above them?’’ he said. The High Court of Chhattisgarh in its order (N R Sharma versus Chhattisgarh State Power Distribution Company Limited) delivered in January this year had declared that access to electricity is a human right and included in the right to life under Article 21 of the constitution of India.

Tit-for-Tat, in response to the news about the statements given by the elderly couple, Shantharam and Veena Prabhu, that was published in various print and electronic media- and with an intention to clarify on the statements made by the Prabhu’s, Mauriksha Park Apartment Owners Association held a press meet at Mangaluru Press Club on Friday, 26 October 2018, at 10:45 am. Addressing the media persons, Dayanand Rai-President of the association said, “Recently print and electronic media have published some News/statements against the disconnection of electricity supply by the Maurishka Park Apartment Owners Association on the false complaint made by the members of the aforesaid Association namely Mr. Shantharam Prabhu and his wife Mrs. Veena Shantharam Prabhu by suppressing certain true facts and making some false allegations against the Association with the malafide intention to tarnishing the image of the Association”.

“We, the duly elected office bearers of Maurishka Park Apartment Owners Association would like to bring and clarify the true facts on the false issues raised by the aforesaid couple as follows-

– The state of affairs of Maurishka Park Building was in a miserable condition for the last 4 years on account of series of irregularity, default, breach of contract committed by the Builder/Developers, M/S. R.K Developers. Essential installations such as Lifts, Generators, Safety and security were totally ignored and not properly maintained by the builder. All attempts made to address these issues with the builder failed on account of his total non-co operation.

– Due to the indifferent attitude of the builder towards the maintenance of the condominium for the last 4 years, the quality of living condition has been deteriorating and flat owners were left with no option but to take over maintenance of the complex from the Builder. Election of Board of Managers of the Association and election of Office Bearers was held through a legal and transparent manner under the provisions of law and as per Deed of Declaration (DOD) submitted to the provisions of the Karnataka Apartment Ownership Act 1972 and the same is confirmed by each member of the association in their respective sale deed at the time of execution and Registration of the sale deed [ purchasing the flat]

– The management of the building was handed over to the association by the builder in the month of April 2018 and since then the association is managing the entire affairs of the condominium.

– As per the provisions of Deed of Declaration, and in the resolution passed in the General Body meeting, it is decided to collect maintenance charges for managing the affairs of the condominium. The monthly expenses required to maintain the entire property with all the facility currently is in the range of Rs 9 to 10 Lakhs mainly it included maintenance of the lift/repairs, Generator diesel and maintenance, water bill, security and housekeeping, staff salary, electricity for lifts, pumps and all other common amenities which will have to be contributed by all the 360 flat owners /members. It is the liability and responsibility of the Association to pay the entire electricity bill aggregating approximately. 7 Lakhs per month of the three blocks including the 360 flats since it’s an HT connection by MESCOM under one single meter in the name of the flat owners Association.

– As the builder has not transferred the initial corpus fund of Rs. 3.60 crores collected from members towards the maintenance of the complex, legal proceedings are initiated against the builder for recovery of the same in addition to other relief in the national Consumer Forum New Delhi.

– Out of 360 members of the Association, 348 members have already paid maintenance charges with an exception of 11 owners who are not in contact with the Association and some of them are yet to register their sale deed and they are also not residing in the local area. It is unfortunate that out of 360 flats owners, only one flat owner namely Shantharam Prabhu and his wife Mrs. Veena Santharam Prabhu have refused to pay the maintenance charges which are legally due and payable by them to the Association. It is very pertinent to note that this member (Veena) from the beginning itself was making a series of attempts to sabotage/not to cooperate in the process of formation of the Association.

They have also been refusing to recognize the legally formed Association and was (Veena) advocating through WhatsApp messages, Facebook, E-mail, notice that she will not pay any maintenance charges to the Association. In fact, she has intentionally refused to receive the notice of the General Body Meeting sent through Registered post to her residential address, in addition to that she has been instigating others Apartment owners asking them not to pay the maintenance charges though she did not succeed in her said attempt.

– From the above-narrated facts, it is very clear that she has exhibited utter disregard to the provisions of law / democratic process of formation of the association. She has not paid the maintenance charges in respect of her Apartment since April 2018. After following due process required as per the provision of Deed of Declaration / Legal process and giving enough opportunity, power supply was disconnected to the aforesaid flat. The action of the Association is not illegal and according to the provisions of the Deed of Declaration of the Association. The said action is also upheld by the recent ruling of the Honorable High court of Karnataka [MFA No 9656-2015] and City district Judge Civil court Bangalore.

– The accounts of the Association are being audited by the Qualified Chartered Accountant firm as required by the law. As per the published message, it is claimed that Association has refused to show the accounts to this member. We would like to clarify that she has never approached the Association for the same and the Association has never refused any such document to any of the members for their scrutiny and information and it is duly published by the Association through E-mail and WhatsApp.

– The said member has approached MESCOM and Police Department for restoring the power supply but both the offices have informed that this being a civil case needs to be taken up in the court of law. We would like to clarify here that all the allegations/complaints made by this member as regards disconnection of water etc. are far from the truth and are totally baseless. In fact, even though the Association has the power to disconnect water supply, but on the Humanitarian ground, we have not disconnected the same.

– Having failed to get the support from government authorities, she has started taking the issue to the print and electronic media out of desperation to put pressure on the Association to reconnect the power supply. As every member is enjoying all the common facilities like lift, generator, lighting, water supply etc., it is the duty of each and every member to share of maintenance charges instead of enjoying these facilities free at the cost of others.

– As the aforesaid members/owners complainants have not paid the maintenance charges, Association has reserved their right to disconnect the water supply also as per the provisions of Deed of declaration. In this regard, we have also issued legal notice dated 15.10.2018 through our advocate Sri O.T Bhat, Mangaluru. The Association or its any member has not given any threats to the neighbours of the complainants for helping the complainants nor are they preventing their neighbors from storing their medicine in their refrigerators. All the allegations made by the aforesaid members are without any bonafide grounds and with a malafide intention to get sympathy from the general public and to avoid paying the maintenance to the Association.

Dayanand Rai also said, “The association would like to reiterate that it will take all the required steps under provisions of the law to protect the common interest of all the 360 flat owners to ensure peaceful and harmonious living in the complex. Other Association members present during the press meet were- Ms Amitha Prabhu- Vice President; Dr Appanna Dinesh -Jt Secretary; D S Hegde- Secretary; and Amrith Kumar Shetty- Jt Treasurer.

It is also learnt that the Karnataka State Human Rights Commission (KSHRC) has registered a case against Mauriksha Park Apartment Owners’ Association for disconnecting power supply to the apartment of Shantharam and Veena Prabhu. The commission has registered a case (4220/CR/2018) based on the complaint from Bengaluru-based Human Rights Defenders’ Forum. “Disconnecting power supply is a serious human rights violation as the right to electricity is enshrined under the Article 21 of Constitution of India” had said Forum Gen Secretary Adarsh G K in his complaint to the KSHRC.

The Human Rights Activists urged KSHRC to direct Mangaluru Commissioner of Police on restoring the power to the couple’s apartment. The complaint also urged KSHRC to pass directions on registering a criminal case against the association president and conduct an inquiry into the entire episode to ensure that such serious human right violations are not repeated in future.

Few inputs from Deccan Herald (Mangaluru Edition)

Note: The contents incorporated in the above report are solely the statements made by the Mauriksha Park Apartment Owners’ Association – and are NOT those of the Author/Team Mangalorean and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Mangalorean.com and Mangalorean.com does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

3 Comments

  1. Guys, how about working out a solution. You don’t want to make your apartment toxic. If you have too much bad publicity your may not be able to sell your apartments.

  2. This is called unbiased journalism. Instead of glorifying the view of one party who would invariably exaggerate the events it is always good to present the other side of the story. And your article has just done that. The readers discretion is respected.

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