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Friday, December 03, 2021

RWA members not responsible for falling tiles which injured boy: Court

The complainant then approached an Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court to summon the RWA office bearers as accused in this case.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: October 21, 2021 9:57:17 am
During the investigation, it was found that poor quality material was used by the builder in affixing the tiles.

A Delhi court has stated that it cannot place personal responsibility on resident welfare association (RWA) members of a private housing society following an incident where a minor sustained injuries after wall tiles fell on him inside an apartment in Southwest Delhi’s Dwarka in 2014.

Principal and Sessions Judge Narottam Kaushal made the observation while dismissing a revision petition filed by the minor’s father, Vikas Anand, who had sought the court’s direction to summon the RWA office bearers as accused.

During the investigation, the incident was attributed to poor quality of material used by the builder in affixing the tiles. The president and secretary of the RWA, who are the respondents, were also initially reported to be responsible as they were entrusted with the role of maintenance of the building. They were, however, not summoned after police said that there was no evidence against them. The complainant then approached an Additional Chief

Metropolitan Magistrate court to summon the RWA office bearers as accused, which was rejected, following which Anand filed the revision petition challenging the order.

The court said that the “office bearers of the RWA who perform voluntary work for the daily upkeep and maintenance for any residential area are representatives of the residents themselves”.

“Personal responsibility of office bearers or the elected members of the RWA cannot be placed, unless there is material on record to indicate that they were directly responsible for the occurrence,” the court stated.

“It is also not the case of petitioner/complainant that any previous similar incident had been brought to the knowledge of the RWA office bearers and they had not taken up the matter. Further, this court is of the opinion that the role of office bearers of the RWA shall be limited to appointing an agency to monitor the repairs if required.

It has also come on record that the private respondents were not members of the RWA when the construction was carried out or that they had any role in taking a decision of affixing tiles on the walls,” the court said.

Advocate Arvind Gupta, counsel for the petitioner, said that “the RWA had been charging maintenance charges from the residents. Therefore, private respondents, who were responsible for the maintenance, committed criminal negligence by not maintaining it properly.”

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