The sessions court said the magistrate had correctly observed that there was prima facie case to show negligence on the part of the builder which could endanger human life and personal safety. “That nets are affixed to protect damage to life and property is clear from the photos produced. The plaster coming off is not due to wear and tear, but due to debonding in block, which is a construction-related problem,” it said.
‘Chunks of plaster fell off balconies when building was just years old’
Devdarshan CHS had moved the magistrate court in 2018 alleging that a portion of the seven-year-old construction was already on the verge of collapsing. It cited two instances from 2017, when chunks of plaster from two balconies fell. It alleged that two cars were damaged and the losses were pegged at Rs 2.15 lakh. The society further said that audit reports conducted by a reputed firm and an expert showed huge cracks, leakage and seepage that were visible even to the naked eye.
Last year, the magistrate’s court had issued process against City Estate Developers Ltd, its directors and four others. The complaint was filed by the chairman of the CHS, who had submitted that the builder had developed the residential-cumcommercial building consisting of 108 flats, and the buyers were residing in the building since 2011.
The society said the builder was required to form a society and get it registered, but had failed. It was alleged that the construction was sub-standard as the material used was of inferior quality. A complaint is also pending before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
The CHS said it feared for the safety of its residents.
The complaint was filed under sections of the Indian Penal Code sections related to endangering life or personal safety of others and common intention. The maximum sentence under the charge is imprisonment up to three months or a fine which may extend to Rs 250, or both.
The builder and the officials, however, denied the allegations and said since 2014, the building was being maintained by the residents and their committee, and hence they were responsible for maintenance. They said the complaint had been filed to harass and extract money.