In a major ruling a Meerut anti-corruption special court has ruled that RWA office bearers come under the description of ‘public servants’ when it comes to discharging their duties in financial matters in an association and any misconduct in financial matters of RWA would be treated as embezzlement of funds by such office bearers, under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
The matter that came up before the court pertains to Kanchenjunga Apartments in Kaushambi, Ghaziabad wherein a resident had alleged that society RWA office bearers members had illegally conducted elections and declared themselves as office bearers. Thereafter, the complainant alleged that the association members tried to extort Rs 1.5 lakh from him and when he refused the self-styled office bearers resorted to violence and locked his wife. The complainant then moved the civil court in Ghaziabad in year 2016 and after a stay was granted the association members further carried out their nefarious activities and showed a fraud proposal of Rs 90,471 by backdating the bill, it was alleged by the complainant.
The society has 84 flats and 12 commercial chambers and the total monthly collection amounts to Rs 2 lakh.
The court said that the housing association is registered under Societies Registration Act and is governed by UP Apartment Act 2010 under which the association has to maintain books of accounts, conduct elections and to submit a report to the appropriate authority. The money collected from residents can only be used as specified in the Act. As the office bearers have been given certain powers they are to be treated as public servants and any financial irregularity will be treated as embezzlement of funds, said the court.
The anti-corruption court directed the SHO, Indirapuram Police Station to file an FIR against the RWA office bearers and to conduct an investigation into the complainant’s allegations.
–Prasoon Pant, delhincrnews.in