Madras High Court asks couple to pay Rs 50,000 compensation to flat owner

Chennai: In a rare order, a city court has directed a couple to pay compensation of Rs 50,000 for damaging the rest room of a flat situated beneath their flat.

The V Assistant City Civil Court, Chennai, also directed them to repair the damaged toilet in two months.

In the petition, Glenn Fraser and Marion Fraser, who own a flat in Parsn Nagar, submitted that they were residing the place from 1991. All the 42 flats had only one bathroom-cum-toilet each, which were constructed one above another in the apartment.

Venkata Ramamurthy and Vijayalakshmi were residing in a flat above the Frasers. They had purchased the flat and renovated it. When Ramamurthy used the toilet, the sewer water started leaking from the broken closet and ran down to the wall of the Frasers’ bathroom. It affected electrical plug points in bathroom and corridor in their flat.

“We faced mental agony as foul smell emanated from flat. Despite carrying out continuous patch work and repairing the ceiling, the problem continued,” Glenn Fraser said.

The matter was brought to the knowledge of Venkata Ramamurthy several times requesting him to solve the problem and repair their toilet flooring.  A plumber entrusted by “Parsn Nagar ‘G’ Block Residents’ Welfare Association” also stated that the leakage was due to damaged bathroom flooring/toilet closet in Venkata Ramamurthy’s flat and it must be repaired by them. Association also made request to them several times repair their toilet and to stop the leakage of sewer water. They never took steps to stop the leakage.

Denying the allegation, Venkata Ramamurthy replied that the building was nearly 25 years old and there seems to be wear and tear in the building. “It was a frivolous complaint. We are no way liable to pay neither damages nor any costs,” he said.

The V Assistant Judge Dr R. Sathya said on perusing documentary and oral evidence the petitioner proved the case and hence they are entitled for a compensation of `50,000 for causing mental agony. The judge also directed them to repair the toilet in two months.

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