To pee or not to pee,
that is the question
By Sharmeen Hakim Indorewala
30 June 2015
Vegetable seller goes to court saying he has right to use housing
society's toilet; no way, says building secretary.
A fruit and vegetable vendor has moved court after the housing society
he works in refused him access to the toilet. Nivruti S Jadhav, the
vendor, operates out of a cubbyhole adjoining Dilkosh Condominium on
Jadhav claims that the stall has been in his family for over 55 years.
and for as long as he can remember, neither he nor his employees have
ever been stopped from using the washroom located on the 'ground floor'
and meant for drivers, watchmen and other support staff working in the
"My forefathers have been running this shop and I myself have been here
since the time I was born. We have been using the washroom peacefully
but for the past year it has almost become impossible after a new
secretary was sworn in. Also there is no public toilet around, so what
do we do?" asked Jadhav.
To bolster his case - and stake claim over the toilet rights -- Jadhav
has cited a letter from BEST that says his shop's electricity meter is
installed inside the society alongside the society meter. There are
five meters belonging to the society and the sixth one is Jadhav's.
"Why would his meter be in their premise if as they (the society)
claim, the shop isn't?" asked Sathish Kekane, Jadhav's lawyer.
The society, on the other hand, maintains that Jadhav's stall is not
inside the condominium but on the footpath outside it. It said that the
stall was allowed to be set up on the express condition that it would
not cause inconvenience to people living inside the building. "They
have no right to use the toilet or bathroom in the building which is
meant for the members/occupants of condominium or their servants etc.,"
said Mohit Jadhav, the society's lawyer.
But Jadhav, the vegetable vendor, is refusing to take it lying down.
"We have cited one of the oldest society members as a witness in our
case. The current secretary's father had absolutely no problem with us
using the washroom, the society has never even objected to our shop
since it is legal. But the new management that came last year has
created hell for us." Jadhav said.
Jadhav's lawyer claimed that Jadhav secured an electricity connection
way back in 1966 and also has got shop licence and a ration card at the
address of the premises and thus has the right to use the toilet in the
building. He also claimed that Jadhav and his family members have had
to suffer great hardship as the "plaintiff and his family members are
required to travel long distance to go to toilet or to take bath".
As of now the court has refused to grant interim relief to Jadhav
saying that there is no specific document saying that they have the
right to use the toilet or the bathroom. "The plaintiff says he was
using that facility but that can be taken as permissive user and such
user can be stopped at any time by the person who had permitted it.
Thus, no prima facie case is made out to show that plaintiff has right
to use the toilet or bathroom in the building of the defendants. It is
not relevant whether he is required to travel long distance to go for
toilet from his shop. Balance of convenience or hardship is also
irrelevant in this case," Justice SD Darne said.
Despite repeated attempts, society secretary Nitin Netraprakash could
not be reached.