DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society (DPS CGHS or DPS Housing Society), Plot No. 16, Sector 4, Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078.
Despite multiple government investigations, Sampathkumar and the members of his gang have not yet been arrested. Justice delayed is justice denied.
According to the Vigilance Manual 2017 of India’s top anti-corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), corruption is manifested in various forms such as bribery, nepotism, willful action or willful inaction to benefit someone or to deny benefit to someone known or unknown. It also states that corruption includes cases of favoritism and failure to follow laid down processes leading to unintended benefit to someone or denial of benefit to the deserving.
By Rakesh Raman
After years of corruption and illegal activities at DPS CGHS, this upmarket housing society of Delhi has come under the scanner of India’s top law-enforcement agencies including the national anti-corruption organization the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC).
At present, the secretary of DPS CGHS M.N. Sampathkumar – who claims to be a former employee of India’s domestic airline Air India (AI) – is leading a gang of about 30 members who are allegedly involved in all sorts of criminal activities.
These activities include financial fraud, bribery, extortion, fraudulent tendering for building construction, labour rights violations, arbitrary appointment of vendors, illegal parking racket, criminal intimidation, and so on.
In an extreme criminal case of illegal car parking, the gang led by Sampathkumar has even put the lives of hundreds of residents to fire risk.
In order to inform about the involvement of Sampathkumar in these heinous acts, I have been communicating with various government departments including his parent organization Air India.
But Sampathkumar claims blatantly that no action can be taken against him. In a letter dated January 1, 2018 that Sampathkumar sent to the office of RCS (Registrar Cooperative Societies, which is investigating the financial and other irregularities at DPS CGHS), Sampathkumar has revealed that the Chairman of Air India has ignored the complaint against him – instead of holding an inquiry into his corrupt practices. The RCS office sent me these details through its letter dated January 31, 2018.
However, on April 17, 2018, I sent an email again to Jayant Sinha (Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Govt. of India) who is supposed to weed out corruption from Air India. I sent the copy of the email to other top officials of Air India seeking their official response on my complaint against Sampathkumar. They did not respond.
I fail to understand why Air India wants to protect a man who is facing numerous corruption inquiries. It is the inaction and lethargy of such government officials that today India is counted among the world’s most corrupt countries.
As corruption has been increasing exponentially in India, the global anti-corruption organization Transparency International has lowered India’s rank from last year’s position of 79 to 81 this year.
The increasing corruption is also hampering country’s growth on all social and economic fronts and India continues to be a poor, underdeveloped country.
While I had sent the copy of the same email dated April 17, 2018 to the Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC), the office of CVC informed me on April 27, 2018 that the case of the Ministry of Civil Aviation (regarding Sampathkumar) is being processed.
It is pertinent to mention here that the managing committee (MC) members of the DPS Housing Society are already facing a corruption inquiry directed by the CVC while I had sent the corruption data and details to the CVC office. The Directorate of Vigilance of Delhi Government – under CVC’s direction – ordered the inquiry through the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) against the MC of the Society.
As the inquiry was stopped without giving any reason, it is believed that the MC members of DPS CGHS influenced the RCS officials to get the inquiry scuttled unscrupulously.
CVC Inquiry Letter References:
RCS: F.47/Coop./1350/GH/SW/2011/7051 dated 4.5.2011
Directorate of Vigilance: F.27/2/2011/DOV/1080 dated 15.2.2011 forwarded by CVC
CVC: O.M. No. 1716/10/8/104428 dated 01.10.2010 and O.M. No. 1716/10/8/117161 dated 24.01.2011
Corruption and Fraud at DPS CGHS
Although the current MC has admitted that financial frauds have been happening in the DPS Housing Society, it has blamed the old MC members for the misappropriation of funds and other felonies. But the current MC members are also responsible for huge corruption and illegal activities.
Currently, the DPS CGHS managing committee (MC) members (Neeraj Kumar Vaish, R. Balasubramanian, M.N. Sampathkumar, Ms. Leela Swami, Sandeep Taneja, Manguram Tyagi, Ms. Naseem Afshaque) are facing multiple government-instituted investigations.
As a resident, journalist, and social activist, I have approached different government departments and top law-enforcement agencies during the past about 10 years, urging them to investigate this extreme case of lawlessness at DPS CGHS MC.
Responding positively to my representations, departments such as India’s top anti-corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Directorate of Vigilance, Office of the Labour Commissioner, Home (Police) Department, Law Department, and the Labour Ministry of Delhi Government have intervened to catch and punish the culprits at DPS Housing Society.
In order to thwart my anti-corruption efforts, during the past couple of years the DPS Housing Society managing committee (MC) members have sent multiple threats to me. These include false police complaints, threats of physical harm to me, expulsion notices, legal notices, and slanderous attacks on my social as well as professional status.
Despite threats, I continued my anti-corruption efforts. In September 2017, I sent a detailed representation to Mr. J.B. Singh, Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) and his predecessor Mr. Shurbir Singh. I sent the same representation to CVC and explained “Corruption and Lawlessness” at DPS CGHS by giving specific document references and dates.
With its letter dated January 25, 2018, the RCS office has ordered an inquiry under Section 61 of the DCS Act, 2003 to investigate the “financial and other irregularities” at DPS CGHS. However, the accused MC members are trying to obstruct the inquiry by hook or by crook.
In its letter dated April 12, 2018 (Subject: Chronic Corruption Case of DPS CGHS), the RCS office informed me that it has already instituted an inspection under Section 61 of DCS Act, 2003 to know the extent of financial and other irregularities at DPS CGHS. However, according to the RCS office, the MC of DPS CGHS has filed an appeal under Section 115 (1) of DCS Act, 2003.
This is a strange appeal which cannot hold water because the MC of DPS CGHS is in fact refusing to show its records to the competent law-enforcement agency such as the RCS office, which had ordered the inquiry in January 2018 after carefully examining the case.
Although the DPS CGHS MC had filed its response to the inquiry notice issued by the RCS office, it was so vague and misleading that the RCS office decided to go ahead with the inquiry. “During the hearing, the Society representative stated that they do not have any objection for inspection under Section 61 of DCS Act, 2003,” the RCS office has stated in its order dated January 25, 2018. The DPS CGHS MC representative who agreed for RCS inspection was presumably the Air India man Sampathkumar.
Obstruction of Justice with Criminal Intent
But suddenly the MC of DPS CGHS started obstructing the RCS inquiry by giving references of a fraudulently held General Body Meeting (GBM) dated February 18, 2018. The holding of GBMs is an utter fraud at DPS CGHS as most members who support the illegal decisions of the MC are bribed one way or another by the MC members. The members who thus support the MC are involved in abetment to crime which is also a serious offence.
Earlier in January 2018, in order to mislead the investigating authorities and avoid the government inquiries, the accused DPS CGHS MC members had fraudulently constituted a sub-committee of some ordinary residents to investigate a “case of fraud” involving Rs. 55 lakh.
The MC letter stated that the General Body approved the suggestion of a resident Dilip Rozekar, and Vipul Khullar, Ravinder Sharma, and Madhukar Akhilesh volunteered to be the part of this sub-committee. The government investigation must also interrogate these four members who were involved in the formation of this fraudulent sub-committee which was formed to obstruct the government inquiry.
With this decision, the MC admitted that corruption of at least Rs. 55 lakh has happened at DPS CGHS, although the total amount of corruption including under the current MC runs into crores of rupees.
The DPS CGHS MC also has admitted in a letter dated February 28, 2018 sent to RCS office that a former DPS CGHS President M.M. Shukla (who had resigned under mysterious circumstances before completing the term) has knowledge of corruption in the Society as he has been circulating documents related to misappropriation of Society funds. Now, the obvious question is that if corruption is happening so openly in DPS CGHS, why are the culprits not being caught and punished?
Surprisingly (as stated in their letter dated January 14, 2018) the accused MC members – who are facing corruption charges – are again coercing each flat owner to pay them Rs. 2 lakh as the first instalment for an illegal construction project worth crores of rupees for which they say they have paid a building permit fee of Rs. 1.41 lakh to DDA.
While the illegal construction project is being pursued with the help of a fraudulently appointed architect firm, the DPS CGHS MC members have indicated that they will bribe the DDA officials and others to get approvals by using “liasioning fee” (another name for bribe) paid by some law-breaking members / residents in the Society.
One fails to understand why the government is allowing the accused MC members to collect more public money when they are facing corruption inquiries. These MC members must immediately be dismissed by the RCS office.
In the absence of a firm government action, the accused MC members – with the help of a group of rogue residents – are leaving no stone unturned to oppose the investigations ordered by the government.
Now the MC of DPS CGHS has filed an appeal under Section 115 (1) of DCS Act, 2003 to stop the RCS inquiry while it has been controlling public money worth crores of rupees.
Obviously, by obstructing the inquiry, the accused MC members want to hide their corrupt deals which include misappropriation of public funds and other frauds.
As the DPS CGHS MC members have been trying to deceive the civil authorities, I was informed in March 2018 that the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police has also started investigating the case.
The attempt by the accused MC members to stop the RCS inquiry manifests that they want to hide something that can incriminate them. While the MC members and other rogue members, who are acting as accomplices in crime, are trying to block the RCS inquiry, it is a case of obstruction of justice for which the MC members and their supporters must be prosecuted.
As they are refusing to reveal the details of financial misappropriation, the RCS office must also recommend for the judicial custody of the MC members of DPS CGHS and others who are supporting them.
While the RCS office of Delhi Government is going to start the inquiry to unearth the financial and other irregularities in DPS CGHS, it is imperative for the RCS office to dismiss the MC of the Society to hold the inquiry in a fair, unencumbered manner.
- To get an immediate stay / restraining order against the present DPS Housing Society managing committee (MC), prohibiting it from taking any decision and carrying out any work in the Society.
- To get the present managing committee (MC) dismissed through the office of Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government.
- To get a government administrator appointed through RCS office for investigating the past and ongoing corrupt practices by the successive MCs of the Society. This should also include a Special Audit of Society’s accounts right from the inception of the Society.
- As they are refusing to reveal the details of financial misappropriation, the RCS office must recommend for the judicial custody of the MC members of DPS CGHS and others who are supporting them.
- To get the prosecution started and charges framed against the guilty MC members (past and present) and their internal and external accomplices under Prevention of Corruption Act, Consumer Protection Act, Indian Penal Code (IPC), the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, and other legislations which are aimed to reduce corruption and increase transparency and accountability.
- To get the criminal MC members (past and present) and their supporters expelled from the Society as they pose a serious threat to the cooperative living and peace in the Society.
- To investigate if there are cases of “assets disproportionate” to their known sources of income since the present and past MC members have been controlling public money worth crores of rupees. The investigation must also extend to the close relatives and / or inheritors of the present and past MC members.
- To get the list of members who have recently paid Rs. 2 lakh or more to MC for the illegal FAR construction / repair project so that their money could be forfeited and deposited in Society funds. These members should also be treated as co-conspirators who must face charges of abetment to crime.
- To get the investigation extended to other gang members at DPS Housing Society. Their names and flat numbers are given in the attached document. The police and law-enforcement agencies must question their roles in the racket being run by the successive MCs of DPS CGHS.
- To get an inquiry instituted against the government officials who have failed to take any action in the DPS Housing Society case despite repeated complaints from the suffering residents / members and multiple directions from the higher authorities.
- To get an inquiry instituted against the government officials from departments such as DDA and RCS who help the MC of DPS CGHS, as it is a case of complicity or connivance in crime.
Note: If it is beyond the powers of the RCS office to frame certain charges against the present and past MC members, their relatives, and / or others involved in the crimes, the RCS office should send these cases with its observations to police and other competent law-enforcement agencies.
The RCS office should also put this entire DPS CGHS case (including documents, details, and future proceedings) on its website so that other housing societies could learn from this horrific case.
By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society.
I am a government’s National award-winning journalist and social activist. Besides working at senior editorial positions with India’s leading media companies, I had been writing an edit-page column for The Financial Express, a business newspaper of the Indian Express group.
Nowadays, for the past about 7 years, I have been running my own global news services on different subjects. I also have formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi. And I run a free Education and Career Counselling Center for deserving children at a poor J.J. Colony in Dwarka under my NGO – RMN Foundation.
I am also running an exclusive community-driven online editorial section under the banner “Clean House” to help the suffering residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice particularly in group housing societies where millions of people live.
I also have created a comprehensive research report “Dark Streets: Research Report on Corruption in Delhi’s Housing Societies” which informs about the increasing corruption in group housing societies and government’s failure to control the corrupt MC members.
Moreover, I manage an online information service to educate the Indian voters for the upcoming Lok Sabha election scheduled to happen in 2019.
Earlier, I had been associated with the United Nations (UN) through United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) as a digital media expert to help businesses use technology for brand marketing and business development.
Disclosure: I have written this report not only as a journalist, but also as a victim of the fraud and intimidation happening at DPS Housing Society. I am facing repeated threats from the MC members and their supporters because I have been raising my voice against corruption, lawlessness, environmental damage, and human rights violations.