As the administrative systems in Delhi have completely collapsed, millions of residents are victims of frauds being committed by the corrupt managing committee (MC) members of different cooperative group housing societies.
This case is of Bhagwati Cooperative Group Housing Society (Bhagwati CGHS) Plot No. 1A, Sector 22, Dwarka, New Delhi – 110078 where the members are experiencing extreme agony because of the bureaucratic corruption and carelessness.
By Rakesh Raman
Highlights of the Case
- Members of Bhagwati CGHS complain that they are victims of corruption and fraud which is being committed by the Society MC members in connivance with the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government and Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
- The members lament that all their complaints to the RCS and DDA have been falling on deaf ears and their litany of woes is increasing.
- The RCS office had ordered a probe into the financial and other irregularities at Bhagwati CGHS, but did not start and complete the investigation.
- The accused contractor and other abettors – in connivance with the RCS and DDA – are blatantly breaking the laws to loot and harass the members.
- The RCS office – with J.B. Singh (IAS) as the head of the department – is fully responsible for the ongoing crime and corruption at Bhagwati CGHS and many other housing societies of Delhi.
- As the RCS office has become a sanctuary for the corrupt and corruption, the Directorate of Vigilance (DOV) – which is the top Delhi Government department to deal with corruption cases – has planned to start an inquiry against RCS J.B. Singh, IAS and other officials of RCS office in the corruption case of DPS CGHS, Sector 4, Dwarka, New Delhi.
- As a journalist and social activist, I had complained about the Bhagwati CGHS case to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police. I have been informed that a DCP / EOW is investigating the case.
- Similarly, I had approached the Directorate of Vigilance (DOV) to get relief for the harmed Bhagwati CGHS members. The DOV informed me it has forwarded my complaint to RCS office to take their comments. The response of RCS office is given below.
- Moreover, as I had complained, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has also directed the Vigilance department of DDA to investigate the cases of corruption in floor area ratio (FAR) approvals that DDA officials are giving unscrupulously. DDA has not informed me about the progress of the inquiry.
- Since DDA is not responsive, it is expected that a corruption inquiry will soon be initiated against DDA Vice Chairman Udai Pratap Singh who has completely failed to stop corruption at DDA.
Case: The Bhagwati Co-operative Group Housing Society (Bhagwati CGHS) Limited Registration No. (1112 GH) Plot No. 1A, Sector 22, Dwarka, New Delhi – 110078.
The shocking case of financial fraud and other irregularities at Bhagwati CGHS must not come as a surprise to those who are familiar with the corrupt practices of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) office of Delhi Government and Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
While both these departments have repeatedly failed to discharge their responsibilities honestly in a number of corruption cases in different housing societies, they have fallen to a new level of delinquency in the case of Bhagwati CGHS.
The suffering members of Bhagwati CGHS allege that the contractor M/s Best Buildwell Pvt. Ltd. is blatantly committing fraud in connivance with the executive members (or management committee members) of the Society, and their complaints to the DDA and RCS office are not being heard.
Among other irregularities, the members allege that the construction of flats at the Society began even before the approval of building plan / map by the DDA. However, the corrupt DDA officials have allowed construction to happen. “It is unauthorised construction,” allege the Bhagwati CGHS members.
In a letter dated June 4, 2018 written to Vice Chairman DDA, the members explained their case and said that the DDA officials are continuing with their corrupt practices. They requested to get the illegal construction stopped at Bhagwati CGHS.
According to Bhagwati CGHS members, the map from DDA was approved on July 17, 2015 vide building Plan No.: F23(17)2000/BLDG/14 whereas the construction of flats had started in the year 2012.
They add that the revised maps were submitted by the Society on March 22, 2017. Although these maps have still not been approved by DDA, the construction was started as per the revised map in the year 2015.
The fraud does not stop here. Now the Society is giving misleading advertisements to rope in new members with the aim to fleece them while the existing members are being expelled deceptively by influencing the RCS office.
Bhagwati CGHS members reveal that Society’s advertisements in newspapers claim that the covered area of 5-bedroom flat is 2910 sq. ft. while the total area is 2330 sq. ft. and the net area is only 1425 sq. ft. as per the maps submitted for approval in DDA.
Similarly, the members complain that in the minutes of the General Body Meeting (GBM) the covered area of 4-bedroom flat is shown as 2204 sq. ft. while in the DDA-approved map the total area is only 1550 sq. ft. and net area is 1045 sq. ft.
“The Society is making fool of innocent people. DDA is not responding to our complaints and out RTI queries are not being replied properly by DDA,” the Bhagwati CGHS members told RMN News Service, which runs “Clean House” online social service to help the suffering residents of Delhi.
In a letter dated July 17, 2018 written to Secretary (Housing and Urban Affairs) with a copy to DDA Vice Chairman Udai Pratap Singh, the members have explained the irregularities committed by DDA officials by allowing illegal construction at Bhagwati CGHS.
The aggrieved members complain in their letter that with an RTI application they had requested for the approved copy of the plans for flats under which construction has been undertaken, but strangely DDA officials said this information is personal and can not be supplied without the consent of the President of Society. In a way, the dishonest DDA officials are saying that they want to take thieves’ permission before catching them.
“It appears that DDA officials are colluding with the President of the Society, the architect and contractor to allow illegal construction,” the members contend.
The corrupt DDA officials have gone so berserk that they have made a mockery of even the RTI (Right to Information) which is an Act of the Parliament of India. Under this Act, any citizen of India can seek information from a government department which is required to reply within 30 days.
In another RTI application, I had asked for the list of those occupied cooperative group housing societies for which FAR (floor area ratio) extension proposals have been received, approved, and rejected by the DDA during the years 2016 and 2017.
DDA informed me after many months through a letter dated May 18, 2018 that it does not have any such list in its record. How can it be possible that DDA has not kept the record of proposals that have been submitted to it? It shows the crude and dishonest way in which DDA works. FAR construction in occupied housing societies is a big racket supported by DDA. Unfortunately, DDA is not responding to my repeated complaints.
As all this rampant fraud is happening right under the nose of DDA Vice Chairman Udai Pratap Singh, the possibility of his involvement in crime and corruption cannot be ruled out.
Research Report on Corruption in India
I have compiled and released a new research report that reveals various aspects of corruption in India with a focus on housing societies. You can click the following link to download the report and support me in the effort to weed out corruption from our country.
Inspection Blocked by RCS Office
The Bhagwati CGHS members complain that instead of helping the members whose money has been looted by the contractor and other executive members, the RCS office – which is working hand in glove with the accused contractor – has wrongfully expelled dozens of members from the Society.
“Their offences include cheating, fraud, criminal misappropriation of funds, criminal breach of trust, and criminal conspiracy against the members of the Society in order to usurp their hard-earned money, thereby causing wrongful loss to the members and wrongful gain to themselves,” the suffering members complain.
They add that the RCS office with its office order No. F. 47/1112/GH/E/2013-14/335-340 dated 15.05.2015 which is signed by Addl. RCS Mr. Raj Kumar had ordered an inspection at Bhagwati CGHS.
The said order sought an inspection into the constitution, working and financial condition of the Bhagwati CGHS Ltd. on the following issues:
- Whether the appointment / award of contract to the contractor and architect of the Society, is as per law?
- Whether the work awarded to the contractor and architect is based on reasonable rates?
However, as the RCS office usually does, it failed to start and complete the inspection, and corruption has gone unchecked at the Society.
It has been repeatedly observed that RCS office – which is among the most corrupt departments of Delhi Government – orders inquiries into the corrupt practices of a housing society and then suddenly stops pursuing them. These are all ‘eyewash’ inquiries that RCS office orders to falsely satisfy the complainants.
Most believe that the RCS officials from bottom to top are extremely corrupt and they take bribes from builders and management committee (MC) members to scuttle the inquiries ordered by the RCS office itself.
In some cases, the RCS office has worked so unscrupulously that it has stopped its inquiries directed by India’s top anti-corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and Directorate of Vigilance of Delhi Government.
Most would know that the RCS office has a long history of corruption and reportedly many of its officers have been caught even by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in corruption cases. You can read about Case 1 and also Case 2 and a recent case that is being investigated.
The ongoing corruption at DDA and RCS offices indicates that India has already become a politically unstable banana republic with rampant lawlessness, corruption, and exploitation of the ordinary citizens.
Bureaucratic and political corruption has become pain in the neck for commoners in India. A new “Freedom in the World 2017” report – released by Freedom House, a Washington-based independent watchdog organization – highlights rampant political and bureaucratic corruption in India. It reveals that corruption has a negative effect on government efficiency and economic performance.
“Though politicians and civil servants at all levels are regularly caught accepting bribes or engaging in other corrupt behavior, a great deal of corruption goes unnoticed and unpunished,” the report said in its findings.
Similarly, global anti-corruption organization Transparency International has lowered India’s rank from last year’s position of 79 to 81 this year. According to the Transparency data, India with a poor score of 40 is more corrupt than countries such as China, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Mauritius.
If the situation is not controlled immediately, it is expected that soon international sanctions will be imposed on India because of government’s failure to stop increasing crime and corruption.
Corruption at RCS Office
The members of Bhagwati CGHS have experienced this corruption at RCS office which has decided to support the builder and MC members who are facing allegations of financial fraud and other felonies.
The suffering members allege that the financial and other irregularities have increased manifold now and the contractor M/s Best Buildwell Pvt. Ltd. with the help of a few accomplices has influenced the RCS office dishonestly to get some members expelled from the Society and get the RCS-ordered inspection stopped.
In their letter dated 13.04.2018, the aggrieved members of Bhagwati CGHS urged the RCS office to complete the pending inspection and investigate the ongoing irregularities at the Society. But the RCS office ignored their request.
As I have been running a free community-driven online social service under the banner “Clean House” to report about corruption in housing societies, the members of Bhagwati CGHS also approached me to take up their case.
After studying their documents, I sent the initial notice on May 16, 2018 to J.B. Singh (IAS), Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) to have his views in the Bhagwati CGHS. But he did not respond.
The office of the Lt. Governor (LG) of Delhi had also sent my email request about Bhagwati CGHS to the Registrar as well as the Nodal Officer of RCS office on May 16, 2018. But the RCS office ignored that too and did not respond.
It clearly shows that the bureaucrats at RCS office have an utter disregard for law and they have been working in a totally irresponsible manner. In fact, Registrar J.B. Singh is fully responsible for the chaos and corruption that is persisting at the RCS office.
This is also a clear case of corruption at the RCS office as the Vigilance Manual 2017 of Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) states that 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.
The CVC manual 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.
Responsibility of Registrar
According to this statute, CVC and other law-enforcement agencies must initiate an inquiry against Registrar J.B. Singh and other RCS officials. The inquiry must extend to the accused in Bhagwati CGHS.
As a journalist and social activist, I had complained about the Bhagwati CGHS case to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police. I have been informed that a DCP / EOW is investigating the case.
Similarly, I had approached the Directorate of Vigilance (DOV) to get relief for the harmed Bhagwati CGHS members. The DOV informed me it has forwarded my complaint to RCS office to take their comments. RCS office has responded.
In a communication dated 12.06.2018, M.G Sathya, Assistant Registrar at RCS office, informed me that “the matter is being looked into by the investigative agency with regard to various complaints made against the society by the members. Besides inquiry has also been initiated by this office and further action will be taken in accordance with the provisions of DCS Act and rules.”
But the inquiry has not progressed, although more than a month has elapsed from the date of RCS office’s communication to me. The government officials must understand that bureaucratic inefficiency is also a form of corruption for which they can be hauled up.
Corruption Case Study
If you want to know how corrupt MC members of a housing society commit various crimes and circumvent the law because of Delhi government’s weakness in stopping crime and corruption, you can study the case of DPS Housing Society in Dwarka.
In their litany of allegations, the members of Bhagwati CGHS reveal that the contractor was appointed in 2003 and at the time of appointment, the contractor, architect, their employees, and relatives were the members of the Society. This, they argue, is a case of conflict of interest and such a contractor should never had been appointed.
“Various inquiries were done / ordered by the RCS office, but due to the connivance and collusion of the contractor with the RCS office, no action has been taken yet,” the complainants at Bhagwati CGHS said. “The appointment of architect and contractor is illegal.”
Further, they add that there were enormous irregularities in calling the tender for construction work and the award of work was illegal. The aggrieved members also complain that the office bearers of Bhagwati CGHS took the decisions arbitrarily without taking proper approvals in the General Body Meeting (GBM).
Under the “Clean House” service, I get multiple complaints from suffering residents who lament that despite their repeated representations against the MC members and particularly the fraudulent ways in which they conduct GBMs, the RCS office ignores their complaints.
The RCS order of 15.05.2015 in Bhagwati CGHS case specifically mentions that the award of contract to contractor M/s Best Buildwell Pvt. Ltd. was illegal and there was forgery, fabrication in the minutes of the meeting (GBM). But surprisingly RCS office did not feel the need to carry out the investigation in order to catch the culprits.
In an RTI reply dated 21.06.2016, the RCS office brazenly admitted that it did not appoint the inspection officer even after a year of its order. Worse, in an RTI reply dated 03.04.2018, the RCS office failed to provide the copy of the report that the inspection officer was supposed to file because it has still not appointed the inspection officer.
The Bhagwati CGHS members claim that when they checked the related file at RCS office, even the order copy was missing. That means, in order to help the accused builder, the RCS officials had criminally destroyed the official document pertaining to the inquiry in a corruption case.
The Bhagwati CGHS members also inform that the builder is arbitrarily increasing the flat prices – which is a fraud. For example, the price of a 3-bedroom flat has been increased from Rs. 26,37,670 to a whopping Rs. 67,88,751. Similarly, the price of a 4-bedroom flat has been increased from Rs. 28,56,550 to Rs. 81,78,051.
The fraud does not end here. The Bhagwati CGHS members say that the 5-bedroom flats were not in the initial plan. But in order to plunder the buyers, the builder is offering 5-bedroom flats at an astronomical price of nearly Rs. 3 crore. Now there are nearly 150 5-bedroom flats in the 300-flat Society. The members also allege that DDA is giving approvals for illegal construction.
They add that it is part of the racket being run in connivance with the RCS office, as the RCS office has arbitrarily expelled a number of members in order to help the accused builder take new members for illegally constructed 5-bedroom flats which are more expensive.
The harmed members of Bhagwati CGHS also say that the actual covered area of flats is less than the committed area while the same category of flats are being sold at different rates. “The balance sheets are full of financial irregularities,” the members say.
But unfortunately the RCS office – with J.B. Singh as the head of the department – seems to be complicit in this crime. If J.B. Singh did not take immediate action to start the investigation and punish the culprits, the affected Bhagwati CGHS members will be forced to go to courts in order to seek justice. If that happens, why do we need the careless officials at DDA and RCS offices?
- The RCS office must start the inquiry it had ordered at Bhagwati CGHS and publicly release its findings immediately.
- The RCS office must suspend the current management committee controlled by the builder to complete the inquiry in a fair manner.
- The expelled members of Bhagwati CGHS must be reinstated.
- The aggrieved members must be given the flats at the original terms without any price escalation.
- The culprits at Bhagwati CGHS must be identified and punished.
- The CVC and other law-enforcement agencies should start inquiries against the Registrar J.B. Singh and other officials at RCS office who are complicit in the crime.
- Similarly, the CVC and other law-enforcement agencies should start inquiries against DDA Vice Chairman Udai Pratap Singh and other DDA officials who are complicit in the crime.
- All the negligent or irresponsible officials at DDA and RCS offices must be suspended before starting the inquiries against them.
- The Registrar J.B. Singh must be asked to reveal similar cases in other housing societies where RCS office has ordered the inquiry but did not complete it.
- RCS office should put this and other such cases on its website so that the inquiries could be held in a transparent manner. Closed-door investigations will be meaningless.
Note: In order to thwart my anti-corruption efforts, the corrupt people are sending multiple threats to me. These include false police complaints against me, threats of physical harm to me, expulsion notices, legal notices, and slanderous attacks on my social as well as professional status. However, I am not deterred and I will keep fighting truthfully against their crimes and corruption to get the culprits arrested and imprisoned.
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.
About Rakesh Raman
Rakesh Raman is a government’s national award-winning journalist and social activist. Besides working at senior editorial positions with India’s leading media companies, he 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, he has been running his own global news services on different subjects. He also has formed an environment-protection group called Green Group in Delhi. He has created a comprehensive online information service to educate the Indian voters for the upcoming Lok Sabha election scheduled to happen in 2019.
He is also running a community-driven free online social service under the banner “Clean House” to help the suffering residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice in group housing societies where millions of people live. Recently, he has released a comprehensive research report on corruption in India.
He also has formed a free Education and Career Counselling Center for deserving children at a poor J.J. Colony in Dwarka, New Delhi under his NGO – RMN Foundation.
Earlier, he 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.
463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16, Sector 4
Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078, INDIA
You may please contact me on my email.
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