DPS Group Housing Public Interest Case

DPS Group Housing Society Case
DPS Group Housing Society Case

To

Delhi Lokayukta
Office of the Lokayukta
Government Of NCT Of Delhi
‘G’ Block, Vikas Bhawan
I.P. Estates, New Delhi-110 002

January 18, 2015

Subject: Delay in Holding Enquiry into the Operations of the Managing Committee of D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society, Dwarka

Dear Sir,

1. I have approached different Delhi government departments including the Chief Minister’s office during the past over four years to seek justice for larger public interest in this case.

However, the case – which is prima facie a case of corruption – is still unresolved, although the government had initiated an equiry against the accused in the Managing Committee (MC) of D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society, Dwarka.

Now the Public Grievances Commission (PGC) of the Delhi government is regularly sending reminders to the office of Registrar Co-operative Societies (RCS) to take action in this case, but the RCS Office has been ignoring the PGC directives. One of the PGC reminders to RCS office is attached here.

Now I am approaching your office with the hope that with the new government in India, corruption will be completely weeded out from the country. And your office will help solve this case urgently so that guilty MC members of the DPS Society could be punished.

2. Although this is not my personal case, I have been leading this case with support from many residents of the DPS Society, as I have independently led many cases in the past to check corruption in the country. The media coverage of those cases is available in the public domain.

3. Please let me introduce myself as a government award-winning journalist. Besides working at senior editorial positions with India’s leading media companies, I’d been writing an editorial column for The Financial Express newspaper.

Nowadays, I’m running my own online global news services covering diverse segments of activity, including the burning issues that have immediate impact on various governments, businesses, and the lives of commoners.

4. Through this particular communication, I want to bring it to your notice a four-year-old case of apparent corruption in the D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society, Dwarka, New Delhi.

As I understand the current Indian government is putting added emphasis on technology-based interfaces to deliver citizen services, I have decided to use one of my news sites to highlight various aspects of this case.

While the case details are given below, I would like to summarize it in the following points to enable you to understand the case and take a quick action against the erring members of the Managing Committee of D.P.S. Housing Society.

1. After studying my repeated representations, finally the Registrar Co-op Societies (RCS) had initiated an enquiry against the DPS Managing Committee through its letter No. F.47/Coop./1350/GH/SW/2011 dated 04.05.2011. However, the RCS office failed to carry this enquiry forward – which shows this case is being hushed up for ulterior motives and an attempt is being made to save the culprits unscrupulously.

2. As per the DPS Society letter dated 17.11.2014, a new Management Committee has taken charge with a few new members assuming the positions to run the Society’s affairs. Now, the new Management Committee (along with the old Management Committee members) is supposed to face the government enquiry stated above because the case still stands unresolved.

3. Although the mismanagement of the public resources of the Society’s residents never stopped, the outgoing Management Committee – among other lapses – spent Rs. 6-7 lakh on repair without following any procedure and squandered the residents’ money in a totally shady manner. [Please see Point No. 3 (b) in the Society’s letter Ref.: DPS/GBM/03/2014-15 dated 15.08.2014].

This is despite the fact that the Management Committee is already facing the enquiry stated above on financial irregularities running into lakhs of rupees among many other lapses that violate the principles of human equality and which are against the norms of natural justice.

4. While the new Management Committee formed in November 2014 must clarify its position on the ongoing irregularities, it should be strictly advised by the government orders not to flout any group housing norms and it should not be allowed to make any further expenses which are in all probability will lead to blatant corruption, as it has been happening during the past few years.

5. The new Managing Committee of the DPS Society has already started exploring big projects involving large amounts of capital expenses, as it has mentioned in the document circulated among the residents calling for a Special General Body Meeting scheduled to be held on February 8, 2015. I will explain the objectives behind such an attempt by the Managing Committee separately in a subsequent letter.

6. In general, while these office bearers in the Group Housing Societies don’t understand the concept of cooperative movement that Mahatma Gandhi had introduced, most of such societies have become breeding grounds of corruption and corrupt people who want to make easy money dishonestly. We must get our act together to identify, catch, and punish such people immediately.

With this brief introduction to the case, I request you to appoint some honest government officials who could examine the case with a microscopic vision and continue the enquiry against the DPS Society’s Management Committee with a view to catch and punish the culprits – in the present as well as the past Managing Committee.


The case details are given below and the following document is already been sent to various government departments mentioned here.

December 20, 2011

To
The Chief Minister
The Chief Minister Office, Delhi Government
3rd Level, A-Wing, Delhi Secretariat, I.P Estate
New Delhi 110 002

Subject: Delay in Holding Enquiry into the Operations of the Managing Committee of D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society, Dwarka

Dear Chief Minister,

I am sorry to state that even after one and a half years of my multiple requests to your office and other government departments, I could not get justice in this case of apparent corruption in the D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society, Dwarka, New Delhi.

During this period, your office and the office of the Public Grievances Commission have sent many directives (described below) to the office of the Registrar Co-op Societies (RCS), but the RCS office has not yet taken any action against the guilty in the Managing Committee of D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society.

Although the RCS office initiated an enquiry against the DPS Managing Committee through its letter No. F.47/Coop./1350/GH/SW/2011 dated 04.05.2011, there is no response after that during the past about eight months.

This, in itself, shows that there is some kind of connivance between the RCS office and the DPS Managing Committee and an attempt is being made by them to close this case without punishing the guilty in the Managing Committee of D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society.

My seven-page letter to you dated August 2, 2010 explaining the case in detail is also given below for your ready reference.

I request you to get this case reopened and get the response from the DPS Managing Committee to the corruption and mismanagement charges I have levelled against the DPS Managing Committee with sufficient facts.

As inefficiency in government departments is also a serious form of corruption, I request you for an early action so that the guilty persons in the DPS Managing Committee could be punished according to our law.

Regards

Rakesh Raman
Flat No. 463, DPS Apartments
Plot No. 16, Sector – 4
Dwarka, Phase – I
New Delhi – 110 075, India


July 21, 2010

To
The Chief Minister
Government of NCT of Delhi
Delhi

Subject: Delay in Holding Enquiry into the Operations of the Managing Committee of D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society, Dwarka

Dear Chief Minister,

Please refer to my representation (Subject: Worsening Society Affairs) dated May 03, 2010 about D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society, Dwarka and my related subsequent letters, which were sent to you by courier and e-mail.

Moreover, please refer to the letters from your office (No. CMO/PGC(E)/2010/166469 dated 08-06-2010 and CMO/PGC(E)/2010/168227 dated 30-06-2010), which were addressed to Registrar, Co-op. Societies (RCS) to take necessary action in this case.

However, I am sorry to state that all my requests to seek justice from your office have gone unheard. And the Managing Committee (MC) of the D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society continues to work in a shady manner. Not only that; the MC is also leaving no stone unturned to mislead the residents as well as your office and the RCS office by supplying cooked up information related to this whole case.

So, through this letter I want to shed more light on different aspects of this case.

1. Building Repairs

The D.P.S. MC says that more than Rs. 20 lakh are being spent on building repairs. If this is the case, then the MC should be asked the following:

(a) Was the decision of building repairs taken in the General Body Meeting (GBM) of the D.P.S. Society members? If yes, then MC has to produce sufficient evidence of formal consent from all the members. It has to be as per the officially prescribed procedure.

(b) In this case, formal consent from all the members is required because if some of the members are not paying for this common work, others will have to bear additional financial burden for the non-paying members.

(c) The building repairs decision was recorded in the minutes of the GBM held on December 20, 2009. In this minutes’ of the meeting letter (No. DPS/CGHS/SEGBM 03/09 dated 20.12.2009), please refer to the point “Conclusion” at No. 5 (h) at Page 3. Here, the MC said, “It was agreed by all members that repair work will start only when all the members’ payments are received.” I (perhaps some other members also) paid the money thinking that the repair will start when all members will pay, as MC had stated. Now as the repair work has started, MC has to disclose if it has received payments from all members. If not, what forced the MC to hurriedly begin the repair work for the entire building?

(d) Now MC has to clearly disclose the amount of money collected so far from the members. And if there is shortfall, how the MC proposes to raise the required funds, as in the above said minutes’ of the meeting letter at point 5 (g), it says, “the amount required for the repair job will be contributed fully by the members only and no reserves of the society shall be utilized for this purpose.”

(e) The question of forming sub-committees, etc. arises when the decision is formally approved in the GBM. If the decision was not formally approved, what’s the point in forming such sub-committees? Incidentally, I was never a part of any such sub-committee and the MC is trying to deceitfully rope my name in. In the above-stated minutes’ of the meeting letter, please see point 5 (c) in the minutes’ of the meeting letter (No. DPS/CGHS/SEGBM 03/09 dated 20.12.2009), about the formation of the Committee in which five names are mentioned and my name is nowhere in this Committee. They are: Mr. Narinder (Flat No. 233), Mr. H.K. Kaul (121), Mr. Khanduja (261), Mr. Gautam (452), and Mr. Narayanan (161). The MC has to produce sufficient evidence that I was part of any such decision-making process. If it fails to do so, the MC should be held guilty of deceit and malicious intentions against me, which needs to be dealt with the appropriate laws.

(f) Please refer to MC letter No. DPS CGHS/SEGBM/02/09 dated December 6, 2009 under Explanatory Notes/Agenda for the SEGBM Scheduled on December 20th, 2009, Point 2. Here’s the MC has clearly stated, “After the formation of the new management committee, M/s Shivaji Bhera was called up for the implementation of the sub-committee report of the said repair work, M/s Shivaji Bhera expressed his inability to do the work at the earlier estimated value of (Rs.) 4 lakh, due to various reasons besides fluctuations in the cost of raw materials.” Now, MC should explain all those reasons that it decided to spend more than Rs. 20 lakh instead of Rs. 4 lakh for the same repair work.

(g) In the same Notes dated December 6, 2009 as mentioned in (f) above, please refer to Point 3. It says, “We then called Mr. Satpal Sharma of M/s SP Repcon Private Limited for the initial and then the detailed survey and to submit his offer for this repair work on paid basis…” Here it’s really surprising that how MC decided to join hands with SP Repcon alone from among all the parties on earth. Why SP Repcon even before the GBM or GBM’s decision for repairs? And finally MC decides to go with SP Repcon who will charge over Rs. 20 lakh and not with M/s Shivaji Bhera who quoted just Rs. 4 lakh as mentioned in (f) above. As this points toward the hidden intentions of the MC members, MC needs to explain about these decisions unambiguously.

(h) Although the MC decided on its own to go ahead with repairs without following any transparent procedure, it has to produce sufficient evidence of floating an “Open Tender” in the Press to hire the contractor. It has also to produce sufficient evidence of compiling a “Comparative Statement” of all the interested builders and the basis on which the contract was awarded to the current party/building repair contractor.

(i) The MC should also be asked to explain the damage that it has already done to the building in terms of getting ugly looks with shabby patches in the name of repairs.

(j) The MC must also explain the reasons that why D.P.S. Society building needed these massive repairs after just about 10 years of its construction.

(k) Here, it is also important to enquire the relationship, if any, of the MC members with the current contractor. And also to know if there is any link between the building repairs and the personal house renovation/repair work simultaneously of any of the MC members. If there is no such link, the amount spent on the personal house renovation/repair work of the MC member should be evaluated by an independent agency deputed by the government and that member should disclose the sources of funds.

2. Additional Construction

As the eyes of the MC have always been on collecting more money from the members, in its GBM of December 20, 2009, it expressed its intentions to add more rooms and balconies (about 300 sq. ft. additional area) with each flat. (Refer to the said minutes’ of the meeting letter – Agenda 2 (b) on Page 3). The MC should be immediately stopped from venturing into such a money-collecting pursuit, because:

(a) This amount will run into crores of rupees. As the MC’s record of handling money and construction projects (as explained above) has not been satisfactory, it should not be allowed to play with a project of this scale.

(b) The construction work of this scale will not be feasible at this stage when residents are living in the Society building. As this work will go on for years, this can be hazardous (from the accident and dust pollution points of view) for the residents.

3. Car Parking

The Managing Committee (MC), as mentioned in my earlier letters, has been repeatedly told to normalize the vehicle parking arrangement that has become too chaotic with hardly any space left for free movement. While the parking space is supposed to be for 90 vehicles (as there are 90 flats), the MC has erratically allowed many more vehicles without following any organized system. Also, with the increasing number of vehicles in the Society, the internal traffic has gone up considerably – so much so that it can be too hazardous for children who play in the Society’s premises, as constant movement of vehicles can cause accidents leading to severe damages. It’s also believed that excess parking is obstructing the fire-fighting system. This can bring deadly consequences for the residents.

On almost all conceivable occasions, the MC has admitted that the current car parking arrangement is nothing but a disorderly mess in the Society building. And in the past over six months, it has issued multiple notices, asking residents to park their additional (more than one) vehicle outside the building. But it suddenly takes its decision back, and the parking chaos has been constantly increasing, as residents are buying more cars regularly. In this case, the pertinent issues are given below:

(a) If the MC members are really serious to solve this problem, why can’t they start parking their own additional vehicles outside the building? Thus, they can set the right example for others to follow. But its intentions to solve this parking problem are not quite honest. That’s why it has failed to implement its own decisions, and the problem persists.

(b) Please refer to the minutes of the General Body Meeting (GBM) letter No. DPS CGHS/GBM/MOM/03/10 dated May 9th, 2010 (Agenda – 8). It was decided in the said GBM that “it was agreed and decided to park the 2nd or any additional car of the member outside the society premises. Hence, members are requested to park their additional vehicle (2nd/3rd or 4th) outside the society premises at their own risk w.e.f. 1st of June 2010.” Then why MC could not implement the decision passed in the GBM? And how can it change the decision without again bringing it to the GBM?

(c) Now some flat owners/residents have space for many vehicles and others for one or none. When all members and residents should have equal rights in the Society, how can the Managing Committee create a divide that is against the laws of natural justice?

(d) Similarly, it should explain how it has allocated space to each flat for keeping their other vehicles (two-wheelers, bicycles, etc.), which has turned the Society area into a virtual junkyard.

(e) Why MC couldn’t make arrangement to give equal space to all residents in the common parking area? Why can’t it normalize the whole parking system?

(f) Moreover, in a country like ours where it’s difficult for millions of people to arrange even one meal a day, D.P.S. Society members are regularly buying expensive cars like people buy toys. We need to stop this growing divide. So, all the residents who own multiple vehicles should be asked to declare their sources of funds.

4. Alterations

It is observed that some flat owners have altered their flat area by constructing additional space, which has damaged the uniformity of flats. And these alterations are looking too ugly, which has direct impact on other residents. In this case, the MC should be asked:

(a) How it has given permission for these alterations?

(b) If such flat owners did not bother to take permission, then what steps MC has taken to stop these alterations?

(c) It should also be investigated if there’s any underhand understanding between such flat owners and the MC.

5. Financial Management

It’s generally observed that the Managing Committee (MC) is not using the public funds optimally and there is a gross wastage of money collected from the members/residents. In this regard, the working of the MC should be enquired on the following:

(a) The MC should be directed to publicly disclose its financial management procedures including the selection of accounting firms/accountants, their services, fee being paid to them, and so on.

(b) In this regard, please refer to MC’s minutes’ of the meeting letter (No. DPS/CGHS/SEGBM 03/09 dated 20.12.2009) Agenda 2 (d): “Appraise the Members about Un-audited Societies Account”. It says, “the earlier appointed Auditor for the DPS Society, i.e., M/s Naseem Ahmed had refused to sign the Balance Sheet of the society due to non-availability of the supportive documents/vouchers, of the year 2005-06.” The MC has to clearly explain why these documents are not available and how much money is involved in this, because this money belongs to public, the members of the DPS Society. And it needs to be investigated how all these accounts are being cleared even when the supportive documents are missing. In other words, it needs to be investigated if there is a behind-the-curtain deal in this case also.

(c) It should also give proper break-up of its spending the money collected from members/residents as monthly maintenance charges, which have been increasing randomly.

(d) It’s learnt that the Managing Committee is spending excessive money (running into lakhs of rupees) on buying water from external sources and, in turn, getting substandard water, which can be harmful for human consumption. The MC should be directed to publicly disclose the water buying procedure including the selection of water vendors, payment terms, quantity measurement norms, and quality assurance guidelines that it follows. This is required to ensure the health-related safety of the residents living in the D.P.S. Co-op. Group Housing Society and to monitor the use of public funds.

(e) Here it is important to mention about another such dubious case. Please refer to MC letter No. DPS CGHS/GBM/02/10 dated April 18, 2010, Point No. 12 (To inform the members about the provision of convenience store in the DPS Society). MC has to explain the procedure that it decided to select Amul Milk Booth. Why not any other vendor?

(f) Similarly, the MC should be asked to explain about the procedure to hire all other vendors like for security services, generator maintenance, lift maintenance, etc.

(g) All this is required in addition to balance sheets, etc., as the MC is trying to cover up financial mismanagement under the garb of these regular accounting notes, which conceal more than what they reveal. We all know that even the most corrupt outfits all over the world try and keep their balance sheets in order. So balance sheet can’t be the only measure to prove an organization’s honesty.

In brief, MC has failed in all departments of the work that it is supposed to do. That is evident from the shady building repairs project, doubtful accounts and accounting procedures, persisting car parking problem, undisciplined atmosphere in terms of allowing certain members for alterations, and so on. On top of that the eyes of the MC members are on collecting more money in the name of room/balcony expansion, construction of community hall and underground parking, and other high-value projects. Why?

In its unrestrained spree of collecting money, the MC has completely forgotten about the general wellbeing of the residents in the Society. Why do we need such a raw, amateur, and selfish MC?

Now to hide all its follies, the MC is trying to play the “co-operative” card, asking others (including me) to co-operate and work with the MC members. Moreover, to escape from the hands of law that are fast approaching toward all the MC members, the MC is trying to run away sheepishly. In its letter No. DPS/CGHS/GL/2010 dated 22nd June, 2010, the MC has said, “All the MC members are all working individuals and take time out of their hectic schedules for a common cause and service to the society.” All this is to throw dust in the eyes of public and concerned government authorities.

There are many other selfless ways to do public service and the whole world knows that such posts are too lucrative for the group housing managing committee members like ours. No body forced them to come as MC members. They, in fact, fought to grab these posts. Now, if they are not able to discharge their duties truthfully and correctly, they can’t force this “co-operation” thing on others. And co-operation can’t be demanded. People including me will cooperate if the MC is already clean and MC members are dedicated enough to offer their services selflessly without any greed.

Moreover, it is believed that now the MC is trying to muster support from some of the residents to justify their misdeeds. This move of the MC is also supposed to counter the residents’ signature campaign (copies of signatures from residents already sent to your office) supporting my attempt against the MC. I want to point out here that it is not MC vs. me and the contest is not on who gets more signatures from residents. Rather, I want to highlight the fact that I am not alone who is affected, there are dozens of more people in the Society who are suffering under the misdeeds of the MC.

And all those who are supporting the wrongdoings of the MC – particularly in the light of above stated facts – are equal culprits and should be questioned under the purview of law. Basically, these people are part of a bigger faction that MC has intentionally created by throwing lavish monthly drink parties that run late night openly within the Society premises, spoiling the whole Society atmosphere where only civilized people are supposed to live.

Important Issue

Now, another important point, as the MC has perpetrated a personal attack on me and my profession. In its letter dated DPS/CGHS/RCS/GEN/2010 – 2011 dated 10th July, 2010 (addressed to the Registrar) under the heading “Suggestions” on Page 6, the MC has cast aspersions on me saying, “sole occupier, lives alone, runs his office from his residence, time at his disposals, etc.” I have taken all these remarks by the MC as personal against me, because these remarks have no relation, whatsoever, with the case in hand. And the copies of the said letter is also marked to the Chief Minister office and presumably circulated among other residents of the Society.

This is to suppress my truthful voice, which I have raised against the wrongdoings of the MC. It is a gross insult to me and my profession, about which the MC knows nothing. So, this is a clear case of “libel” in the court of law for which I should be compensated as per my reputation in the Indian and global media markets. Besides financial compensation, the MC should tender an apology for the same through advertisements in the leading newspapers as well as in front of residents of the society in a public meeting and display of the same on the notice board.

As the MC has also attacked my work, here I want to briefly mention that I have worked as a very senior journalist with The Financial Express newspaper (as edit-page columnist), ITNation, a part of UTV (as Editorial Director), India Today Group (Asst. Associate Editor), Cyber Media Group (Features Editor), Spectrum Magazines (Group Technology Editor), besides as independent journalist for The Tribune and Indian Express newspapers. And I have also been conferred a national-level government award by the Haryana government for my contribution as a journalist. The award was given to me by the Republic Day function.

Now, I am managing my own global news site under Raman Media Network, which is delivering news and other articles all over the world. Moreover, I am working in editorial consulting roles with India’s leading media companies. I can explain more about my work, if required.

So, the abusive words of the MC have hit me and my profession hard for which the MC should be punished according to the law.

With this, the MC has shown its vindictive, revengeful intentions against me and so I fear more personal, professional, and physical infliction from their side. So, I should be given suitable protection by your office. In order to take more preventive measures to protect myself from possible attack from the DPS Management Committee (MC) members, I am sending the copy of this letter to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). And will also take up this case of my protection separately with NHRC and other crime prevention authorities.

D.P.S. Managing Committee (MC) Members

The present MC members are: Mr. R. Balasubramanian (President), Mr. K.V. Varghese (Vice President), Mr. Neeraj Kumar Vaish (Secretary), Mr. Sandeep Taneja (Treasurer), Ms. Leela Swami, Ms. Manjit Kaur, Mr. Gaurav Kumar Sood (Members).

[ New D.P.S. Managing Committee with a couple of old members was formed in November 2014. All of them need to be investigated.]

Now, What Needs to be Done

1. Given the situation, the present DPS Society Managing Committee (MC) should be immediately suspended.

2. If the MC is not able to produce sufficient evidence in its defence – for all the issues as stated above – proceedings against all the members of the MC and its formal supporters should be initiated in the court of law.

3. All the MC members should be formally asked to declare their own assets as well as of their family members and friends. This is to know if there are any cases of assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. This is particularly important, as the MC is handling huge public money and MC’s activities are governed by the government authority, i.e., Registrar, Co-op. Societies (R.C.S.).

4. The office of the R.C.S. should take full control of the Society affairs in its own hands and improve the living conditions in the Society in terms of organized car parking, proper financial management, right procurement systems, and so on, as stated above.

5. Proceedings should also be initiated against all the erring members of the Society who are not cooperating in terms of car parking, who have done irregular constructions in their houses, who have blocked the common Society areas with their junk items, etc. to bring some discipline in the Society.

6. Your office (government) should also issue strict instructions against holding any drink parties in the open area to keep proper decorum in the Society.

7. The DPS MC members should be suitably instructed not to harass me through various unbecoming tactics because I have raised my voice against their misdeeds.

8. I should be suitably compensated (as stated above under “Important Issue”) by the DPS MC members, as I have suffered huge personal and professional losses because of the continuous disturbance to which I have been subjected by DPS MC.

9. Since I am trying to stop the DPS MC members from mischievously collecting money (that can go to crores of rupees) from DPS Society residents under the pretext of building expansion, etc., I am fearing personal, professional, and physical infliction from their side. So, I should be given suitable protection.

As an original member of the D.P.S. Group Housing Society and a citizen of India, I have full right to information from any organization (like D.P.S. MC), which is governed by the government and/or government-constituted democratic process.

I hereby assert that all my representations are only in the interest of general public and to weed out any form of corruption from our system. So, I hope this time my voice will not go unheard and your office (C.M.’s office) will get me immediate relief as stated above.

Regards
Rakesh Raman
Flat No. 463, DPS Apartments
Plot No. 16, Sector – 4
Dwarka, Phase – I
New Delhi – 110 075, India

Copy to:

1. Registrar, Co-op. Societies, Old Court Building, Parliament Street, New Delhi 110001

2. National Human Rights Commission, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110001

Important Note: I will keep updating this Web page to highlight the progress in this case in a transparent manner.

Thank You

Rakesh Raman