New Law Proposed for Delhi Group Housing Societies
DRAFT BILL FOR DELHI LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY
DELHI HOUSING SOCIETIES BILL, 2020
INTRODUCED BY RAKESH RAMAN
FOR THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY OF THE NATIONAL CAPITAL TERRITORY OF DELHI
Bill introduced for immediate discussion and enactment.
You can click here to download the Bill.
Today, crimes and corruption in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies are increasingly rapidly, while the existing laws for these societies are ineffective. There is an immediate need to formulate new laws and implement an effective administrative model to safeguard the rights and interests of millions of people who live in these housing societies.
APPEAL FOR LEGISLATION
URGING THE DELHI LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY TO PASS AN EXCLUSIVE LEGISLATION FOR THE GROUP HOUSING SOCIETIES IN DELHI REGION
- The current Delhi Cooperative Societies Act, Delhi Co-Operative Societies Rules, Delhi Cooperative Tribunal Rules, and other such legislations have failed to protect the rights of millions of residents who live in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies (CGHS).
- There is an immediate need to have an exclusive Act that is specially designed for the people who live in the CGHS of the National Capital Region, Delhi.
The newly elected Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) after the Delhi Assembly election in February 2020 should take up the Delhi Housing Societies Bill, 2020 to make it a law for the CGHS residents.
EXISTING SITUATION AND FACTS
- Whereas the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) office of Delhi Government, which is supposed to regulate the CGHS affairs, has completely failed in its responsibility to ensure smooth and transparent functioning in the housing societies.
- Whereas the other concerned departments such as the Office of the Lt. Governor (LG) of Delhi, Offices of the Chief Minister and other Ministers of Delhi, Municipal Corporations of Delhi (MCDs), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi Fire Service (DFS), Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC), anti-corruption agencies, and the Delhi Police are not effective to resolve the grievances of the general public living in housing societies.
- Whereas the current government structure has completely failed to make Delhi a livable city and today Delhi is the most polluted, the dirtiest, and the most corrupt national capital in the world.
- Whereas Delhi has also become the crime capital of India because instead of ensuring the safety of citizens, Delhi Police behaves as a gang of criminals.
- Whereas the sorry plight of Delhi particularly harms the residents of housing societies in which almost the entire middle-class population of Delhi lives.
- Whereas nearly 2,000 group housing societies, in which millions of people live, have become hideouts for criminals who operate as the managing committee (MC) members of housing societies.
- Whereas the local goons in housing societies win society elections fraudulently – either by bribing the resident voters or by threatening them.
- Whereas the same fraudulently elected criminals keep occupying the MC positions for decades because they operate as criminal gangs and threaten others who try to challenge them in elections.
- Whereas the corrupt MC members enjoy full protection from the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats at the RCS office and other departments stated above because they regularly bribe the bureaucrats and local police to continue their crimes.
- Whereas the corrupt MC members commit all types of crimes and loot public money worth thousands of crores of rupees with impunity from millions of residents who live in group housing societies of Delhi.
- Whereas the managing committees (MCs) of these housing societies are elected through flawed election processes and they operate as money-grabbing cartels to extort and swindle public money worth thousands of crores of rupees.
- Whereas the common residents of housing societies are victims of the terror unleashed by the corrupt MC members, and these residents are not ready to raise their voice against the growing injustice because they fear reprisal from corrupt MC members who are surreptitiously protected by the corrupt bureaucrats at the RCS office.
- Whereas the RCS office – which is among the most corrupt departments in India – has been given extreme powers to regulate the CGHS affairs and the RCS officials openly accept bribes from the criminal MC members who run the housing societies. In return, the RCS officials allow the criminal MC members to commit crimes without any fear.
- Whereas the modus operandi of the RCS office is that it ostensibly orders the financial inspections or sends customary notices against the MCs of housing societies and then keeps delaying the inspections or legal actions so that the accused should keep bribing the RCS officials for longer periods of time.
- Whereas the entire Delhi Cooperative Societies Act (DCS Act) – under which the RCS office operates – is designed in such a way that the victims of crime and corruption by the MCs are not allowed to bypass the RCS office and approach higher courts. As a result, the corrupt MC members are protected and RCS officials keep demanding bribes from the accusers as well as the accused in different cases of crime and corruption in housing societies.
- Whereas the MC members of housing societies are running a full-fledged citywide criminal racket in connivance with the RCS officials, DDA officials, Delhi Police, and other bureaucrats.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BILL
THEREFORE, THE DELHI LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY IS URGED TO PASS THE DELHI HOUSING SOCIETIES BILL, 2020 THAT SHOULD:
- Take away all the responsibilities from the RCS office, as the RCS office has failed to discharge its duties honestly to manage the affairs of cooperative group housing societies (CGHS).
- Set up a dedicated quasi-judicial department [say, Delhi Housing Societies Administration (DHSA) Department] under the Delhi Legislative Assembly with independent domain experts and professionally qualified people to deal with matters related to all group housing societies.
- Select 7 administrative members of the DHSA Department through a transparent process by inviting applications and proposals from qualified candidates and carrying out the selection process through publicly available online channels where citizens of Delhi could provide their opinion about the candidates before their selection.
- Allow each member of the DHSA Department to serve only for a maximum period of 2 years on fixed honorarium.
- Allow the DHSA Department to select the managing committee (MC) members in each housing society only for a limited period of one year on the basis of their past record of public service, academic qualification, social work, and reputation in the society. No member should be allowed to hold the MC position in the society in consecutive terms. A member can hold the MC position twice with a gap of at least 3 years. Each MC member will work as a volunteer in the society.
- Give limited responsibilities to the MCs in housing societies to handle only routine tasks such as gardening, security, environmental protection, cleanliness, etc. in the society building with a small monthly cap on expenditure / money that the MCs should be allowed to spend.
- Direct the MCs in housing societies to take explicit approval of all the members (100% consent) before taking any decision which does not fall under the routine category of tasks stated above.
- Direct the MCs that they should not take any additional financial decisions without explicit approval of all the members (100% consent), and in any case the MCs should not be allowed to collect money from members beyond a very small annual limit which should be fixed with the concurrence of all the members.
- Direct the MCs that they should not take any decision based on any majority in a housing society because the majority rule defeats the fundamental spirit of the Indian Constitution that guarantees the protection of rights for every citizen individually without considering the draconian concept of majority.
- Direct the MCs that they should not take any punitive decision against any member of the housing society because each member is a private citizen whose fundamental rights needs to be protected. MCs cannot be allowed to overrule the extant laws to punish others.
- Allow the DHSA Department to take quick decisions to terminate a member of the MC or the entire MC in a housing society in case of any crime or operational lapse.
- Allow the Delhi Legislative Assembly to take immediate decision to terminate the services of an administrative member of the DHSA Department if there are complaints from the public or in case of any criminal report against them.
- Set up a robust technology infrastructure for the DHSA Department with always-on interfaces and an exclusive website to interact with the public. It should also have separate web-based subdomains for each housing society in order to ensure full transparency.
- Instruct the DHSA Department to run regular on-field community outreach programs to increase public participation in the reformation process of the cooperative group housing societies.
All the stakeholders including Delhi residents, honest politicians, and responsible bureaucrats should support this Bill so that it becomes law at the earliest. This law will be extremely helpful to ensure a peaceful and corruption-free environment in housing societies and thus for all the residents of Delhi.
You may please send me your feedback and suggestions about this Bill, and circulate it among all your family members and friends in Delhi so that we could collectively discuss and urge the government to implement it immediately. This is our responsibility as citizens to make the government work honestly and diligently in order to make Delhi a livable place.
About Rakesh Raman
Rakesh Raman is a national award-winning journalist and founder of the humanitarian organization RMN Foundation. Besides working at senior editorial positions with leading media companies, he was writing an exclusive edit-page column regularly for The Financial Express (a daily business newspaper of The Indian Express Group).
Nowadays, for the past 10 years, he has been running his own global news services on different subjects. He runs various environment protection, education awareness, and anti-corruption campaigns, and also publishes research reports on different subjects.
In order to cover the Delhi Assembly Election 2020 and related reports, he has created an exclusive editorial section: Election and Destruction in Delhi. He has also published “Delhi Disaster Report 2019” which sheds light on the humanitarian crisis in New Delhi because of administrative and political downfall in the city-state.
As part of his environment protection campaigns and to inform the residents about the increasing pollution in Delhi, he has published a comprehensive research report on the risks of FAR (floor area ratio) construction in occupied group housing societies of Delhi. He has also launched a comprehensive research project to compile an exclusive report on corruption in India.
He runs an exclusive community-driven anti-corruption social service “Clean House” to help the suffering residents of Delhi raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice in housing societies where millions of people live. He also has formed an environment protection group called Green Group in Delhi.
He creates and distributes a number of digital publications that cover areas such as technology, law, environment, education, politics, corruption and transparency. He has been facing increasing threats including death threats for his editorial and anti-corruption work while the Indian authorities have ignored his complaints about these threats.
Recently, he has formed the RMN POLCOM GROUP which is offering its custom content development and research services to political parties and political research organizations around the world.
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.
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