RCS Office Fails to Stop Corruption in Bhagwati CGHS of Dwarka
Highlights of the Case
- Members of Bhagwati CGHS in Dwarka complain that they are victims of fraud at the Society.
- The RCS office of Delhi Government had ordered a probe into the financial and other irregularities but did not start and complete the investigation.
- The accused contractor and other abettors – in connivance with the RCS office – 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.
By Rakesh Raman
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.
While the RCS office has repeatedly failed to discharge its responsibilities honestly in a number of corruption cases in different housing societies, it has 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 RCS office have fallen on deaf ears.
They lament 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 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.
Clean House Social Service
Today, millions of common residents in Delhi are victims of the terror unleashed by the corrupt managing committee (MC) members of different cooperative group housing societies.
In order to help the suffering residents raise their voice against the growing corruption and injustice in housing societies, I have been running a community-driven free online social service under the banner “Clean House”.
It works as an interface to inform the government departments and law-enforcement agencies in India and abroad about the cases of corruption and other irregularities happening in housing societies.
If you want “Clean House” to report about the corruption and illegal activities in your housing society, you may please contact me with relevant documents and details.
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 RCS office 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 Mr. 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.
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 the Delhi Development Authority (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.
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 RCS office?
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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