RCS Office of Delhi Govt Fails to Check Corruption

Illegal car parking at DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society in Dwarka, New Delhi can cause fire mishaps. Click the photo to read the story. Photo by Rakesh Raman, May 2017.
Illegal car parking at DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society in Dwarka, New Delhi can cause fire mishaps. Click the photo to read the story. Photo by Rakesh Raman

To: All the Government and Law-Enforcement Agencies in India

From: Rakesh Raman, a journalist and social activist

Subject: Mysterious delay by the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government in solving the corruption case of DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society, Sector 4, Plot No. 16, Dwarka, New Delhi 110 078.

This is to inform you that the officials of Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) have failed to take any action against the managing committee (MC) members of the above-stated DPS Housing Society despite numerous complaints over the years by the residents / members.

Rather, the RCS officials – in connivance with the MC members of DPS Housing Society – are trying to harass me and I am facing repeated threats (including false police complaints and legal cases against me) because as a journalist and social activist I am raising my voice against corruption, lawlessness, and human rights violations at different cooperative group housing societies of Delhi.


CLEAN HOUSE

I also run a community-driven editorial section “Clean House” to report cases of corruption and illegal activities in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies. You can click here to visit Clean House.


CVC Inquiry Against DPS Housing Society

Earlier, I had approached India’s top anti-corruption organization Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to take action in this case. As a result, an inquiry was ordered against the MC members of DPS Housing Society by Directorate of Vigilance of Delhi Government – under CVC’s direction. Although the RCS had formally initiated the inquiry against the MC members, the inquiry was shelved for unspecified reasons.

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

Despite their visible malpractices, the MC members have been enjoying a mysterious protection from the RCS office.

In September 2017, I had written a 17-page letter (reproduced below) along with 4 Exhibits to the Registrar (RCS) with document references and details about this case. Although more than 2 months have elapsed, let alone taking the action, the RCS office has not even responded to my letter.

The government and law-enforcement agencies are, therefore, requested to issue immediate directions to the Delhi Government and / or RCS office for getting this case expedited.

IMPORTANT: Instead of sending my letter to the Delhi Government for ‘taking necessary action’, please instruct the concerned department to submit an “Action Taken Report” in a time-bound manner.

The case is described below in the letter that I had sent to the RCS office.

Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter and keep me informed about the progress of the case.


C O N F I D E N T I A L

To                                                                                                                                                September 6, 2017

Mr. J.B. Singh, IAS
Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS)
Delhi Government, Old Court Building
Parliament Street, New Delhi 110 001

Subject: Corruption and Lawlessness at DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society, Sector 4, Plot No. 16, Dwarka, New Delhi 110 078

Dear Sir,

I am a journalist and social activist. This has reference to my 17-page letter (dated August 30, 2017) along with 4 Exhibits that I had sent through Speed Post to your predecessor (Mr. Shurbir Singh, IAS) informing him about numerous cases of corruption and lawlessness at the above-stated DPS Housing Society. (The 17-page letter along with 4 Exhibits is enclosed for your ready reference).

Among other pleas, I had requested the Registrar (RCS) to issue 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 and appoint a government administrator in the Society.

I also had requested the Registrar (RCS) to send me a formal response to my said letter at my address given below within 30 days from the date of the letter – that is, by September 30, 2017.

As now you have become the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS), you are requested to thoroughly investigate this DPS Housing Society corruption case so that the guilty could be caught and punished according to the law.

Again, I request you to send me your response including the action taken by your office on or before September 30, 2017.

Regards
Rakesh Raman
Flat No. 463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16
Sector 4, Dwarka, Phase I, New Delhi 110 078, INDIA


C O N F I D E N T I A L

To

Mr. Shurbir Singh, IAS
Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS)
Delhi Government, Old Court Building
Parliament Street, New Delhi 110 001

August 30, 2017

Subject: Corruption and Lawlessness at DPS Cooperative Group Housing Society, Sector 4, Plot No. 16, Dwarka, New Delhi 110 078

Request: The Registrar (RCS) is requested to send me a formal response to this letter at my address given below within 30 days from the date of the letter – that is, by September 30, 2017.

Preamble

This document is supposed to highlight Corruption, Financial Irregularities, Lawlessness, Criminal Intimidation, Abuse of Authority, and General Mismanagement by the successive Managing Committees (MCs) of the DPS Co-op. Group Housing Society, Dwarka, Sector 4, New Delhi 110 078, India.

This document also highlights the inaction and irresponsible behavior of the officials of Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS), as they have failed to take any action despite numerous complaints over the years by the residents / members.

DPS Co-op. Group Housing Society Managing Committee (MC) Members and Others to be Interrogated by the Anti-Corruption and other Law-Enforcement Agencies:

Current MC Members of DPS Housing Society:

1. President: Neeraj Kumar Vaish
2. Vice President: R. Bala Subramanian
3. Secretary: M.N. Sampath Kumar
4. Member: Ms. Leela Swami
5. Member: Sandeep Taneja
6. Member: Manguram Tyagi
7. Member: Ms. Naseem Afshaque

Past MC Members of DPS Housing Society:

1. President: Col M.M. Shukla (Retd.)
2. Vice President: Neeraj Kumar Vaish
3. Member: Geeta Gautam
4. Member: Leela Swami
5. Member: R.K. Saggi
6. Member: H.L. Kaul
7. Member: K.L. Narayanan

Past MC Members of DPS Housing Society against whom the Government inquiry has been initiated through the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) and directed by the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) and the Directorate of Vigilance of Delhi Government. The MCs have still not responded to the inquiry. The MC members are:

1. President: R. Balasubramanian
2. Vice President: K.V. Varghese
3. Secretary: Neeraj Kumar Vaish
4. Treasurer: Sandeep Taneja
5. Member: Leela Swami
6. Member: Manjit Kaur
7. Member: Gaurav Kumar Sood

Others in Shady Committee(s) / MCs as per the MC documents

Dalip Rozekar, Lal Singh Thakur, O.P. Khanduja, Madhukar Akhilesh, Sunil Chopra, Rajesh Rani Khanduja, Savita Jaiswal, Kusum Kathuria, Hardesh Muddar.

More names of people and firms will surface during the interrogation of the MC members and their supporters.

Case Summary

Various documents and Society records show that corruption and lawlessness have been persisting in the DPS Housing Society for the past about 15 years. However, successive MCs have tried to cover up all unlawful activities and corruption under some clandestine understanding with each other. The financial records of the Society carry numerous discrepancies.

Moreover, many financial documents are either missing from the Society records or have been criminally destroyed by the MC members who have full control of the records. But the auditing firms / persons have been clearing the account books without any objections and without any effort to get them recovered.

Despite repeated complaints from the Society residents / members during the past about eight years (2010-2017), the office of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government has failed to take any action to prevent corruption and safeguard the interests of affected Society members / residents.

[ The present (as on August 30, 2017 when I wrote this letter) Registrar (RCS) is Mr. Shurbir Singh and the present Special Registrar is Mr. Indu Shekhar Mishra who have not taken any action against the law-breaking MC members despite dozens of representations from the residents. Both – Registrar and Special Registrar – have also ignored the CVC-directed inquiry (which was ordered by the RCS office itself) against the MC members. ]

As a result, the innocent people – including even women and senior citizens – are being threatened and intimidated by the MC members because they have tried to raise their voice against the misdeeds and improper activities of the MC members.

Now the MC members are not only using abusive language against the residents who oppose them in a civilized manner, but they have also threatened to use brute force against them if they tried to raise their voice against the irregular activities of the MC. As most residents are extremely terrified by the violent behavior of the MC members of the Society, they have decided to stay quiet.

Now, I am fighting this battle alone to highlight the irregularities in the DPS Housing Society and the terror being inflicted by the Managing Committees (MCs) on innocent residents – men, women, and children.

Revenge of MC

In a meeting held on June 25, 2017, the MC took the decision to expel me from the Society as a revenge on me because I have been raising my voice for many years against the corruption and lawlessness by the MC members of the Society. Earlier the MC members filed a couple of false police complaints against me in order to suppress my voice.

In March 2017, I had written to Mr. Amulya Patnaik, Commissioner of Police, Delhi regarding the threats that I have been receiving from the MC members of the DPS Housing Society, where I live. The Office of the Commissioner of Police had informed me that Joint Commissioner of Police (Southern Western Range) and DCP Vigilance will handle this case.

While the RCS office has been ignoring multiple representations from the Society residents against the MC, suddenly it took a quick decision to start my expulsion proceedings.

I received a letter dated 16.8.2017 from the Office of the Special Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) informing me that the President / Secretary of the DPS Housing Society has moved proposal for approval of my expulsion under section 86 of the DCS Act, 2003 read with Rule 99 of DCS Rules, 2007.

In the said letter, I was asked to appear before the Special Registrar to file my submission on 28.8.2017 at 3:00 p.m. But shockingly the Special Registrar (Mr. Indu Shekhar Mishra) refused to listen to me and in a very threatening tone he asked me to keep quiet. Worse, he refused to accept my written response to the expulsion that is being conspired to intimidate and harm me.

The MC’s complaint to get me expelled from the Society is in fact a blatant attack on my right to freedom of expression and speech as a journalist (guaranteed to me by the Constitution of India through Article 19). The MC is complaining about my articles on MC’s corruption that I have been writing on my news site (see MC’s letters dated dated April 13, 2017 and June 23, 2017).

The RCS office has no authority to challenge my media / editorial work, but strangely Mr. Indu Shekhar Mishra decided to cross the boundaries of his office to punish me for my journalistic work. Instead of dismissing the petition of the MC, Mr. Mishra decided to intimidate me with his letter about my expulsion.

When I was called and met him in his office on August 28, 2017 to present my case, Mr. Mishra was so rude to me that it gave me an impression that I am still living in the colonial regime and sitting in front of a viceroy.


Expulsion Conspiracy

Although I have submitted my written response (along with the printed Exhibits) multiple times in the RCS office, for some strange reason RCS office has decided to ignore my response and threatening me repeatedly that it will take ex-parte decision to expel me from the Society.

The RCS officials – in connivance with the MC members of DPS Housing Society – are trying to harass me and I am facing repeated threats because as a journalist and social activist I am raising my voice against corruption, lawlessness, and human rights violations at different cooperative group housing societies of Delhi.

You can click here to read my response that I have already submitted in the RCS office, and which is being ignored.


Scope of the Case

1. By definition and application, various anti-corruption and maintenance of financial transparency laws are applicable in different cases of corruption at DPS Housing Society. These include the Prevention of Corruption Act, Indian Penal Code (IPC), and the Right to Service legislation which is aimed to reduce corruption and to increase transparency and accountability.

2. After a thorough inquiry, the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988 and Disproportionate Assets (DA) laws may also apply in some cases.

3. A new MC is equally responsible for the corrupt practices of the previous MCs if the new MC has accepted the financial irregularities of the previous MCs without any formal and transparent administrative and legal action against the previous MCs to recover the money lost in corruption. If the new MC has not taken any legal action against the erring previous MC, it shows its complicity in crime.

Suppose, for example, if a case of misappropriation of funds happened in 2006, all the subsequent MCs are responsible for it if they have not initiated any formal legal proceedings overtly to recover the lost money in such a case.

Similarly, all the members of the committees that MC formed to get its shady proposals cleared are also responsible for the wrongdoings.

4. According to global anti-corruption organization Transparency International, corruption thrives on low level of transparency. And you can see there is no transparency in financial transactions at DPS Housing Society – so much so that the Society even flouts the government orders to maintain transparency.

5. DPS Housing Society MCs mislead the people by saying that its accounting books are in order. Accused – who ask for corruption proofs – do not understand that the accounting books of all corrupt organizations are always in order. The accounting plus-minus calculations will always be correct because you are simply subtracting the expenses from the income. One should never trust the data given only in customary accounting books.

Actually, it amounts to corruption when the supporting documents are missing from the accounting books and transparent purchase procedures are not followed, which is the case at DPS Housing Society. To understand the accounting books fraud, you can study the Enron case, although there are hundreds of such fraud cases.

6. As the past and present DPS Housing Society MC members are extremely cunning, they have been asking me about proofs of corruption so that they could produce fake documents to cover up their acts of corruption. I have been giving them proofs in the past through government / law-enforcement agencies. But they are not revealing about them to Society members and did not bother to respond to the CVC-directed government inquiry.

I have also been formally asking the MC members about certain financial and other details related to transparency of operations and expenditure procedures, but they could never give me those details.

The MC’s reply must include statutory financial documents, names / addresses of vendors, vendor selection procedures, payment terms, all related vouchers, expenditure processes, etc. that are required to be produced as per the inquiry. Only the income-expenditure statements and balance sheets will not satisfy the inquiry, as these bland statements / sheets conceal more than what they reveal.

Background of the Case

Although there has been blatant misappropriation of Society funds, the past and present Managing Committees (MCs) never tried to follow the statutory procedures. Here it is imperative to state that all the financial statements are meaningless if these are not supported by all the supportive documents and vouchers. The MC members must know that all the corrupt companies of the world keep their account books clean, but still they are caught and punished because of various financial discrepancies.

Moreover, there should be “formal approvals” from the Society members and visible adherence to statutory financial requirements as prescribed under the law and government-specified norms for financial transactions.

Despite my repeated requests, different MCs have failed to produce such documentary support to justify the expenses running into hundreds of thousands (or crores of rupees). So, now I have intensified my campaign to highlight the corrupt practices at the DPS Housing Society in order to draw the attention of all stakeholders including the government and law-enforcement agencies.

The MC members have been saying that I am making false and wild allegations against them and not giving specific instances where they have faltered. I was apprehensive that if I gave them the specific cases, they will arrange fake documents and vouchers to defend themselves.

However, now after taking certain precautions, I have given some specific cases which call for civil as well as criminal proceedings against all the the past and present MC members and their internal and external accomplices. The specific cases are given below in this document.

The DPS Housing Society MC has repeatedly threatened me to file police cases against me because as a member of the Society I am trying to know the truth about the financial and other procedures that the MC follows. In fact, besides MC’s attempts to get me expelled from the Society with the help of RCS office, the MC has already filed a couple of false police complaints against me in order to suppress my voice. Now the MC members are threatening me with a legal case against me.

The MC members have threatened me to cancel my membership and expel me from the Society if I raised my voice against the dubious deeds in which they are involved. To protect myself from any harm that MC members must be conspiring against me, now I am trying to approach the highest government authorities – beginning with the RCS office.

Now, the MC members are getting excessively vindictive against me because recently I had exposed their greed, as they tried to make easy money in an illegal building extension / construction project under an ambiguous FAR (floor area ratio) scheme of the government. Under residents’ protests, the previous MC – including M.M. Shukla, Neeraj Vaish, Ms. Geeta Gautam, Ms. Leela Swami, R.K. Saggi, K.L. Narayanan, H.L. Kaul – had to take back its decision and this construction project was stopped.

From March 2017, the new MC – including Neeraj Vaish, R. Bala Subramanian, M.N. Sampath Kumar, Ms. Leela Swami, Sandeep Taneja, Manguram Tyagi, Ms. Naseem Afshaque – which is actually controlled by the old members who are facing corruption charges is again trying to start the massive building extension and construction project worth crores of rupees. The estimated project cost is Rs. 15 crore out of which a huge money is expected to be swindled by the MC members and their accomplices.

The present and previous MC’s have been using flawed methods of conducting Annual General Meetings (AGMs) and General Body Meetings (GBMs) to justify their wrong decisions. I – as well as other members – have been repeatedly warning the MC’s about this. But all such requests have been falling on deaf ears and MC members have been behaving like dictators. They are not following the Delhi Cooperative Societies rules to hold AGMs / GBMs. The RCS office, as usual, has ignored the complaints of the residents about the flawed AGMs / GBMs.

The MC members boast that they have come unopposed in the MC office. That has been happening for the past many years for no honest person wants to become part of the MC because of the persisting mess in the Society’s accounts. Only greedy people whose eyes are on making easy money become MC office bearers. The MC members also boast about their connections with the politicians / police / authorities indicating that no action can be taken against their frauds.

Case with Specific References

The entire case needs to be examined, as prima facie there are enormous irregularities in financial transactions and records. Also, there have been blatant attempts by the DPS Housing Society MCs to threaten and hoodwink the shareholders / members of the Society.

Moreover, the present and past MCs have been misleading the government departments that are supposed to carry out investigations in this case. And as the case has been hanging fire for years, the possibility of a nexus between the MCs and concerned government officials – mainly at the RCS office – cannot be ruled out.

Corruption and Financial Irregularities

Format: MC letter reference and date, relevant text from the said letter, and inquiry point.

MC Letter dated June 23, 2017 – Point 5

MC Stated: A previous President of the Society M.M. Shukla (who resigned under mysterious circumstances without completing his term) has been openly circulating documents about corruption at the Society. In fact, in his letter dated June 23, 2017 (under Point No. 5) about my expulsion proceedings, the current Secretary Sampathkumar has reiterated Shukla’s claims about misappropriation of Society funds worth Rs. 54 lakh.

To be Inquired: If Sampathkumar and Shukla – who have been top DPS Housing Society MC members / office bearers – know that there is corruption in the Society for at least Rs. 54 lakh (it will be crores of rupees including interest amount), then why did they not approach the right police or law-enforcement agencies to get the corruption money recovered? They seem to be working in connivance with the people whom they have blamed for corruption.

Letter: DPS/ Audit/ 2005-06/ 12 dated 12 September 2016 – Point 12

MC Stated: Paid Rs 4.2 lakhs to Reliable Transmission, for a job which never took place in our society (Ghost entries made). This company if existed on ground was not registered for doing civil works.

To be Inquired: What attempt did M. M. Shukla (who was President at that time and prepared the document of allegations) make to recover the money and what is the status of that money now? There are chances that M. M. Shukla did not try to recover the money because he was bribed by the parties involved in this shady deal.

Letter: DPS/ Audit/ 2005-06/ 12 dated 12 September 2016 – Point 17

MC Stated: When the occupation level was below 43 ( Aug 2006), the MC spent nearly Rs. 7 lakhs extra on getting water bowsers for our residents. This was taken out of the reserve fund. The SGBM had 8 members present, to sanction this extra expenditure, in 2005.

To be Inquired: What financial process did the MC follow to spend this money and how was the money swindled in this case?

Letter: Dated 15 November 2016 signed by Society MC President M. M. Shukla

Without following any procedure, M. M. Shukla informed that he has hired a team of structural engineers to assess the structural health of the building. He did not inform about the process followed to hire the engineers, the professional details of the engineers, money involved, their contacts, etc. Finally, the same firm (M/s Vivek & Arti Architects) was hired in a totally dishonest manner. Moreover, the current MC, which is actually the shadow of the previous MC, decided to pay the architect firm Rs. 5-8 lakh as liasioning fee from the Society funds (public money).

To be Inquired: M. M. Shukla must be interrogated for his links with the hired engineers or their firm because it is learnt that the same firm – M/s Vivek & Arti Architects / Spline Engineers & Consultant Pvt Ltd. – was arbitrarily awarded the contract in June 2017 to carry out a massive construction / repair project worth about Rs. 15 crore. And the present MC members – particularly Sampathkumar – must be asked the definition of liasioning fee that he has decided to pay to the architect firm. Is liasioning fee being used to pay bribes to the government officials to get approvals for the planned construction / repair project?

Letter: DPS/ Audit/ 2005-06/ 12 dated 12 September 2016 – Point 21

MC Stated: Nothing is time barred as it is a case of FRAUD. Members have to understand the magnitude of the misappropriation by scaling it against cost of a FLAT which was 11.16 Lakhs (2002) and today it is 140 Lakhs (12 times in 15 years).

To be Inquired: These figures were revealed by M. M. Shukla who was the President in 2016. The total amount of “FRAUD” estimated in this case is crores of rupees. M. M. Shukla must be interrogated to know about the corruption in this case which he has termed as “FRAUD.”

Letter: DPS/ Audit/ 2005-06/ 12 dated 12 September 2016 – Point 18

MC Stated: Original Members paid one installment of Rs 55,000/- additional for the escalated cost @ Rs 11.16 lakhs and 9.16 Lakhs. Rs 30,000/- per member was collected as SINKING FUND, which never was accounted in the Balance Sheet.

To be Inquired: What attempt was made by the subsequent MCs to know the exact status of this money? Why could they not follow the legal process to recover the money?

Letter: DPS CGHS/SEGBM/02/09 dated December 6, 2009 under Explanatory Notes/Agenda for the SEGBM Scheduled on December 20th, 2009 , Point 2.

MC Stated: M/s Shivaji Bhera who offered to do the repair work for just Rs. 4 lakh was removed to hire a firm M/s SP Repcon of Mr. Satpal Sharma who was awarded the same repair contract for more than Rs. 30 lakh that M/s Shivaji Bhera had offered to do in just Rs. 4 lakh. Although the repair work is not complete even today, the contractor was paid the money by the then MC.

To be Inquired: What process was followed by the MC to hire the contractor and make payments? As the then MC and subsequent MCs have failed to produce the supporting documents, it is a case of corruption and misappropriation of funds by the members of different MCs that held office from 2009 to 2017.

Letter: DPS/ Audit/ 2005-06/ 12 dated 12 September 2016 – Point 19

MC Stated: There was an inquiry instituted by the AGM 2007 to get the details of the funds under consideration for misappropriation. Mr Lal Singh Thakur, Lawyer (301), Mrs Rajesh Rani Khanduja (261) Treasurer of the newly elected MC, Mr Sandeep Taneja, Chartered Accountant (473) constituted the committee. They could not progress the inquiry, due to non communication of the MC members.

To be Inquired: What was the amount of money involved and why did the MC or the said inquiry committee fail to take the legal course to know the status of funds and recover those funds? There is a probability that the MC / inquiry committee members received bribe to close the case.

Letter: DPS/ Audit/ 2005-06/ 12 dated 12 September 2016 – Point 20

MC Stated: This old MC had a record of being forced to go for ELECTIONS (2000, 2004 and 2006) and there was a special audit ordered by the RCS for FY 2001-02 and 2002-03. There is no record of the outcome of the special audit.

To be Inquired: What were the findings of the special audit and who were the officials responsible at RCS office to scuttle the special audit or the release of its findings? What attempt did the subsequent MCs make to get the special audit done again as there were persisting financial irregularities in the Society?

Letter: DPS/ Audit/ 2005-06/ 12 dated 12 September 2016 – Security Money

MC Stated: The security money to be deposited by the contractor was decided @ less than 3% of the contract at Rs 15 Lakhs and was never collected beyond a sum of Rs 3.7 lakhs. It shows a clear understanding between the Contractor and MC, based on personal favors. It saved the contractor from borrowing working capital from the market @18- 24%. The MC did not have any deposits of the contractor as on 31 March 2002, to be deducted / adjusted against excess payment, as per the letter of DPS Society. But, Balance sheet shows a deposit by the contractor, which is false. This shows manipulation by the MC with a purpose, in connivance with the Architect and Contractor.

To be Inquired: What attempt did M. M. Shukla (who was President at that time and prepared the document of allegations) make to recover the money and what is the status of that money now? There are chances that M. M. Shukla did not try to recover the money because he was bribed by the parties involved in this shady deal. Similarly, the present MC is reluctant to initiate a formal inquiry into the alleged misappropriation of funds.

Letter: DPS/GBM/03/2014-15 dated 15.08.2014 – Page 1, Point 1

MC Stated: Members inquired if the figures (16.76 lakhs & 27.58 lakhs) in the Loans and Advances (a/c Builtwell) can be removed, though as per auditors this will be carried forward for want of historical records and this figure appears in all past balance sheets. These figures have appeared again in the letter Minutes of the Meeting dated 28.09.2015 Point 7 about the audit report 2014 – 15.

To be Inquired: Where are those historical records and what is the status of the money stated in the points mentioned above? What attempt has the present MC made to recover that money?

Letter: DPS/GBM/03/2014-15 dated 15.08.2014 – Page 2, Point 3

MC Stated: The Society thanks Mr. Gautam and Mr. Saggi for their complete involvement in having the Society repaired and now looking in better shape. It was informed that the approximate cost of the entire repair was (Rs.) 6 – 7 lakhs.

To be Inquired: Who are Mr. Gautam and Mr. Saggi to spend this huge amount of residents’ money without any authorization by the shareholders? What type of secret arrangement did they have with the then MC? When the monthly expenditure limit of the MC is just Rs. 10,000, how did it spend Rs. 6 – 7 lakhs without following any stipulated financial procedure? Why has the present MC not inquired into this unaccounted for expenditure? Why has the present MC always ignored my (as well as residents’) queries about this expenditure?

Water Corruption

The Managing Committees (MCs) were spending excessive money (running into crores of rupees) for buying water from external sources and, in turn, getting substandard water, which could be harmful to human consumption. Despite repeated requests from members, the successive MCs refused to provide details of water purchase.

It is learnt that the MC members in connivance with a Society supervisor and security guards were showing Rs. 6,000 per tanker in account books for a water tanker that cost Rs. 2,000 only. Assuming 4 water tankers were procured in a day, the corruption money involved in a day was Rs. 16,000 and the corruption money in a month was about Rs. 5 lakh.

If, say, water tankers were procured for 8 years, the total corruption money that MC members swindled was about Rs. 5 crore. It is learnt that since there were no water measurement norms, the MC members even paid Rs. 6,000 per tanker fraudulently for even those tankers that did not carry full quantity of water.

To be Inquired: The MC members (past and present) 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 followed.

Letter: DPS CGHS/GBM/02/10 dated April 18, 2010 – Point No. 12

The MC informed the residents about the provision of convenience store / Amul Milk Booth in the DPS Society, but did not inform how the MC members selected the vendor to give the booth owner the premium space inside the Society. It is said that the MC members are taking a very low rent from the vendor and taking underhand money from the vendor – sometimes in the form of products also. The total corruption money involved over the years in this case is estimated to be Rs. 10 lakh.

To be Inquired: MC has to explain the procedure that it used to select Amul Milk Booth. What procedure did the MC follow to allot the precious real estate of the Society building to a handpicked vendor while it could have transparently auctioned the milk booth to earn more money for the Society?

Corruption in Illegal Car Parking

While the successive managing committees (MCs) of the DPS Housing Society are part of the parking racket, they have been blatantly defying even the court orders (one parking space per flat) to allow other law-breaking residents to park their multiple cars inside the building.

The Delhi High Court has ruled that only one car per flat will be allowed in housing society parking lots. But the DPS Housing Society MCs have brazenly decided to ignore the court orders and now cars stand cheek by jowl in such a way that the movement in the building is completely obstructed.

Consequently, the risk of fatalities has increased manifold, as the congested car parking in the Society has left no space for the entry of even firefighting vehicles in the event of fire in the building or ambulances in the case of health emergencies.

Corruption is believed to be one of the main reasons that MC members have allowed illegal car parking endangering the lives of hundreds of people living in the building.

Today, the price of a 1500 sq. ft. housing property in Dwarka (Delhi) is estimated to be Rs. 1.5 crore. In other words, the price per sq. ft. is Rs. 10,000. Considering that car parking space is open (not covered like a flat), its price per sq. ft. will be around Rs. 5,000. On average, a car parking space covers about 100 sq. ft. That means, the price of one car parking space is an estimated Rs. 500,000.

By this formula, if the DPS Housing Society MC members are giving an additional car space to a flat owner, they are benefited by Rs. 500,000. Obviously, the MC members would like something in return to this arbitrary and illegal benevolence showered upon law-breaking car owners.

If the MC members are breaking the law and allowing illegal car parking worth Rs. 500,000 per flat, it is safe to assume that they must be taking a part of the money back from additional car owners in some secret underhand dealings. As nearly 40 illegal parking spaces are created in the Society, the total corruption money involved in this case is estimated to be Rs. 2 crore.

To be Inquired: The MC must be interrogated to know the reasons for illegal car parking and the total money that MC members or others have swindled.

New Corruption Attempts

Now the DPS Housing Society MC members – most of whom have already been involved in shady deals – are planning another repair / construction project which is expected to start at around Rs. 9 crore and can finally cost about Rs. 15 crore. To be carried out under the FAR (floor area ratio) extension scheme, the project is expected to start this year – 2017.

This project will not only give the MC members another opportunity to swindle money, but it will also cause enormous dust and noise pollution which will be extremely harmful to men, women, children, and particularly senior citizens who are living in the Society building.

As the current MC members have deceptively combined the building repairs work with the FAR-based extended construction, now they are forcing each flat owner to pay from Rs. 4 lakh – Rs. 9 lakh (the cost is expected to further increase). These individual flat owners include a number of senior citizens who cannot afford the exorbitant construction / repairs costs.

The MC members are committing this financial crime with the help of the fraudulently appointed architect firm Vivek & Arti Architects and by ostensibly getting the decisions cleared in bogus General Body Meetings (GBMs). The MC is forcing the residents / members to pay the first installment of Rs. 2 lakh (per flat) for construction / repair by September 10, 2017.

As this is an illegal project, it is expected that the MC members or the architect firm will take clearances from different departments such as the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and others by bribing the officials in those departments.

Some corruption attempts are described in the following references:

Letter: DPSCGHS: 2017:020:115 dated August 2, 2017 – Page 4, Point 9.3

MC Stated: The architect shall arrange for all the mandatory sanctions, from the Regulatory / Statutory agencies, for a liaison fee of Rs: 08 Lakhs ( Rupees Eight Lakhs Only), which shall be exclusive of Official Fees paid to DDA.

To be Inquired: As the MC members are trying to execute an illegal construction project worth crores of rupees in the building, they have arbitrarily hired an architect firm Vivek & Arti Architects without following the statutory norms. The investigation should find out the extent of connivance between the MC members and Vivek & Arti Architects. And what is the “liaison fees of Rs. 8 lakh?” In all probability, this amount is for bribing the government officials to get approvals illegally?

Letter: DPSCGHS: 2017:020:115 dated August 2, 2017 – Page 4, Point 9.4

MC Stated: In order to meet the above expenditure, the Members are requested to deposit Rs 200,000/- (Rupees Two lakhs Only), on or before 10th September 2017, by drawing a crossed cheque, in favour of “DPS CGHS Ltd (Repair/Strengthening/FAR)”.

To be Inquired: As the MC is misusing its authority by imposing this arbitrary amount on members, it must be asked how it arrived at this figure. The total amount in this case will be Rs. 1.8 crore as there are 90 members. The MC must be asked to stop collecting this money.

Letter: DPSCGHS: 2017:020:115 dated August 2, 2017 – Page 4, Point 9.5

MC Stated: In order to ensure timely completion of the project of Repair / Strengthening and FAR, Members are requested to deposit the balance in 12 equal monthly installment of Rs: 50,000/= ( Rupees Fifty Thousand Only), with effect from 01 January 2018.

To be Inquired: As the MC is misusing its authority by imposing this arbitrary amount on members, it must be asked how it arrived at this figure. Moreover, the FAR (floor area ratio) based construction is illegal because it will damage the environment and spread pollution in the building where people – men, women, children – are already living.

Letter: DPSCGHS: 2017:020:115 dated August 2, 2017 – Page 4, Point 9.6

MC Stated: The Members who are opting only for the repair and strengthening, shall deposit their initial deposit of Rs 200,000/- ( Rupees Two Lakhs Only) and subsequent four installments of Rs 50,000/- ( Rupees Fifty thousand Only). The estimated cost for the Listed Common works is approximately Rs 4 lakhs ( Rupees Four Lakhs Only).

To be Inquired: The MC has deceitfully combined the FAR construction amount and repairs amount so that more people should opt for FAR-based extension. This attempt is to collect and swindle money from the construction project which is estimated to be of Rs. 15 crore. The investigation should take immediate preventive steps to stop the MC from carrying out this illegal project in which the MC has been flouting all statutory requirements.

Other Cases of Possible Corruption

Similarly, the MC should be asked to explain the procedures to hire all other vendors for, say, security services, generator maintenance, lift maintenance, etc. during the past over a decade. The MC must also be asked to explain the procedures that it followed to allow leading commercial companies such as Jio to enter the Society building and create their service infrastructure in the building.

Case Objectives

  1. 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.
  2. To get the present managing committee (MC) dismissed through the office of Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government.
  3. 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.
  4. To get the charges framed against the guilty MC members and their internal and external accomplices under Prevention of Corruption Act, Indian Penal Code (IPC), and the Right to Service legislation which is aimed to reduce corruption and to increase transparency and accountability.
  5. To institute an inquiry against the officials at RCS office who have failed to take any action in the DPS Housing Society case despite repeated complaints from the suffering residents / members.

About Me

I am a government’s National award-winning journalist and writer of children’s books. Besides working at senior editorial positions with India’s leading media companies, I had been writing an edit-page column for The Financial Express newspaper. Nowadays, I am running my own news services on different subjects.

As a journalist, I have been regularly writing dozens of articles about corruption in India and abroad. And my work against corruption has been extensively covered by the leading newspapers of the country.

Among other top assignments, 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.

These days, along with my editorial work, I run a free school for poor children in the J.J. Colony of Sector 3, Dwarka, Delhi under my NGO – RMN Foundation.

And I have also formed a Green Group of Dwarka for environment protection and to save the environment from air pollution, dust pollution, noise pollution, water pollution, etc. in order to minimize the effect of pollution on Climate Change. The Group’s activities cover the entire city of Delhi.

Update: I also run a community-driven editorial section “Clean House” to report cases of corruption and illegal activities in Delhi’s cooperative group housing societies.

The Registrar (RCS) is requested to study the entire case from its office records and send me a formal response to this letter at my address given below.

The RCS office should also inform me as soon as it starts taking action in this case.

Regards
Rakesh Raman
Flat No. 463, DPS Apts., Plot No. 16
Sector 4, Dwarka, Phase I
New Delhi 110 078, INDIA

Enclosed Documents:

EXHIBIT 1. CVC-directed inquiry letter sent by the RCS office to MC

EXHIBIT 2. Directorate of Vigilance letter to RCS

EXHIBIT 3. Example of a proof when MC spent over Rs. 23 lakh (the cost finally went over Rs. 30 lakh) for a work that a vendor offered to do for just Rs. 4 lakh.

EXHIBIT 4. Letter of residents asking the RCS to dissolve the MC and appoint a government administrator.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman