RCS Corruption: Delhi Assembly Speaker Ignores Resident’s Complaint

Office of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government
Office of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government

A Delhi resident Nitin Gupta has urged the Speaker of the Delhi Assembly to take concrete steps to weed out corruption from the RCS office of Delhi Government.

While the corruption in the office of the Registrar Cooperative Societies (RCS) of Delhi Government is increasing exponentially, millions of people who live in the housing societies are suffering.

It is being observed that the RCS officials have formed a gang with the corrupt managing committee (MC) members in almost all the cooperative group housing societies (CGHS) to cheat and rob the residents. The total corruption money involved in the CGHS racket is thousands of crores of rupees.

The suffering people have been sending thousands of complaints to RCS office as well as the higher authorities, but their complaints have been falling on deaf ears while the government is not willing to stop RCS corruption.

Letter from Nitin Gupta

RMN News Service, which runs “Clean House” anti-corruption service that focuses on housing societies, has received a letter from Nitin Gupta about the corruption at RCS office.

The letter sent to Ram Niwas Goel, Speaker of the House Delhi Assembly, urges him to form a committee to investigate the large scale non-compliances and violations of the Delhi Cooperative Societies (DCS) Act 2003. However, Goel did not bother to respond.

Later, Nitin Gupta also sent an RTI application to know the fate of his letter. But so far he has not received any response. It shows the arrogant and free-wheeling way in which the politicians and bureaucrats work.

In his letter dated August 2, 2018, Nitin Gupta contends that the DCS Act is aimed to ensure smooth, transparent, and corruption-free functioning of the cooperative societies.

However, he says, it is seen that most of the important provisions of the Act are not followed by the RCS officers and the MCs – which give rise to lack of transparency, corruption, mismanagement, and harassment of the society members. The situation is worse in group housing societies, Nitin Gupta said in his letter.

He adds that in some cases (like the Delhi Nagrik Sahkari Cooperative Bank), the top RCS officers such as the Registrar are responsible for dereliction of duty, but mostly the Deputy Registrars, Assistant Registrars, and other staffers are directly accountable and responsible for ongoing corruption. “The RCS office is in total grip of corruption and inefficiency,” Nitin Gupta stated.

He has demanded a thorough investigation into the RCS corruption and suggested that the corrupt officers should be punished according to the anti-corruption laws. He also suggested that the findings of the investigation should be used to improve the functioning of the RCS office.

He has mentioned a number of DCS Act provisions which are being violated blatantly by the RCS officials. He has particularly highlighted corruption and irregularities in the Arbitration process.

As per the DCS Act Section 70, he says, almost 95 percent of disputes related to the society functioning or RCS office goes to the Arbitration. The Arbitration penal is constituted by the RCS office. He adds that huge level of corruption and game fixing happens in the Arbitration process and award.

He said in the letter that since there is no civil court jurisdiction, the norms and principles of natural justice are kept aside and the appellants are made frustrated through inefficient working style such as lack of information, no online information, absence of arbitrators and undue influence and pressure to compromise.

The Arbitration process takes minimum 8-12 months even in the minor issues. If not satisfied with the Arbitration award, one has to challenge the same in Delhi Cooperative Tribunal (DCT), which, according to Nitin Gupta, is again a corrupt forum.

He says DCT does not follow any defined process; it neither follows Civil Procedure Code nor the Summary Procedure which is followed by most of the tribunals in the country. Hence, it creates huge ambiguity in the whole procedure. The administrative mechanism is totally flawed in DCT and the chairman often misbehaves and conducts as a dictator in the Tribunal, Nitin Gupta said.

He further reveals that the DCT chairman winds up the court at around 12:30 PM and does not give sufficient time for the arguments while ignoring the very basic and important rules of law and court practices. The simple clear-cut cases take minimum 1 year to get disposed off.

It is totally working against the objective of Tribunals that need to follow the summary procedure and decide the cases in a speedy manner. The DCT chairman exhibits clear nepotism when the respondent is RCS office or its officers (Administrators, Asst Registrars, Returning Officers, etc.), Nitin Gupta observed.

Moreover, he said that in this digital age, the RCS office provides minimum and obsolete information on its website. Information related to membership data of all societies, audit reports and other information which should have been mandated to be uploaded, does not exist.

The website carries incorrect information of RCS officers; their email addresses, landline, and mobile numbers are rarely available online. Even after 5-6 months of transfers and postings, the information is not updated.

Nitin Gupta adds that the orders and circulars are selectively uploaded on the website as per the choice and wish of the RCS officers while the RCS office is working in an archaic manner. While the Indian government is trying to promote digital courts to stop physical interaction between citizens and officials in order to reduce the chances of corruption, the RCS officials force the aggrieved citizens to visit their office to know the status of their cases.

Nitin Gupta also sent the copy of his letter to Saurabh Bhardwaj, an MLA and chairman of Petitions Committee of Delhi Assembly, and Rajender Pal Gautam, Minister of Cooperative Societies in Delhi Government. You can click here to read his full letter.

Nitin Gupta runs a law firm Nitin Gupta & Associates (Advocates & Solicitors at Law) in Delhi. As he is planning to form an anti-corruption group of residents to expose the corruption at RCS office, you can contact him on his email or mobile 9711880897 to join the group.

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Rakesh Raman