This is really fast ” said Mr Pandit ( name changed ) one of the resident owners. He was commenting on my impatience with the speed of prosecution. I have currently taken up a big battle to unmask massive corruption in my residential society. Distt Deputy Registrar ( DDR) and Deputy Registrar of society Pune City for societies are exchanging letters to bring the corrupt to the book. He further elaborated – ”   The first step here should be to totally insulate them; take away their right to spend our hard earned money.  “.   I had been following up with Registrar of societies ( RoS )  for last 3 months and now the formal investigation on grounds of financial crime is about to begin. The office bearers in  our  society office had illegally done spending of  our maintenance fund without General body approval. Read the original story here

Why should  this  concern all of us ?

We all probably live in or will be living in residential societies where corruption /misappropriation/ can occur. A typical residential society of 400 apartments can have a fund of 1 crore+. The so called volunteers to selflessly serve the society can have their morals taking long vacation when they smell so much money. This may lead to huge leakage of your cash and dilapidated state of your residential society.  Either you can accept that corruption  citing various reasons ( from lack of time, awareness, intent or chalta hai etc) or will have an urge to fight this disease. Its when you decide to fight, will need to know how to proceed. The path to justice is long and torturous. The officers who tried to prosecute Laloo Yadav spent 17 yrs to send the scoundrel to jail.  You may need to be mentally prepared to fight for months, if not years.  I am already in my 4th month 🙂

How often is this kind of fight done ?

Very rarely.  99.9% of such cases of corruption either go unnoticed or people forget about it. Often they are too lazy to even confront the corrupt. The govt procedures of addressing these crimes is too slow and tests your patience and tenacity to extremes.

Why people do not raise voices ?

Its excruciating to fight against corrupt both at lower and higher levels.    For example, if some scoundrel makes a backdoor entry into society office position, its very tedious to throw the him out. They have society funds to hire legal advisors, crook accountants and 5 to 6 partners in crime. You may have to initially hack it all relentlessly

Why is it difficult to throw scoundrels out ?

Most of the people in societies either are not aware about implications of corruption or take it as a part of their ordinary lives. They seldom rise against the corrupt. most believe, its somebody else’s job to fight corruption. Those who rise against corruption have to fight a machinery ( Administration, Sympathisers of corrupt, security employed and inertia of people ).  The cases of illegal committees ( Folks who get into office without getting elected ) of society offices are not dislodged by Registrars any more. One has to go to Co Operative court to challenge that. Going to court means hiring a co operative lawyer and paying his fee. This is enough to give an ordinary citizen jitters. While the crusader has to pay legal charges from her own pocket, the scoundrels have war chest of maintenance fund at their disposal which they utilize to engage legal advisor, bribe civic officials, forge documents with help of corrupt chartered accountants and circulate false justification using society resources.

Alternate method of throwing  illicit and corrupt committee out is by calling an Extra ordinary general meeting ( EOGM)expressing no confidence against the dishonest and corrupt.

Why  EOGM method  is a difficult thing ?

Calling an EOGM for no confidence requires written signature of 33 % of members  (  As a norm only  less than 25% of resident owners attend society meetings ). This means if you have 100 members in society and you want to throw the corrupt out , while you need 33 signatures, you can only reach out only 25 people. Often out of the 25 active members 10 to 12 may already  be huddled in crime. Further, to boot the corrupt out, you need 2/3rd people voting them out.  This means in a society of 100 apartments, you need 67 people voting out . Or if its permissible 2/3rd of attending members. This means if 25 attend the meeting you need 17 people to vote the corrupt out. If the committee comprises 10 members,  mathematically , it may never happen. Its a scenario like no matter how much you hate Congress and its crimes you cant throw it out for 5 yrs because they manage the floor using Mayas, Mulayams, Karunanidhis and Sharad Pawars.

What is the way out ?

Society is like a cell of democracy and none of the provisions work unless there is large participation from all the owners. With 25% or less voting and participation, crooks invariably win . We, thus have the state of society like that of the nation where the ugliest crooks float to the top. Its important that there is large voting turn out ( >75% ) to select people . Also it must be ensured that only the members who are elected through voting become the office bearers. There needs to be an internal lokpal in all societies with power to suspend Chairmen/President/ Secretary/ Treasurer if there are sufficient grounds for dishonesty , corruption or procedural impropriety.

This is what I have done in my society till date in my fight against corruption :

Its been 3.5 months now since I first started it all.  This is how the pieces on chessboard look like

  1. The accused  still disgrace the office . Few  or many steps away from check mate ( I do not know)
  2. The District Deputy Registrar has requested an  eight point response ( In hard core Marathi even difficult for Marathi professor to understand ) for detailed inquiry to  proceed. This  moved some of my pieces into central square
  3.  The evidences which justify detailed inquiry are ready with me.
  4. The thick skinned refuse to vacate the office. In professional chess, no player waits for the check mate. They resign when they have some irrecoverable disadvantage like a major piece loss or a vulnerability.  However in real life, the shameless till they are driven out with force cling on. Fools die hard, crooks die harder
  5. A lot of paper crimes, dishonesty has been perpetrated example : showing an audit report on a date it didn’t exist.  Falsifying the minutes of meeting of AGM, misusing office staff for personal service, etc. When people who are cheats get caught and are incriminated, they try to be even bigger cheats.
  6. As per Maharashtra Co op act, 15 clear days before AGM, the committee needs to circulate audited books of accounts to the members. The crooks in my society sent unaudited balance sheet and asked for approval for audited report which no one had seen. In layman’s term its like taking an approval of financial crimes without even you knowing that crime has happened
  7.  The counter move from those seeking justice has been to submit a written  request from over 30 residents to Dy Registrar that AGM held was illegal.
  8. Momentum often works against the weak.  Approx 70% of people voting in AGM have given in writing that they  want the corrupt to be dismissed.
  9. The partners in crime have gone into a huddle trying to delay the incrimination. Some stooges croak in between on trivial issues to  divert attention from the main issue of corruption
  10. The society and its residents suffer as the apartments get the least resale and rental values in its area.
  11.  The wheel of justice though slow,  is moving in a right direction to ensure that guilty gets exemplary punishment.

If however you persist with right process there is always hope for justice : Watch Shawshank Redemption  to understand it 🙂

Ray of hope

Keep soldiering

12 thoughts on “Torturous road to justice against corrupt

  1. Thank you Mr.Arun Purohit. My society where I continue to live, successfully and scientifically silenced my voice. Now I am faced with another 2 corruption cases directly involving my finances. One I have tried to explain in http;//www.iob.luz.cc and another involving IDBI Capital Market Services Ltd, I am just contemplating what to do. In both cases, I am cheated of nearly Rs.50 Lakh each hard earned money in manipulative ways that includes fabricating bank statements by bank and its direct staff themselves…
    Again and again, the novel, ‘inferno’ comes to my mind. Probably due to population explosion and human kind outnumbering other species in the world, everyone is becoming greedy and doing things otherwise they will be very hesitant to do.

    Like

    1. I dont think banks can fabricate a statement and defraud you. Remember Sir Conandoyle’s immortal quote – ” There’s never a perfect crime ” If you apply your wits and persevere you should be able to get enough evidence to nail the cheats. Do not get silenced and give up on the battle. The scoundrels in my society did bite the dust. They were named ,shamed and humiliated in the society elections. truth finally prevailed

      Like

  2. According to me corruption in private bodies, private companies, private places is much more dangerous because, it spreads more easily and corrupt the mind of young as if it is correct. In government departments, a sense of guilt is there. Fear of prosecution is there.
    Kindly visit http://www.ceebrosboulevard.com – (now registered as a web journal with press declaration), let us expose corruption in private places like apartment societies, lions clubs, charitable trusts, private companies, managers stealing the efforts and hard work of tele-callers and field executives …

    Like

  3. Hey Navnit,
    I am tenant in Ceebros too. The dismissive attitude of the management committee – especially president and secretary, the know-it-all attitude, and them being over protective of the FM team is very obvious in numerous conversations in ADDA. I suspected something is amiss. Now reading your site confirms my hunch. I was surprised at the attempts by MC to cover all these up.

    And these people (and fellow owners seem to concur) that they are saints as they are sacrificing their personal time for the well-being of the community. This is not a service, this is a responsibility. If they are not up for it, they should not take it up.

    It looks like laws in Bangalore allow for provisions to inspect the accounting records. I don’t think that they can shrug away and get away with the fraud citing lack of resources. In the first place, they should have maintained proper records. I believe laws in Chennai should be similar.

    Have you sought legal opinion already?

    Check this out:
    http://apartmentadda.com/blog/2009/03/10/a-guide-to-apartment-owners-associations-in-bangalore/

    Like

  4. Thank you Arun. Most of the other members (owners) already see me as a lone villain spoiling their peace of mind. They are solidly with the office bearers and committee and willing to endorse anything that they do. No one is even willing to read my mail or posts.

    Like

    1. Keep soldiering.. I fought singlehandedly just like you for months before other members joined me. We finally threw the swines out. It takes a lot of persistence to wipe out the bloodsuckers embedded in the system.

      Like

  5. Hello friend, I am in a similar situation of exposing and fighting against corruption in my residential apartment society of 300+. I may have to borrow most words from you and insert into my exposure portal. According to me corruption in private bodies, private companies, private places is much more dangerous because, it spreads more easily and corrupt the mind of young as if it is correct.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s