Torturous road to justice against corrupt

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

Splitting the expenses and fraud accounting

2 weeks ago, I wrote a post on how people with questionable values lead  to collapse of propriety in a housing society. How it affects the citizen mindset in the whole country.

I had 2 options to deal with this ugly situation :

1. Crib at the errant and ugly behavior of office holders. // Easy and practiced by many.

2. Do some concrete action to restore propriety and my own faith in the system. // Its was as difficult or as instinctive to me as confronting a drunk molester in a running bus. The  story of confronting molester is here

The majority in my society exercised option 1.

The option 2, I exercised put me up fighting against a group of people ensconced and fortified on a hill ( Just like Kargil intruders ). They have a war chest of society resources (  Maintenance money worth lakhs, legal advisors, security, accountants etc)  to harass me.

As always, its unnerving for most individual crusaders to fight the alligators in pond.  A rational man is advised by friends to give up under provocations.

Look at one suggestion from a well wisher on facebook :


I accepted the suggestion to be an Aam aadmi , An aam aadami , today is frustrated with the corruption and willing to take to streets.  Many of the aam aadamis may fail, bleed during the trsyst  but their is light at the end of tunnel.  There are some glorious instances where a single guy brought down an entire army of crooks by following the right path of truth example  J . B Patel of Panchwati society,  Andheri Bombay :

Even without knowing his inspiring story, I  had gone ahead on the confrontational path.  The following is what I did.

  1.  Filed a complaint with Dy Registrar of society, Pune. Explained how there is a possibility of serious SCAM and immediate inquiry should begin . The inquiry should begin with sacking of office holders.
  2.  Sent a copy to Joint Registrar of Society. He manages Dy Registrar.
  3. Sent an email to CM office of Maharashtra . He forwarded the case to Secretary of state ( Co operatives)
  4. Demanded from office holders full life cycle documents of questionable transactions and a detailed list of bank transactions.
  5. Engaged a top ranking CA to investigate all documents.

Why I did this ?

Sometimes, its easy for accused to bribe/influence/threaten a small officer. Its however, beyond their capacity to buy 3 levels of high officials in the system. I tightened accountability at three levels to prevent this. Further, demanding and getting full lifecycle documents upto the current date leaves very little to accused to manipulate the documents at later stage.


What were the results ?

The Ad Hoc committee went vengeful. It complained not against me but against my little startup.

  • Electricity Deptt : Inspectors came, searched my startup, searched my entire home and said, I just need to readjust the tarriff to commercial rate.
  • Corporation license Deptt : Inspector came and told me to get a license to operate business in municipal area. He asked me the intent of why society secretary did a written complaint. I showed him the cases they are embroiled and how even the CM office has acknowledged the complaint. He understood and said, we wont harass you at all.  Apply for a license, it just costs Rs 1000/= he said and we will fully co-operate with you. I smiled and said, I will do it.
  • Police Deptt : Local chowki summoned me to police station. I went with my wife to the police station. I was asked about illegality of my startup in residential area. I showed them Maharashtra IT act of 2010 which allows IT companies to work from residential areas. They didnt ask me any further. Read the blog on how IT companies can legally operate from residential complexes :
  • Society Security    The Secretary  told the security to harass the employees of startup by. Not letting them park their bikes in authorized parking area.Sometimes they even prevented their bikes from entering the society. They made them to sign register everytime they came in an out of society. 

Thus, the accused were exhausted of their arsenal. The amount of harassment was coming to an end. My business just emerged stronger from all these harassment. The employees rallied around me in these tough situation because I kept everything transparent.  The values I hold, the fight I take and the possible consequences.

Now comes the funniest part.  When, the accused had little to defend themselves, they resorted to dirtiest tricks which crooks in  Govt or Corporate world resort to i.e Splitting of expenses.

Please see the image of response given to me by the Society secretary.


Also, the accused, thinking the residents to be Dumb and weird, appointed their sympathizers to do an investigation and award them a clean chit. Recall how Gadkari had got himself a clean chit by  a person he appointed to investigate his own crimes ?

This also reminded me of my days in central govt.  Procurement in such large organization happens either centrally or locally. There is huge amount of money made by some people at central level but its more interesting at local level

At local levels for any transaction above Rs 5000/= needs a CLPC approval ( Central logistics purchase committee ). This CLPC comprises 3 independent officers and give approvals for any purchase above limit. Also they examine all the quotations.

Now if everything  goes through CLPC How do people at local levels misappropriate public money ?

Ans: Splitting of expenses. Any thing which is to be bought for 9900/= is split in two purchases of 4950/= each and can be bought with or without quotations.  At one stage I saw that there were 350 transactions, all between 4900 and 4999/=. This is how  people with corrupt intent try to loot public money.

I realized that people do not bring in good things of their experience in large systems to the society but ugly , dirty and corrupt practices are rapidly brought in . Even  in such small theater as housing society, this disease of splitting of expenses is brought in. Though the annual budget is as low as 40 lakhs.

Whats the way to rein in such ugly practice?

I consulted the Registrar and he suggested requesting a govt audit of all books of accounts and processes under section 89 of Mah CHS act. This independent inquiry by a govt auditor may reveal a lot more irregularity and doesnt cost much.  For a society its Rs 37/member/year of audit requested.  So for my society of 200 members, it would cost me Rs 7400/= approx.

We had seen creative accounting done by Ramalingam Raju ( Satyam Fame ) and how the reputed CA Pricewater house Coopers was party to crime of splitting salary expenses of ghost employees .  Well that was a 1000 crore + scam and this is worth a few lakhs.  The efforts to expose and prove the crime is more challenging till the accused are thrown out of office.

What will you do if you see such financial misconduct in your society ?

Are you aware that corruption is not just in govt, its a cancer which eats housing societies as well ?

How can you establish a clean system in your society ?

Please do share your experiences of taking the accused head on.

Entrepreneurship aint sexy ??? 2 little paragraphs with a view

The world is full literature mentioning that entrepreneurship is hard on knees. Some say, its as hard as falling in love. It brings in a lot of uncertainties and it keeps most of us from taking a leap of faith. We remain glued on to our day jobs. We do not know how long the battles will last. We do not know whether we will succeed, yet the desire to turn entrepreneur and create beautiful businesses which transform the world is very high. Its one of those forbidden fruits and those with heart choose to go for a bite.

Its been 2 years of setting a farm, ploughing it hard, sowing seeds, adding manure and then irrigate it with sweat with a hope that it will rain. The saplings will blossom , they will grow into beautiful crop. For us at Simplibuy , the crop is still far off but the plant has come out of ground. It will get irrigated when you bless it with you love. Check out the baby plant  It transforms your experience of asking of friends where to buy a product from, at what price etc easier. Here you  can discover interesting prices on high quality. You gain a lot from reusing your friends’ decision to buy. When you share your own buying experiences the entire community benefits and thanks you for this. In the long run it can ensure that no body is fooled about the price she should pay for her purchases.

WiC helps you eliminate your market surveys
Where is cheapest seller for product X in my city Y ? Feedback suggestions welcome

Western Digital (WD ) and Overnite Courier – and Consumer Redressal Forum

Western Digital is one of the worst company in terms of post sales commitment.  The hard drive i bought died within few months of purchase and I tried to invoke warranty. Never know that I was dealing with people of thickest skin I pursued a 10 month long battle to finally get a replacement. Please do not buy WD products. If you wish to read  how I got my drive back read on. // This is one of the most viewed article on my blog

Because Laaton ke Bhoot baaton se nahi maante ( Ghosts of kicks dont listen to talks 😉    ) , I decided to file a complain against Western Digital and Overnite Courier Ltd at Consumer Redressal Forum Pune.  The transcript is also help ful to people as a format for who wish to file complaint against similar rogue organizations. Please read and enjoy this True story and converstations with these companies




Flight Lieutenant Arun Purohit (Retd) ,

Flat no 503 C-1  Eden Towers

Wakad Road Pune 411057 COMPLAINANT


Overnite Courier Ltd, 409 Shop No 7/8/9 Lloyd Chambers, Nr Sinchan Bhavan, Mangalwar Peth, Pune – 411002


Western Digital  B-81 Okhla Industrial Area Phase 2 New Delhi 11020



I am Flight lieutenant( Retd)  Arun Purohit  ,a resident of C1 -503 Edenn Tower Wakad Pune 411057. Currently working as CEO of company SimpliBuy Technologies ,  incorporated at Pune

//A brief paragraph about the complainant explaining the name, residence address and occupation of the complainant.

Ovenite Courier Ltd  having Pune address  Blah Blah.. is involved in commercial courier business

Western Digital, Blah.. Blah , is a US based company involved in making Computer related memory devices//A brief paragraph about name, address and occupation of the opposite party.


  1. Description of the deal and services promised by the opposite parties for the value paid by the complainant.

I had purchased an external hard disk from Western Digital for approx Rs 5500/= (USD 120 ) in Nov 2009  . This hard disk was intended for usage in my organization to back up work done by various software engineers.

  1. Description of the advertisements given by the opposite parties which attracted the complainant to purchase the commodity and services.

The hard disk had a warranty of 1 yrs against any manufacturing defect or malfunctioning for a period of 1 yr


Details of the price of goods and services.

The price of Hard disk was Rs 5500 /= paid in USD 120

Details of the bill/invoice (bill number and date, item and amount) // Item 1 , Purchased in USA.

Details of payments made by complainant (cheque number/cash, etc.)// Paid in Cash


(select from list or write as required)

1. Misleading advertisements and false representation.

2. Cheating by giving false promises.

  1. Harassment by the opposite party.

Yes I have been harassed by both parties against whom I am filing a complaint

  1. Not delivering the goods and services for which payment is made.

Yes, I have not been provided a warranty replacement by Western Digital

  1. Charging excess amount.

Not applicable

1. Misleading advertisements and false representation.

2. Cheating by giving false promise

3. Deficiency in after sales service or not abiding by warranty clause.

The hard drive I had purchased suddenly stopped working on 9th Jun 2010 ( 7 months after purchase ) .  I requested India service center to help. They asked me to return the hard drive with original casing and wire vide RMA #   #82024837 [Incident: 100707-005707]. I had subsequently returned the defective hard disk to Western Digital through their appointed courier on 10 Jul 2010.  Western Digital supposedly sent the free replacement drive through Overnite Courier Ltd on 12 Aug 2010.  The courier company didn’t deliver the hard drive to me even till 30 th Jul 2010. There after I lodged a complaint to the courier  local office and its Corporate office. They courier company didn’t acknowledge the complaint and turned a deaf ear. Numerous visits were made to local office of courier and they kept giving excuses that they are trying to locate the parcel or locate a person and finally said they have lost the parcel. Fraudulently, they updated the status of parcel as delivered on 14th Aug. On questioning, Whom they have delivered they have not responded back. On approaching customer care of Western digital they too have been behaving irresponsibly and not providing any resolution even after 5 months of follow up . The trail of correspondence with them is attached as Appendix A to this letter. Subsequent ot this Suddenly hard drive of system at my office crashed leading to loss of work which amounts to over Rs 1,05,000/=  The duo of Western Digital and Overnite Express are unduly harassing me and causing me mental agony , financial loss and harassment.

I have suffered monetary loss because of loss of software data which was backed up on drive and have lost months of productive work in chasing these agencies. The agny and frustration has rendered me ineffective at work


Copy of advertisement and catalogue that promised the concerned goods and services.

Not Applicable

Copy of bill as evidence of purchase.

Not applicable. Western Digital acknowledges that this was a legal purchase

Other documents such as agreement copies, bounced cheques, opposite parties’ letters.

Details of correspondence with Western Digital and Overnite Courier Ltd

Copy of letters sent to the opposite party to request for rectification of fault and settlement of the grievance.

Enclosed as appendices :


(Select one)

As the total amount involved is more than Rupees 1 crore, the complaint is being filed with the Hon’ble National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.


As the total amount involved is more than Rupees 20 lakhs and less than 1 crore, the complaint is being filed with the Hon’ble State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.


As the total amount involved is less than Rupees 20 lakhs, the complaint is being filed with the Hon’ble District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.


The complainant therefore prays :-

i) relief be granted to the complainant as demanded herein. I seek compensation for Defective drive, data loss, follow up cost and mental agony

ii) that such orders be passed as the Hon’ble Consumer Forum may deem fit in the circumstances of the case. Please provide an exemplary punishment for such negligent  behavior

iii) that the accused should be punished severely so that culprits of similar kind would be afraid to indulge in such criminal activities. The MNCs like Western Digital make huge revenues from India but provide poor services. Overnite behaves like a Donkey which doesn’t even move when kicked. The law needs to shoe them that consumers interest have to be protected

iv) mention any other statement of prayer you wish to state: Strictest possible reprimand  and monetary fine on both agencies for failure to fulfill their obligation and harassment caused

PLACE :  Pune                                                                   Signature

DATED :  ….Oct 2010                                    COMPLAINANT : Arun PurohitVERIFICATION

I (Arun Purohit), resident of Address) hereby declare that I have not misrepresented any facts nor have tried to hide any information in my above complaint. All the facts mentioned herein are true to the best of my knowledge.

Name & signature of the complainant

Please note: The affidavit should be notarized before further copies of complaint set are made for submission.

Arrangement of the complaint papers:

All papers to be kept in paper file in following order:

1. Complaint ( attached )

2. Affidavit ( attached )

3. List of documents ( Correspondence )

4. Documents ( Correspondence with Western Digital and Overnite Courier Ltd )

5. Vakalatnama

6. Application for injunction (if any)

7. Application for condonation of delay (if any)

Page numbers to be written on lower right corner.

Deposit the complaint file at the consumer court along with appropriate court fee.

Now read the correspondence with Overnite Express :

( I’ll post the converstation withWestern a little later )

To :
Cc: ‘Western Digital Support’; ‘Rajeshwari Purohit’; ‘
Subject: RE: Western Digital RMA Status for RMA #82024837 – drive received/shipped [Incident: 100814-008728]

Hi Oel  Coprporate office ,

I am extremely pissed off by the irresponsible behavior of your Pune office.

Last 14 days they been sitting on a hard disk sent to me by Western Digital. They have neither contacted me or delivered the package.

Further , the calls to  your local office remain unanswered . I have made 17 calls to the numbers mentioned below and only once that has been answered and that too by a lady who appeared to be a gate keeper. She  took  down the details and said some one will call back within 1 hr.. 24 hrs since then , I have received no calls or response to the mail , I sent.

If this is the service you provide to customers, Please think if its ethically correct for you to do courier business ?

Pune Lloyeds Chamber 409 020-32416639
Mangalwar Peth 020-32416642
Pune – 411011 020-32416641

If I don’t get my drive in next 12 hrs , I am going to post this mail to newspapers, blogs, consumer review sites apart from reporting to Consumer redressal forum.



From: Purohit, Arun
Sent: Tuesday, August 31, 2010 11:12 AM
Cc: ‘Western Digital Support’; ‘Rajeshwari Purohit’
Subject: FW: Western Digital RMA Status for RMA #82024837 – drive received/shipped [Incident: 100814-008728]

Hi Overnite express.

I was sent a consignment by Western digital on 12th Aug10 ( Docket number 702223375 ). Last 17 days you have been sitting over it doing nothing. Please see the screen shot.

The three landline numbers of  Pune you have mentioned  don’t bloody RING & you call your self a professional courier.

I seek an immediate appology and explanation for this negligent service. Please call or confirm on 020-46740250

To western digital support : Request you to BLACKLIST such ludicrous  and irresponsible service provider



The struggle ended when I threatened them to be sue in US courts :

Moral : The US Mfg companies are suckers. They try to harass you by not providing replacement. Dont give up .. Chase them up. Finally they will give up. Fight for your consumer rights.

Good and Ugly in Pune : Two discoveries in same weekend


1.Not just Jazz by by the bay :  Located on the E square complex on Pune university Road, this place is a revelation. Last Saturday was a Classical Rock night. The vocalist was good playing nos from Deep purple, Scorpions, Bryan Adams etc.. The guitarist was better, the effects he had put in Smoke on water was note worthy.
It was actually the drummer who was a revelation ..he gave amazing solos and improvization on drummming techniques.
For a cover charge of 600/couple and 500/stag( redeemable against snacks and drinks)  the evening out was great.Great place to take your friends out if they love Rock music.

2.Sinhagadh  : A good account of historical perspective of this fort exists at :

If that inspires you than you may consider the following before planning to visit this. This place is a nightmare to go during day time. The roads must be the worst for any place of historical interest. There is absolutely no maintenance of this fort. It said to have been destroyed by the Britishers The abysmal state of this once great fort shows the stinking apathy successive Maharashtra govts have shown towards tourism development or maintaining its heritage.  Probably , this is the highest fort in Maharashtra you can avoid going. . The road state is horrible and and dangerous to drive. Two SUVs crossing , if not grazing each other  have genuine chances of falling into the valley. The fencing is breaking at many places. The contractors who are repairing the fences with GI pipes are not even grouting the pillars. They can be uprooted at any moderate push. The collection of Rs 50/ vehicle charged at the climb to peak probably goes to fill coffers of some Govt  Officer/ politician. Once on the peak you can see mushrooming dhabas inviting you for Kanda Bhaji ( Onion Pakodas) and Junka Bhakhar , pithla ( Maize bread , Gram floor viscous soup). I came back hugely disappointed with the time/fuel and money spent visiting this place 
Definitely wont recommend this to any person visiting Pune unless he wants to write a thesis on – What govt apathy is doing to our forts and heritage.

On retrospect and comparing this with Great forts of Jaisalmer or Aamer , Jaipur , one erudite Maratha told me that Shivaji was not concerned with luxury or comforts you wont find a palace here. Also he unlike Rajputs didnt compromise and shake hands with Mughals . His only interest was war with them so , this for has all strategic interest but no architectural value or artistic beauty..