You can find the Open Letter To Housing Minister About NAREDCO Chairman Navin Raheja Here – http://www.qubrex.com/open-letter-to-housing-minister-about-naredco-chairman-navin-raheja
The permalink to the following story is http://qubrex.com/jail-term-for-navin-raheja-strong-medicine-for-real-estate
We believe that the best medicine for reviving the real estate industry of NCR (National Capital Region) is to send some of the really badmash builders/developers to jail. There are many builders who are fit cases, and we would like to hear from you your nominations for the all-expenses paid trip to jail for builders whose actions are having a severely detrimental effect on the real estate sector. We would like to propose the name of Mr Navin Raheja, MD of Raheja Developers, who is also the current Chairman of NAREDCO (National Real Estate Development Council).
It is instructive to see what Parsvnath Chairman of CREDAI (Confederation of Real Estate Developers Association of India) did when he was sentenced to be sent to Tihar Jail. The builder was being dismissive about paying back approx Rs 15 lakhs due to an aggrieved buyer for the last 20 months saying that Parsvnath Developers Limited did not have the money to pay, and that the builder needed more time. The Honorable bench ordered Mr Jain’s immediate arrest and deportation to Tihar Jail, upon which Mr Jain immediately called his office which prepared the bank draft and had it delivered in 15 minutes !! http://news.qubrex.com/2014/11/13/fear-of-immediate-arrest-of-builder-15-lakhs-returned-in-15-minutes/
The way out is clear. Exemplary punishment must be given. The past Chief Minister of Delhi talked about this in a recent interview on NDTV. At 31:24 minutes into the interview at http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/the-buck-stops-here/investigate-and-punish-me-if-guilty-arvind-kejriwal-on-midnight-hawala-row/355132?curlMr Arvind Kejriwal says that within the 1st week of assuming power in Delhi action was taken against 5 cops for taking bribes, and for the remaining 49 days of his government bribery (rishwat khori) plunged. Exemplary punishment is important.
If on Feb 10, 2015 his party wins Delhi, it will be in no small measure to the fact that people do believe that petty corruption nose-dived during the 49 day period of AAP Sarkar. http://www.hindustantimes.com/specials/coverage/myindia-myvote/chunk-ht-ui-myindiamyvote-countdownto2014/50-respondents-said-bribe-seeking-in-retail-reduced-during-aap-govt-survey/sp-article10-1191005.aspx
Indicating that you mean business is very important. In “Art of War,” Sun Tzu orders the execution of 2 women from the 180 that the King had asked him to train into soldiers. http://youtu.be/VMNaULHLH9c?t Sun Tzu split the 180 women into 2 companies, and appointed 2 women as leaders of each company. When Sun Tzu first ordered the women to face right, they giggled. Then, he reiterated the command, and again the women giggled. Sun Tzu ordered the execution of the two women who were heading the two companies. After both women were killed, new officers were chosen to replace them. Afterwards, both companies, now well aware of the costs of further frivolity, performed their maneuvers flawlessly http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Tzu The Art of War is not only popular among military theorists, but has also become increasingly popular among political leaders and those in business management. Despite its title, The Art of War addresses strategy in a broad fashion, touching upon public administration and planning.
Forget the builder demands of reduction of interest rates by RBI, or their demands for “industry” status, or their demands of cheaper input prices of land and materials (when they are not ready to accept a limit on the prices of their output), or their demands for “higher FAR,” for none of these address the real malaise that has Indian real estate in the dumps – the severe trust deficit in the builders, brokers, and the inability of authorities to protect the rights of the buyers and investors in real estate. The slump in real estate is caused as much by the investors/buyers withdrawing from the hostile and trust-deficit property market, as it is because of the excess supply or high prices of property. Many HNIs and NRIs have told us that the reason why they are no longer investing in real estate is because of betrayal by the builders, and many have lodged complaints with the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office), CMO (Chief Minister’s Office), Offices of Development Agencies, and Indian Embassies in the country of their residence. Some have also filed cases in the consumer and civil courts, but it is often a very tedious process that grinds down the buyers/investors without any satisfactory or lasting resolution to the problems.
Civil cases are important as all deceitful actions by builders are not criminal, but civil courts lack the power to impose punitive damages on the builder, even though the rampant actions by many builders & developers amount to a breach of the “implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punitive_damages Punitive damages or exemplary damages are damages intended to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in conduct similar to that which formed the basis of the lawsuit. The absence of punitive damages is actually encouraging builders to engage in badmashi, and the logic is pretty simple.
- Just imagine that a builder unfairly extorts an additional Rs 5 lakhs from every buyer of his 500 apartment complex. Of the 500 buyers, hardly 50 will complain given the hostile environment created by the builders, babus, and netas, and the dilatory environment of the courts. Of the 50 buyers complaining, maybe 10 will fight the builder to the end – out of courts, or in consumer/civil courts. Let us assume that the builder privately settles, or that the buyers win in courts and are awarded Rs 5 lakhs, plus some interest, plus damages. Even if each buyer is awarded Rs 10 lakhs each, the outflow of the builder is only Rs 1 crore. Adding his legal expenses it may amount to Rs 1.5 crore. This is peanuts compared to the Rs 24.5 crore that the builder has collected from the remaining 490 buyers. So, why would the builder not extort/cheat/defraud the buyers?? If you believe that he/she is interested in protecting his/her honor or reputation, and so would not indulge in badmashi … think again, and again, and again, till you finally understand that they just don’t care.
Filing cases in the consumer and civil courts seems to have almost no effect in modifying the predatory behaviour and bad practices prevalent in real estate, and until criminal cases are framed against builders and some sent to jail as exemplary punishment, these Augean stables cannot be cleaned. As the Honorable Chief Justice of India, HL Dattu, recently said, if a “common man who steals Rs 10 may be sent to jail for three months,” then why should the powerful not be punished as severely. The sums of money runs into hundreds of crore with respect to many builders/developers.
If we provide exemplary punishment to 1% of the builders, then the remaining 99% would mend their ways. For the benefit of the whole real estate industry, a little sacrifice is needed from the builders. And who better to understand this than Mr Navin Raheja. Mr Navin Raheja was proposing something similar for the benefit of 99% of the population of India in regards to the Land Acquisition Act. Starting at 11:47 minutes into a panel discussion on the Property India show on NDTV http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/property-india/property-india-land-acquisition-ordinance/351881 Mr Raheja reasoned that for the benefit of 99% of India’s population if the land of the remaining 1% was acquired with/without their consent & with/without adequate compensation, it was okay as 99% of the population was benefiting. It was okay to sacrifice 1% if 99% were benefiting. If we need strong medicine, why not begin by asking Mr Raheja for the sacrifice needed to cleanse real estate sector. Mr Navin Raheja is also the Chairman of NAREDCO and his sacrifice will send a very strong signal. Let us test in criminal courts if Mr Raheja’s actions, and that of Raheja Developers employees, rise to the level that necessitates their incarceration. In November 2014, the past Senior Vice President of NAREDCO, Mr Sunil Dahiya, was arrested and is currently lodged in Tihar Jail for a scam that is believed to be in excess of Rs 1000 crores. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Realty-firms-boss-held-for-Rs-1000-crore-fraud/articleshow/44999397.cms
There are numerous allegations of fraud and corruption against Mr Navin Raheja and Raheja Developers by hundreds of buyers of the residential projects Atharva & Vedanta. Complaints have been made to the Prime Ministers Office https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl#!topic/raheja-atharva-owners-association/-WKkZboBCmU and to HUDA/DTCP https://groups.google.com/forum/?hl#!topic/raheja-atharva-owners-association/LKgnrKN5Rek and the Chief Minister of Haryana’s Window for Grievances about corruption by Raheja developers and HUDA in obtaining Occupancy Certificate for demonstrably incomplete projects. The scale of alleged corruption by Raheja Developers is to the tune of hundreds of crore rupees and growing every day.
The buyers are also alleging that even in 2008 Rahejas had lied to them in raising demand notes (of many lakhs of rupees each) before the Bhoomi Poojan saying that the building plans of Raheja Atharva had been approved. In reality the plans were approved in 2009 !!
During that time of 2008/2009 Mr Harinder Dhillon, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Raheja Developers even went to the extent of instructing his employees in mafia-style to “Bangia ko thanda kar do.” Mr SK Bangia had used RTIs (Right to Information) to dig out the truth behind the false claims Raheja Developers was making. A legal case was filed by Mr Bangia, and is winding its way through the courts.
Also, the buyers allege, and we can attest, that the site shown while launching Raheja Atharva was different from the one where it is currently located in Sector 109, Gurgaon. When the buyers came for the Bhoomi Poojan they were stunned that the site where the Bhoomi Poojan was being conducted was different from the one that had been shown to them earlier when buying their apartment. Some of them gheraoed Mr Harinder Dhillon (Senior Vice President of Raheja Developers) and almost came to blows; but decency prevailed. Today those decent buyers are regretting having given benefit of doubt to Rahejas, and have had to file cases in National Consumer Commission.
If Mr Navin Raheja has pulled off such a big heist, he has not done it alone. His employees have been willing helpers of his. The employees of Raheja Developers must also be held responsible, and if of their actions rise to the level of criminality, they must be appropriately punished. The employees of the company can also be held responsible for misdeeds of the company. In the CCI (Competition Commission of India) probe of Jaypee, “Along with Jaiprakash Associates, CCI has also ordered probe into “the role of the officials/persons who at the time of such contravention were in-charge of and responsible for the conduct of the business of the company.” http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-09-26/news/54353559_1_jaiprakash-associates-fair-trade-regulator-competition-commission
Many of the lies and misinformation that the Rahejas have given to the buyers, and to the general public via the print and electronic media, seem to rise to the level of criminal intent and actions. The GM of Corporate Communications, Ms Dimple Bhardwaj, has led this misinformation campaign of omission and commissions. And the language that she has used against professional doing their job is unbelievably gutter-like. http://www.livefyre.com/profile/69416268/ The lies and misleading answers provided by Ms Jyoti Anand, Senior Vice President of Customer Relations, over the past years to customers are another case in point. It is interesting that even the updates that Raheja Developers has provided via their youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/rahejamedia/search?query=update carry a very interesting disclaimer of “… Information made available here is only for viewing and not for legal evidence.” Maybe they realize that the “updates” that they are providing may not be the full truth …
Rahejas have even gone to the extent of cybercrimes making false claims of copyright to remove videos and articles that show them in a unfavourable light. Rahejas have hired writers to puff up their wikipedia page. Fake calls impersonating NAREDCO officials have been made to remove articles unfavourable to Raheja Developers. And the Rahejas have even gone to the extent of filing lawsuits (strategic lawsuits against public participation – SLAPP) to harass people like us. http://forbesindia.com/blog/business-strategy/its-builders-vs-buyers-in-the-indian-real-estate-industry/ You can read a more detailed article here http://comments.gurgaonscoop.com/2014/05/15/is-your-money-safe-with-builders-indulging-in-criminal-disreputation-management/
Reading the petition of Raheja buyers will give chills to even the most hardened criminal, but this is what builders seem to thrive in. You can see the Raheja Atharva Petition here https://app.box.com/s/of84xzjgfc30z7ntj46m6ip4tugn2uhr and the Raheja Vedanta (Vedaanta) Legal Notice here. https://app.box.com/s/dl135c7h7mzx4kyv9f0mk4rr3x4x8alk Where initial buyers were promised 450 apartments in 15 acres for Atharva, Rahejas have built 700, and encroached over unbelievable amount of the area that was supposed to be “greens.” Rahejas were supposed to provide the 24 meter approach road to Raheja Vedanta, but have been misguiding people by falsely placing the blame on HUDA. They unilaterally changed the tower positions in Raheja Navodaya and forced people to move so that they could insert another “project” Sampada into the same site. They have obtained Occupation Certificates for demonstrably incomplete apartments and project sites by corrupt means. They have unilaterally changed site layouts to the detriment of the buyers without obtaining the required consent from them.
And, Raheja Developers have set up an eternal conflict between the original 450 buyers, and the unlucky 250 more that bought into the misleadingly named “Shilas.” There is no seperate licence for Shilas, despite the builder falsely projecting the same …. Rahejas pulled off the same in Raheja Atlantis with the Teachers Society, and the same is being done in Raheja Navodaya with Sampada being added. Habitual offenders don’t mend, unless they are administered strong medicine. If it wasn’t so tragic and criminal, you would have to marvel at the cheekiness and gumption of Mr Navin Raheja and his employees in crime, and their belief that they can get away with anything.
And for the longest time Raheja Developers got away with everything, as did many other builders. There are allegations that the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana was being run by builders, and in collusion they committed the “great land robbery.” A cover story in Gfiles by Neeraj Mahajan captures the rot that had set in, and that must be excised now. http://www.gfilesindia.com/frmArticleDetails.aspx?id
The Hooda Administration even benefited the builders in Haryana by over Rs 1.85 lakh crore, http://news.qubrex.com/2014/11/22/a-rs-1-85-lakh-crore-scam-ht-estates-22-nov-2014/ and the man who signed the notification that virtually gave builders lakhs of crore rupees is Mr SS Dhillon who was the Financial Commissioner and Principal Secretary to Government, Haryana, Town and Country Planning Department. Breaking the 15% profit rule in Haryana for builders, the Notification (by Amendment) allows builders to keep thousands of rupees per square feet in profit by paying paltry Rs 5-10 psf to the govt. Link: The Infrastructure Augmentation Charges Notification of 29 March 2011. How this Amendment passed, and what was the logic and the supporting calculations, needs to be investigated. This Hooda govt notification will cost the state exchequer lakhs of crore rupees – money that could have been used to develop all of Haryana into a SMART STATE. So, the loot by builders in collusion with the state machinery has been humongous.
So far the new administration of Shri ML Khattar also seems to be ineffective against the builder-raaj, but in all fairness it has only been 100 days since the BJP govt took over the reins of Haryana. And, as it happens, the BJP had alleged a scam between DDA and Navin Raheja in the Kathputli Colony Slum rehabilitation project. http://www.builderscoop.org/cbi-probe-needed-in-kathputli–493878456.html Thus, it would be perfect to ask the BJP to initiate action against Raheja Developers and its employees.
The time has now come for strict action, or else corruption and unfair dealings that plague the real estate industry are going to make the whole Indian economy very sick. That is why strong medicine is needed, and we recommend that this begins with the Chairman of NAREDCO, Mr Navin Raheja. Action against him and other select builders will bring back faith in the real estate market and help revive it.
Please send us evidence about Raheja Developers, and other developers that you feel strict action should be taken against. We request good people who have the knowledge to identify the specific sections under which these builders can be pursued, and those who can identify the appropriate platforms where the complaints can be pursued, to come together and provide guidance on how to take these issues to their logical conclusion. Let us administer some strong medicine to the sector of real estate to revive it; let us send some builders to jail.
Please write to us at Qubrex@gmail.com or leave comments below.
Thanks, and warm regards,