Money & Banking
RBI designates 29 bank branches to collect advance income tax

The central bank has designated 29 banks including, SBI and its subsidiaries, Punjab National Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and Canara Bank to accept I-T payments from taxpayers


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has designated 29 banks both from the public and private sector as agency banks to accept payments of income-tax dues from taxpayers.

 

The central bank also appealed income-tax (I-T) assessees to pay their tax dues well before the due date to avoid the March-end rush seen every year.

 

The designated banks include State Bank of India (SBI) and its subsidiaries, Punjab National Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, Axis Bank, Bank of Baroda, Bank of India and Canara Bank.

 

The central bank has asked I-T assessees to remit their dues sufficiently in advance of the due date by using alternate channels like select branches of agency banks or the online tax payment facility offered by these banks. These will obviate the inconvenience of standing in long queues at Reserve Bank offices, the central bank said.

 

The central bank was finding it difficult to meet the rush for remitting income-tax dues at the end of March every year although additional counters were being provided to the extent possible.

 

Other agency banks include Allahabad Bank, Andhra Bank, Bank of Maharashtra, Central Bank of India, Corporation Bank, Dena Bank, IDBI Bank, Indian Bank, Indian Overseas Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce, Punjab and Sindh Bank, Syndicate Bank, UCO Bank, United Bank of India and Vijaya Bank.

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Is Nandan Nilekani acting as an agent of non-state actors? –Part XI

Nandan Nilekani-led TAGUP recommended setting up goods and services tax network (GSTN) as national information utility or NIU, a private IT company, to take away the sovereign function of tax collection and data storage from the government. This is in addition to handing over biometric data of Indians to MNCs under the Aadhaar scheme

Lessons from Indian history and political correctness of historical personalities seem to have become the flavor of the electoral campaign in the run up to the upcoming general elections. There can be no politics without history. Such debates were long due. When Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi committed mistakes about facts of history, he was rightly corrected. But why is there a deafening silence when Congressman like Nandan Nilekani, an official of the Planning Commission, distorting history of India’s First War of Independence to rewrite the history of the formation by Indian National Congress? It was founded by a butcher of Indian revolutionaries.
 

Nilekani writes about AO Hume, a former civil servant of British East India Company and the father of Indian National Congress was educated at East India College, in his book, “Imagining India”. In a deliberate act of fraudulent misrepresentation of fact, he states that in 1885, the “Indian National Congress was founded by Allan O Hume, a British political reformer and avid birdwatcher, who had sided with the Indian soldiers during the army mutiny.” The indisputable fact stated by Hume himself is that he was with the soldiers of British East India Company and not the Indian soldiers.   
  

As a recruit of Indian Civil Service of British East India Company, he was magistrate and collector of Etawah district in today’s Uttar Pradesh, which is Mulayam Singh Yadav’s constituency. Hume’s friend Colonel CHT Marshall of the Indian Army wrote, “Allan Hume joined the Bengal Civil Service in 1849, towards the end of his twentieth year. Before he had been nine years in India, the great Mutiny of 1857 broke out, and he had many opportunities of showing his capabilities as a soldier as well as a civilian.” After May 1857, especially between 17 June 1857 and 30 December 1857, he remained hidden in Agra Fort. But, by 6 January 1858, he managed to re-occupy the town of Etawah.
 

Hume, in his own report, says, “On April 21 (1858) we made a most successful cavalry attack on a party of Roop Singh's at Ajeetmul, and though the enemy were in great force all round, drove them with the loss of seven men helter-skelter into the ravines. The audacity of this attack, for the time, completely frightened the rebels. Next day, by a very pretty combined movement from two directions, we surprised the enemy, cut up fifteen, took prisoner and hung three...” (Source: Allan Octavian Hume, Father of the Indian National Congress: 1829-1912, by Sir William Wedderburn, Bart., 1913)
 

In such a scenario, why is Nilekani feigning ignorance about the fact that for Hume, Indian soldiers, who became revolutionaries were the “enemy” and he has recorded how he had killed many of them.
 

Nilekani’s term as a chairman of Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) holding cabinet minister’s rank ends in July 2014. How will he be held accountable and made liable for his acts of omission and commission during his tenure? Why no one especially from among the non-Congress parties is correcting him? Do they feel intimidated by him and his powerful civilian and non-civilian allies?
 

It is noteworthy that Nilekani mentions that his book began with the encouragement from Ramchandra Guha, the historian. Had Guha read the book prior to its publication, he must have given Nilekani the correct lesson in history about the role of Hume in 1857. Equally notable is the fact that barring five-six people like Upendra Baxi, Jean Drez, Prof Trilochan Shastry, Rajeev Chandrashekhar, MP and Yashwant Sinha, the former finance minister, most of some 200 personalities including Guha that have been acknowledged in Nilekani’s book either support the biometric profiling of Indians or chose to maintain studied silence. These personalities do not seem to realise that they have wittingly or unwittingly become part of the UIDAI chief’s “positive coalition of people who have a stake in its success.” Nilekani has admitted that “there is a huge coalition of…organisations, governments, banks, companies, others who have a stake now” in the future of biometric database. The idea was/ is to “create a positive coalition that has the power to overpower or deal with anyone who opposes it.”
 

Guha’s exhaustive work on Mahatma Gandhi must have revealed that Gandhi had referred to biometric identification ordinance in South Africa as a Black Act and had opposed it with the Chinese community and was supported by Gopal Krishna Gokhle when he visited him in South Africa. Sudheendra Kulkarni, currently with Reliance Industries supported Observer Research Foundation, is among those acknowledged in the Nilekani’s book. Kulkarni, who has also written a research-based book on Gandhi must have encountered his opposition to biometric identification and indiscriminate finger printing of Indians. Among the journalists Vir Sanghvi and Ram Manohar Reddy have been referred to as the “finest editors in India” in the book. Dalit writer, Chandrabhan Prasad, Yogendra Yadav, one of the founders of Aam Aadmi Party, Mahesh Rangarajan, Director, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) and Anantha Padmanabhan, currently with Amnesty India, are notable mentions in the book.
 

Mahesh Rangarajan seems to have paid the debt of having been acknowledged in the book by inviting Nilekani to deliver a public lecture on ‘India and the Third Industrial Revolution’ on 10 October 2013 at NMML. It is claimed that Third Industrial Revolution, which refers to use of computers, the web and mobile phones from 1960 onwards provides unique opportunity to find 'leapfrog' using products and technologies. This claim is suspect. It was claimed that first industrial revolution was based on steam and railroads and the second one was based on electricity, internal combustion engine, running water, indoor toilets, communications, entertainment, chemicals and petroleum.
 

NMML provided a platform for the advocacy of legally questionable biometric identification technologies and helped propagate the propaganda of the technology companies, which have been debunked by European Court of Human Rights besides China, UK, France and Australia.
 

One is yet to hear the position of Amnesty India on indiscriminate biometric identification. Silence is also a position for sure.
 

It is quite strange that just because Nilekani has acknowledged them in his book these personalities seems to have entered into some stated or unstated Faustian pact with him. Unless they have been promised some share in the booty by the data mining mafia, why are they tongue tied on the issue of mankind’s biggest biometric database. Intellectual courage is an endangered species, it seems.   
        

Why is Nilekani being allowed to distort language and commit linguistic corruption to take away the sovereign function of tax collection from the government and hand it over to National Information Utilities (NIUs) which is purported to be a private company with public purpose and which has profit making as motive but not profit maximizing. In his book, which was first published in 2008, Nilekani states that “NIUs would be databases that amass information…” He is deeply worried because “This makes zeroing in on a definite identity for each citizen particularly difficult, since each government department works as a different turf and with different groups of people.” He quotes the then chief election commissioner, N Gopalaswamy who said that “Our databases are in these disconnected silos.” It seems he considers the entire political class to be comprised of intellectual pygmies which cannot see through his machinations.
 

In a startling revelation it has come to light that in an unprecedented move country’s most sensitive financial data, entire tax data of Indians has been turned over to a private firm, set up as a special purpose vehicle (SPV) named Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN), an IT company on the recommendations of Nandan Nilekani-headed panel. Legislators, informed citizens and institutions must act to stop the takeover of Government’s sovereign function of tax collection by a private company. GSTN is supposed to provide information technology support under the proposed Goods and Services Tax (GST). There is no provision for data security in it.
 

GST is a value-added tax, which is expected to replace all indirect taxes on goods and services imposed by the Centre and Indian states. GST will replace the state VAT, central excise, service tax and a few other indirect taxes will be a broad-based, single, comprehensive tax levied on goods and services. It will be levied at every stage of the production-distribution chain by giving the benefit of Input Tax Credit (ITC) of the tax remitted at previous stages. GST is based on a destination-based taxation system, where tax is levied on final consumption. It is expected to broaden the tax base, foster a common market across the country, reduce compliance costs, and promote exports. The GST will be a dual tax with levy by both central and state tax administrations on the same base. The GST demands a well-designed and robust IT system for realising its potential in reforming indirect taxation in India. The IT system for GST would be a unique project, which will integrate the central and state tax administration.
 

While presenting the Union Budget in 2011-12, the then union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee informed the Lok Sabha that Technology Advisory Group for Unique Projects (TAGUP) headed by Nilekani, chairman, UIDAI has submitted its report dated 31 January 2011 and its recommendations have been accepted in principle. Other members of the TAGUP included CB Bhave, the then chairman of SEBI, R Chandrasekhar, secretary at the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Dhirendra Swarup, former chairman of PFRDA, S Khan, former member of CBDT, RV Ramanan, former member, of CBEC and Dr Nachiket Mor, chairman of IFMR Trust.
 

This was a follow up what the union finance minister had said in his Budget Speech of 2010–2011 with regard to the setting up of TAGUP. Para 104 of the Budget speech reads:

“An effective tax administration and financial governance system calls for creation of IT projects which are reliable, secure and efficient. IT projects like Tax Information Network (TIN), New Pension Scheme (NPS), National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA), Expenditure Information Network (EIN), Goods and Service Tax (GST), are in different stages of roll out. To look into various technological and systemic issues, I propose to set up a Technology Advisory Group for Unique Projects under the chairmanship of Shri Nandan Nilekani.”
 

The TAGUP report states, “In recent years, government functioning in general and specific projects in particular have come to involve complex Information Technology (IT) system development. Five projects stand out:

1.     Goods and Services Tax (GST)

2.     Tax Information Network (TIN)

3.     Expenditure Information Network (EIN)

4.     National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA)

5.     New Pension System (NPS)”.

 

It claims, “These five projects alone have immense transformative power and can change India’s growth trajectory.”
 

The report reads: “The group recommends that a class of institutions called National Information Utilities (NIU) may be put in place to handle all aspects of IT systems for such complex projects.”
 

As conceived by the Group, NIUs would be private companies with a public purpose: profit-making, but not profit maximizing,” the report adds.
 

NIU is manifestly an exercise in linguistic corruption with the aim of ‘building a coalition for change’.
 

TAGUP report claims that this concept is not new. It cites comparable examples like National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL), National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) and Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS). The report underlines that “The UIDAI published early on, the UIDAI Strategy Overview that described the strategic vision, from which many aspects of implementation have been derived.”
 

The TAGUP report reveals, “GSTN is an NIU that is being set up to serve multiple levels of Governments (Central and State) in GST”. It also states that “The IT Strategy for GST was defined and accepted within Government even before the NIU was selected.” Notably, IT Strategy for GST was also defined by Nilekani.
 

GSTN has been given birth as private limited company amidst opposition from chief ministers and officials from the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC). GSTN has been set up on equity of just Rs10 crore. Government has provided it a one-time grant of Rs315 crore. Notably, although the Government has funded this start-up, it does not even have majority control.
 

GSTN headed by Naveen Kumar, former chief secretary of Bihar, is meant for controlling all new indirect tax data from the Centre and states.
 

Union finance ministry has compelled the CBEC and Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) to sign memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GSTN for sharing the data. This is to ensure that GSTN will be able to access and process the entire tax data-both direct and indirect taxes. The finance ministry has also asked CBEC to hand over the processing of data for tax surveillance to GSTN. This has been done without any security or privacy safeguards.
 

It is noteworthy that Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa had sent a letter dated 18 August 2011 to non-Congress chief ministers urging them to stridently oppose the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST). She argued that it would affect the fiscal autonomy of the states. In the light of the proposal for GSTN, Jayalalithaa’s opposition has been proven right because as per the plan, entire individual data—direct and indirect taxes—including registration, return and payment by taxpayers will be in custody of a NIU. It is a case of handing over of public data to a private entity. It is akin to day light robbery.
 

While rest of media turned a blind eye, Open magazine did a cover story ‘Guess who can see your tax data’ (22 August 2013) and a New Indian Express story ‘Aadhaar cut down to size, data mining projects raise concerns’ (29 September 2013) underlined how NIUs like GSTN are linked to biometric UID/Aadhaar number. Supreme Court’s verdict on the legitimacy, legality and constitutionality of this identifier is likely to impact NIUs as well.
 

In November 2011, Sheila Sangwan, then member (Budget and Computerisation), had summarised the problems with the GSTN related proposals: ‘…a meeting was held on 14/15 November 2011 in the chairman’s office (SK Goel) to discuss the structure and functions of the proposed GSTN… Dr Nandan Nilekani has mentioned as minuted that there is need to go in for the SPV even without GST being introduced. ..There was unanimity amongst the officers present that the sovereign function to be performed by the tax administration should be kept out of the purview of the GST.’ It was noted that ‘Across the tax administration in the world, the privacy of taxpayer data is accorded utmost priority and it is the practice to house this data in Government hands…’ So far the chairman of CBEC has not addressed the essential question of who would be the repository of the data.
 

Strangely chairman of CBEC wrote that, ‘With regard to the concern of IT security, it is not connected to the ownership of the management—government or non-government. In fact, the level of security is dependent upon the standards, safeguards and control processes that are put in place by the management. The GSTN could be asked to build necessary safeguards for ensuring the security and privacy aspects…With regard to the legislative route to set up SPV as government entity, it is in complete contrast to the decisions taken in the past and it would jeopardize the consensus achieved so far and bring the discussions back to square one.’
 

Why is the CBEC made to hurry to comply with the whims and fancies of Nilekani and his coalition partners given the fact that the UIDAI chairman has never taken oath of office and secrecy?  
 

It has been reported that Naveen Kumar, the head of GSTN was asked about control of the data. He said, “We will start from scratch with our own servers and beginning with a list of dealers we will start building a database of transactions on our system. For this, we do not need additional data from the Customs or any other department.” It is quite evident that servers of GSTN, a private company will be stored in a grid of sort.
 

‘No taxation without political representation’ was the battle cry of the American Revolution. The issue is how GST can be imposed when there is no political representation in the GSTN. Chief ministers of all non-Congress states and all the non-Congress parties be vigilant against the subversion of hard earned rights of true political representation in matters of taxation.
 

Such initiatives will lead to handing over the control over indirect and direct tax data to GSTN for tax profiling and surveillance without any legislation passed by Parliament, the personal sensitive information like biometric data is being handed over to UIDAI and its partner companies like Accenture from the US and Safran from France. This undermines citizens’ sovereignty, states’ autonomy and national security for good.    
 

Coincidentally, Jeewan Lal, whose treachery led to the victory of British East India Company over Indian revolutionary soldiers in 1857 was associated with the introduction of Income Tax in India in 1860 along with James Wilson, a fee trade activist who became British India's first finance minister (called finance member then). It was introduced to overcome the losses on account of the ‘Military Mutiny’ of 1857 by Indian revolutionary soldiers after British government realized that it cannot govern India indirectly through the fiction of the East India Company.
 

As finance minister, a chapter ‘Extended and Specialized Lending,’ in Silent Revolution The International Monetary Fund 1979–1989 by James M Boughton published by IMF in October 2001, it is revealed that Congress prime minister Indira Gandhi “gave the go-ahead to enter into secret negotiations” with IMF, following which on 25 November 1980, RN Malhotra, secretary for  Economic Affairs at the ministry of finance “visited the Managing Director at the Fund to signal his country’s interest in obtaining a credit. In January 2011, Pranab Mukherjee too announced that India has “voluntarily sought a full-fledged Financial Sector Assessment Programme” from International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. This is similar to the voluntariness displayed in the drafting of Sixth Plan (1980-1985) after secret negotiations with the Bank.
 

In arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) offered the option of longer-term credits. The first negotiating mission went to New Delhi in January 1981, led by Tun Thin, director of the Asian Department. The then finance minister, R Venkataraman, met with IMF’s managing director in Washington and subsequently signed and submitted the Letter of Intent (LoI) on 28 September 1981. Following the IMF’s approval for EFF, Indian National Congress-led government faced massive criticism for subjecting itself to IMF’s conditionality.
 

In an exercise of sophistry, this government argued that “the EFF arrangement did not impose conditionality at all, because it was fully consistent with the policies that were already incorporated in the Sixth Five-Year Plan”. After having internalized the conditionality imposed by IMF, Indira Gandhi informed the Parliament that “the arrangement does not force us to borrow, nor shall we borrow unless it is for the national interest. There is absolutely no question of our accepting any programme, which is incompatible with our policy, declared and accepted by Parliament. It is inconceivable that anybody should think that we would accept assistance from any external agency which dictates terms which are not in consonance with such policies.” This IMF publication unequivocally establishes that Indira Gandhi lied to the Parliament and misled the nation.
 

GSTN is being created with an ulterior motive to bring it under the financial sector surveillance program of the IMF, World Bank Group in continuation of the policies pursued since the days of Indira Gandhi. These policies have made India servile to the dictates of the Bank. GSTN helps the Bank to make deeper inroads and erode the financial sovereignty of the country in complicity with the ruling party.   
 

Foreign Policy magazine of the Washington Post company listed Nilekani, apparently a protégé of Mukherjee as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers in 2010. This was prior to disclosures about invasion of privacy by intelligence agencies of US and UK by monitoring emails, web searches, and telephone records. Is it impossible for them to monitor Nilekani? Or is the case that Nilekani is undertaking their task by collating biometric data of India. Admittedly, his masters have volunteered his services to other developing countries as well. President of World Bank did so in April 2013 at his headquarter in Washington.
 

In his book, Nilekani recalls that in 1935 “The British pass(ed) the Government of India Act, giving India its first step towards independence, creating a constitution and elected governments in the provinces. Indian leaders assert that the law does not go far enough. Nehru thunders, ‘The basic policy of this Congress is to combat the Government of India Act-the new Constitution- and destroy it!”
 

In 1950, the same Government of India Act, 1935 was adopted as the Constitution of India.
 

It is now evident that Indian National Congress is out to undertake the unfinished task of destroying the Constitution of India with the help of Nilekani who is acting as an agent of non-state actors. 
 

You may also want to read…
 

Why biometric identification of citizens must be resisted? Part I
 

Biometric identification is modern day enslavement -Part II
 

Biometric profiling, including DNA, is dehumanising -Part III
 

Marketing and advertising blitzkrieg of biometric techies and supporters -Part IV
 

History of technologies reveals it is their owners who are true beneficiaries -Part V
 

UID's promise of service delivery to poor hides IT, biometrics industry profits –Part VI
 

Technologies and technology companies are beyond regulation? -Part VII
 

Surveillance through biometrics-based Aadhaar –Part VIII
 

Narendra Modi biometrically profiled. What about Congress leaders?-Part IX
 

Aadhaar: Why opposition ruled states are playing partner for biometric UID? -Part X

 

(Gopal Krishna is member of Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties (CFCL), which is campaigning against surveillance technologies since 2010)

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COMMENTS

Ravi S

3 years ago

Subsidized Diesel: India spends a huge amount on petroleum subsidy alone, about Rs. One Trillion (Rs. One Lakh Crore). Diesel is highly subsidized. So should the general public pay for diesel-run private cars of rich people? There has been a lot of hue & cry on subsidy for kerosene and LPG, then why not on subsidized diesel for the rich people?
We should allow diesel subsidy only to some public transports and farming equipments (e.g. trucks, public buses, farm-tractors) with limits based on Aadhaar number of the owner on the lines of LPG subsidy.

Ravi S

3 years ago

Aadhaar status {verifiable with UIDAI website portal (dot) uidai (dot) gov (dot) in}
People registered: About 550 million (55.0 crore),
Aadhaar assigned: About 500 million (50.0 crore),
Population of India: 1250 million (125 crore or 1.25 billion),
Average Aadhaar rate: 30 million/ month,
Milestone planned: 600 million Aadhaar by March-2014 (easily achievable @ 1 million / day),
Remaining Enrollment of 650 million continues thru NPR (Ministry of Home Affairs - Census Operations - RGI) in illegal migrant infested states and populous states like UP, Bihar, J&K, W. Bengal, TN, Arunachal, Assam, Mizoram etc. Enrollment thru NPR is done only for Citizens after weeding

Ravi S

3 years ago

Opponents of Aadhaar believe that snooping / surveillance cannot be done without Aadhaar.

Then how Narendra Modi (CM of Gujarat) did the extensive snooping (every minute) of a girl in year-2009, not only on land but also in airplane i.e. before existence of Aadhaar? Intention of the powerful matters a lot!

Ravi S

3 years ago

Who is afraid of Aadhaar & Why?
As the public databases are getting inter-linked one by one thru Aadhaar Number in various States (particularly Delhi, Maharashtra, Andhra), we see the following effects:
1. Middlemen & Officials are finding difficult to continue with corruption in public welfare pensions, scholarships, public health, NREGA, subsidy on PDS Ration, Kerosene, LPG etc.
2. Ineligible, duplicate and fictitious beneficiaries are getting eliminated from public welfare pensions, scholarships, public health, NREGA, subsidy on PDS Ration, Kerosene, LPG etc.
3. Corrupts will find difficult to buy & sell Benami land & building (i.e.under fictitious name).
4. Corrupts will find difficult to open & operate Benami companies for money-laundering.
5. Corrupts will find difficult to open & operate Benami bank accounts for keeping black-money.
6. Tax-evaders will find difficult to evade taxes.
7. Impersonation & proxy will be difficult to commit.
8. Criminals & Terrorists will get detected and tracked thru inter-linked databases of mobile phone, bank account, travel documents etc.
9. Illegal Immigrants will get detected and tracked thru inter-linked databases of mobile phone, bank account, travel documents etc. They will have no place to hide on Indian soil.
10. It will get difficult for Criminals to hide as records are getting accessible to Police from any State of India.
11. It will get difficult to obtain another new Driving License and Arms License from another State once it got impounded.
12. Fraudsters will not be able to steal Provident Fund money.
13. Onion Hoarders will get tracked easily.
14. Dummy candidates will not be able to write competitive exams for others for the sake of money.
15. Ineligible people will not be able to misuse the certificates of income, domicile, education degrees and caste to deprive the eligible people.

REPLY

Mumbai One

In Reply to Ravi S 3 years ago

Well...well...well!
Looks like the PR of UIDAI is on a hit job.
Anyway...just give answers to two simple questions...
1. Who owns the UID database? Is it the Indian govt or private agencies/firms?
2. Which is the law that regulates the collection of biometric data, and Aadhaar itself? Don't hide behind the lapsed executive order as any such thing become irrelevant after six months.

Korath

3 years ago

The author tries to use disconnected facts selectively to malign Aadhaar Project. But an objective analysis will indicate that biometrics based identity prevents impersonation and indirectly empowers every citizen against identity theft.. Majority of the people have nothing to hide and welcome transparency. There is no doubt Aadhaar will also prevent leakages in service delivery to citizens. There is a small percent that thrives on impersonation, black money and corruption. They are certainly worried about cleansing power of Aadhaar.

Sunil

3 years ago

Wow , the article looks well reasoned and researched. I certainly hope this is investigated and the motives of Nilekani clearly identified. If true it is time for Patriotic Indians to take stock of things.

Cooperative housing societies: Common issues and solutions

Common issues in any cooperative housing societies or CHS can be resolved by discussion. If this does not solve the issue, the complainant may have to raise it to appropriate authorities, like municipal corporation, deputy registrar for cooperatives, consumer court and police

The recent Campa Cola episode shows that co-operative housing societies (CHS) must exercise due caution, when it comes to maintaining and ensuring that their buildings comply with the law. Sometimes, there are infractions between housing societies and individual apartment owners, as well as outsiders. However, many individual apartment owners are at a loss as far as grievance is concerned and do not know how to proceed with their complaint. There are several issues in a CHS, like car parking, leakages, fraudulent auditing, unauthorised construction (ala Campa Cola), and many other issues. Home owners need to know the right recourse to take action to ensure that their rights are maintained and upheld. Advocate Vinod Sampat who is the speaker at a seminar being hosted by Moneylife Foundation has given a brief of what you should do when you encounter various problems.
 

Register for the Moneylife Foundation Event by Vinod Sampat over here:
 

Some of the common problems related to co-operative societies and the solution to the same are produced as under
 

 

Problem

Suggestion Solution

A

AGAINST BUILDERS (ACT FAST BEFORE NEW ACT IS INTRODUCED!)

1

Sale of open parking space by builder, sale of pocket terrace by builder, not executing the conveyance, not giving statement of accounts, not obtaining occupation certificate, not obtaining building completion certificate, not handing over original documents of title of the property, not transferring the property card in favour of the legal entity

a) Approach Consumer Court for deficiency of service;

 

b) Approach the criminal court for cheating, criminal breach of trust, mischief, violations of the provisions of Sec. 11 & 13 of MOF Act;

 

c) Lodge  complaint  with  ULC  Department  as undertakings are given that conveyance will be executed within a stipulated period of time at the time of release of the plot from ULC;

 

d) Lodge complaint with ISO authorities if the builder has got an ISO certificate;

 

e) Lodge complaint with SEBI if the builder is going for a public issue and has not made the disclosures in the prospectus;

 

f)  Lodge complaint with BMC to black list the builder;

 

g) Lodge complaint with police seeking permission to take out morcha by peaceful means to protest against the acts of the builder.

2

Builder  not  sharing  the  amounts received from allotment of hoardings, installation of mobile tower on the societies terrace

a) Approach the consumer courts for deficiency of service;

 

b) Request police authorities to file an FIR;

 

c) Approach city civil court;

 

d) Approach High Court.

3

Builders developing adjacent plot and apprehension  is  there  that  the FSI/TDR of the society is being used

a) Write letters to BMC objecting to the same;

 

b) File a suit in High Court/ city civil court/ consumer courts praying for an injunction restraining the builder from utilizing the FSI/TDR of the plot of land for which the society has already been formed.

B

CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY

1

Society not allowing visitors to park their vehicles in the building premises

a) Approach the police authorities stating that there is violation of the provisions of Table 15 READ WITH Regulation 36 of the Development Control Rules, read with Regulation 36 which stipulates that 10% (now 25%) of the parking space has to be kept vacant for the visitors;

 

b) Lodge a complaint with Bombay Municipal Corporation requesting the Corporation to cancel the occupation certificate as the terms and conditions pertaining to IOD have been violated.

2


Society not allotting car parking space to members

a) Draw the attention to the provisions of Table 15 Regulation 36 of Development Control Rules of Greater Mumbai;

 

b) Approach Consumer Forum for deficiency of service;

 

c) Approach Co-operative Court;

 

d) Approach Registrar’s office;

 

e) Note if you have other like minded members who are deprived of parking one each can approach different authorities;

 

f)  It will not make difference if the builder has sold car parking space to some other flat purchasers.

3

Co-operative Housing Society collecting exorbitant amounts at the time of transfer of flat, collecting exorbitant amount towards non occupancy charges

a) Approach consumer court for deficiency in service;

 

b) Approach police station for extortion, mischief against all the members of the managing committee with a specific request to lodge a First Information Report (FIR);

 

c) Approach metropolitan magistrates court;

 

d) Lodge complaint against auditor for professional misconduct.

4

a) Managing committee members not  issuing share certificate to members;

 

b) Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against the members of the managing committee who have misused the funds of the society;

 

c) Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against defaulters who are managing committee members

a) Approach Consumer Forum against society;

 

b) Approach Co-operative Court;

 

c) Approach the office of the registrar to remove the managing committee members;

 

d) If more complainants are there they can approach different authorities.

5

Co-operative Housing Society and its members employing minors

a) Lodge complaint for violations of Juvenile Workers Act, 1986, Bye law No 161(C), stipulates a punishment up to one year imprisonment and/or fine up to Rs20,000

 

b) Lodge complaint with labour & police authorities

C

CRITICS CORNER

1

Office bearers behaving as dictators.

Some members are having parties and disturbing the peace in the building

To lodge complaints with the registrar of co-operative societies, approach co-operative court or consumer forum;

 

For certain matters contact police authorities

2

Co-operative Housing Society not taking action against unauthorised construction

Lodge complaint with Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) for unauthorised construction

3

Co-operative Housing Society not responding to queries as regards payment of service tax

Do the correspondence with service tax department

4

Co-operative Housing Society not maintaining fire fighting equipments

As per section 3(1) Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act 2006 read with rule 4(2) Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures

Rules every society having a building of ground plus four floors and above have to submit / arrange to submit every half yearly a certificate to the fire authorities. I would like to have a copy of the same at my cost for the last three years. Take up such matters with fire authorities.

5

Co-operative Housing Society not showing records related to

various expenses being incurred by the society

Draw the attention of office bearers to the circular dated 10/3/1995 issued by co operative department.

6

Complaint  against  chartered accountant who has audited the accounts of the society

Write to Institute of Chartered Accountants of India highlighting provisions of act, rules and bye laws; Example: Exorbitant amount collected as donation, security not given by persons handling cash. Rule 107-B.

 

Money collected for car parking deposit, amounts of some members waived off, legal expenses recovered from only some members + action at consumer forum.

7

Complaint against auditor on the panel of registrar

Request the authorities to take disciplinary action against the auditor;

 

Request the authorities to remove the name of the auditor from the panel of auditors;

 

If it is a case of negligence approach the consumer forum for the losses caused with a prayer to recover the same from the auditor;

 

File criminal case. In our view permission to file criminal case from government authorities is required only if the person is appointed by the government;

 

If the employee is appointed by the head of the state then permission is not required.

8

Complaint against government officers for not giving the proper information

 

Always keep camera spy pen with you. It is not known when it can come handy

Approach the higher authorities;

 

Ask for the actions initiated against him in his earlier postings;

 

Ask the pending departmental proceedings going against him as of date;

 

Here RTI Act can be of help to you.

D

COURT MATTERS

1

Government officer not passing the order after the matter is kept closed for order.

 

 

Politely state that the judgment in the case has been reserved since a long time. Order XX Rule 1 of Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908 fixes a model Time Limit of 30 for pronouncement of Judgment. Therefore please pronounce the judgment at an early date and do the real justice since ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’ (You may also ask for all orders being passed by the said quasi judicial authority)

2

No track record as to the court case

Insist on roznamas of all the dates of the hearing

3

Reply received from advocates that

court is not sitting

Tell the advocate to take up the matter with the judge; who has got additional charge of the said court.

4

How to speed up court case

 

 

If you are a senior citizen you have a right to request the court to take up the matter for expeditious hearings in the light of the high court circular dated 3/08/2009. If a long date is given insist for a shorter date;

 

You can approach the higher court for directions to expedite the court case if there is urgency in the matter. File miscellaneous applications to get the necessary information.

5

How to protect ones interest in matters where there is possibility of litigation.

 

ALWAYS  CARRY  LATEST GADGETS AND RECORD

Use modern technologies like Google search and ask for help;

 

Tell your advocate to pray for ad interim injunction;

 

Tell the court for the appointment of court commissioner.

E

Right to Information -RTI

1

Despite writing no action is being initiated by government officers

Make an application under the Right to Information Act (RTI) to the public information officer.

2

Evasive replies are given by the public information officer. 4578 illegal cell towers in Mumbai. Action taken big zero. If a common man breaks the law will the BMC be lenient. What was our sleeping giant doing when such towers were installed? Why are criminal cases not being filed by BMC suo moto?

File an appeal. You may also file another application with the public information officer asking for information which may include copies of all the registers being maintained by the office, when the said registers are being updated, details of the registers which are incomplete, number of files in the office which are misplaced, not traceable, number of letters received per month by the office, details of the number of matters disposed of within one week, inspection of the files with specific reference to the files of the matters disposed of within one week. If you have asked for documents like certified true copy you can also approach the consumer forum as you are a consumer;

 

To put pressure you can tell your relative at say Gujarat to file a complaint from Gujarat in Gujarati. Section 11(c ) of the Consumer Protection Act, which stipulates that a case can be registered where the cause of action wholly or in part arises. (Samajnewale ko ishara kafi hai);

 

Ask for inspection and reply given to RTI queries in the last six months.

3

Society not getting copy of building plan

Write to the Bombay Municipal Corporation (BMC) authorities asking for the necessary information using  the Right to Information (RTI) act;

 

Also approach consumer forum for deficiency of services.

F

Police-related matters

 

Police not taking steps to lodge an FIR in case of a cognisable offence

Approach the magistrate u/s 154 of Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) to direct the police officers to register an FIR.

G

How to draft complaint letters

 

 

Letter to Co-operative Society/ Government authorities.

 

 

Address to society, managing committee members and various government authorities;

 

Follow up with email to various government authorities;

 

Take up the matter on Lokshahi Din;

 

Just do not stick to one subject. Highlight all the wrong things done in the society;

 

Dramatise the facts; For eg: Say that the collective value of the property is approx Rs50 crore. If it is government department like BMS say that the yearly budget is Rs2,800 crore and the same is not properly utilised. Ask for information which will result in time being spent by the opposite party which information may not be very important for you;

 

Highlight instances of corruption, inefficiency pointed out by government authorities eg. Anti corruption bureau, comptroller and auditor general;

 

Request the government authorities to download the orders as is stipulated in Right to Information act. It is common knowledge that authorities do not do all their jobs as per provisions of all in all cases, follow up with Right to Information application if the matter pertains to government department.

 

LASTLY reserve your right to take action as per due process of law.

H

Action against auditors

 

 

 

Stay tuned for the 2nd part which will be published tomorrow in the run up to Vinod Sampat’s seminar.

 

NOTE:
Those seeking help or advice on CHS issues can contact Moneylife Foundation’s Legal Resource Centre (LRC) ( http://moneylife.in/lrc.html )

 

(Adv Vinod Sampat is a practising lawyer since past 28 years. He has authored several articles on property-related matters and written 46 books on cooperative societies, transfer of flats, recovery of dues, registration and stamp duty matters. He has been an Hon. Patron member of the Estate Agents Association of India. He is also the Hon. Advisor of the Federation of Accommodation Industry of India and is an advisor to the Maharashtra Chamber of Housing Industry as well as the Federation of Accommodation Industry in India, apart from being part of many committees and winning several honours.)

User

COMMENTS

makarand joshi

2 months ago

I am resident of one of the co-operative society in Thane, I purchase this flat in 2003 but not purchased a open parking because as per supreme court judgement, builder cannot sale open/stilt parking space as it comes under common amenities. The other members have paid a lumpsum amount of Rs.1.25 lacs for open parking and Rs.3 Lacs for stilt parking space. I took possession of this flat in the year 2006 and after that the society is formed. In the society AGM the resolution has been passed that the society will start charging parking charges to the members who does not have any parking or not paid to the builders so not got any parking allotment from builder and now wants to park the vehicle inside the society. These parking charges has been calculated based on the payment done by the other members to the builders but the other members who got parking allotment letter from builder will not pay any parking charges. As per the calculation the resolution has been passed to charge parking charges of Rs.1000/- per month, as we were in minority as we were only 19 members who has not got any parking allotment from builders so other members on majority got the resolution passed and then as per that we started paying monthly parking charges of Rs.1000/-
Now in resent AGM, the managing committee has proposed to increase parking charges from Rs.1000/- to Rs. 2000/- per month to the 1st parking lot members and from Rs.1000/- to Rs.1250/- to the members who has applied for the 2nd parking as they already got one parking space from builder.
We have protested on this descrimination and raised an objection and requested managing committee to give us the justification for this increase in parking charges. The chairman has given us the verbal justification that the parking price outside is Rs.5-7 lacs so we need to increase parking charges. We told him that you can not tell us what parking price is going on outside as you or anybody cannot sell open parking space as per law so you cannot increase the parking charges without any proper justification and that to increase to only 24 members. But even after this protest the resolution has been passed in majority as we were as usual in minority.
Now they already sent the bill for the current month but we are not going to pay the increased parking charges and maintain it by paying Rs.1000/- alongwith other maintainance charges and give them the protest letter stating that we are not going to pay the full amount of increased parking charges of Rs.2000/- but paying only Rs.1000/-
Now we want your advise on this whether on these grounds we can file a case against society on this descrimination of charges different parking charges to members under same head of Parking charges. We all the 24 members are even ready to pay the lumpsum amount of Rs.1.25 to the society, which other memebers paid to the builder
We will pay the same under the head of "CORPUS FUND"
We need to know whether we can pay the lumpsum amount to society as CORPUS FUND so that we get the matter resolved on mutually agreed terms instead of going on legal battle.
Appreciate your views and guidence on this matter.
Makarand Joshi

Sucheta Dalal

2 months ago

Many readers have been posting request for help here. This is to inform you that Mr Shirish Shanbagh spares his valuable time and expertise to answer queries at Moneylife Foundation's office at shivaji park, dadar, mumbai on Tuesday between 5pm to 7 pm. Alternatively, you can post your query at http://www.moneylife.in/lrc which is a FREE helpline. However, please note that you will have to make this minimal effort. Our NGO is able to help people free because some good organisation sponsors the helpline. You may also want to reciprocate, by helping others to discover Moneylife Foundation and its activities. Become a member -- it is free. Check out Events and information videos -- they are also FREE. Do explore foundation.moneylife.in best

Cma Srinivas Jahagirdar

2 months ago

We have elected members prior to issue of Election rules, which is still runs the society, how do we regularise the same.
2. Earlier committees have not taken over from the Developer and now they are blaming on existing committee on inefficiency.

Cma Srinivas Jahagirdar

2 months ago

We have elected members prior to issue of Election rules, which is still runs the society, how do we regularise the same.
2. Earlier committees have not taken over from the Developer and now they are blaming on existing committee on inefficiency.

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Cma Srinivas Jahagirdar 2 months ago

You will need to make the effort of posting your query on http://www.moneylife.in/lrc where our expert will give you guidance . This is a FREE service provided by Moneylife Foundation, a Not-for-profit entity. But you will need to post the query there.
best

Cma Srinivas Jahagirdar

2 months ago

We have elected members prior to issue of Election rules, which is still runs the society, how do we regularise the same.
2. Earlier committees have not taken over from the Developer and now they are blaming on existing committee on inefficiency.

Cma Srinivas Jahagirdar

2 months ago

We have elected members prior to issue of Election rules, which is still runs the society, how do we regularise the same.
2. Earlier committees have not taken over from the Developer and now they are blaming on existing committee on inefficiency.

Sunny Punjabi

3 months ago

committee members of CHSL building in goregaon west mumbai are not allowing the shop owners and shop licensees and staff working in shops to use common toilets and are harassing the shop keepers by locking the toilets.. out of 14 shops 7 shops dont have toilets in their shop.. and secretary is saying shop owners n licensees cannot enter in society compount also

sachin

4 months ago

Dear Sir,

I hope you are able to provide me a solution to the issue we currently face. My aged dad owns a flat in a redeveloped building (being an original member of the demolished building). the society is now in the process of issuing new certificates in lieu of the old ones. My dad is almost 90 years of age and is completely unfit to travel. He currently leaves in another city. He is unable to be physically present to collect the new certificates. The other issue is that the old certificates are in a bank locker and hence cannot be surrendered (since he cannot travel to operate the locker and remove these to be given in lieu of the new certificates). what can be done to address the twin issues " lack of physical presence to collect the certificates and also the associated inability to provide the old certificates?

Ashok Malwe

7 months ago

Dear Sir,
I am Chairman of Sanaklpnagar Society, Kalwa, Thane. In our society some members are not allowing Expert Directors to attend monthly meetings of managing body. I showed them a letter from govt. 97th ghatana durusti va adhyadesh-2/2013dated 11/3/2013. Still they dont agree. Pl guide me what action should I take.
with best regards
Malwe
9323812072,
[email protected]

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Ashok Malwe 5 months ago

Members, do you mean, Committee Members? Then as a Chairman, you can warn then for bringing setback in smooth working of the Society. If still continues, then make a complaint against them to the Deputy registrar.
If those who bring setback are not committee members, then after warning them make a Police Complaint against them for not allowing Committee members in their smooth administration.

shashibala kumar

8 months ago

What are the mandatory documents required from a prospective member in a redeveloped building for inducting in the society

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to shashibala kumar 8 months ago

Govt of Maharashtra's Co-op. Dept's circular dated 03.01.2009 has to be followed strictly for redevelopment of your Society's building.
If you have any difficulties, then come to Moneylife Foundation's office on Tuesday, between 5pm and 7pm, for free guidance.
You may Email your problem to Moneylife's Legal Resource Centre, at lrc.moneylife.in You will get reply by Email.

AmitShah

8 months ago

Dear Sir,
I have below mentioned query regarding maintenance payments

Is it mandatory for a housing society to accept maintenance payment only by cash?
Are alternative payment mode like cash (by depositing in Society bank account) permissible?

Does bye laws mention anything on this?

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to AmitShah 8 months ago

If you pay your Society's Maintenance or dues by a crossed cheque, in the name of the Society, then your money goes directly in to Society's Bank A/c, which ensures that you have surely paid Society's dues.
Also, in your Bank Pass Book, you will get a debit entry, showing that amount has been credited in your Society's Bank A/c.
By chance, if Society has not given you the receipt for your crossed cheque payment or if you lose your Society's receipt, in such a case, you will get a Bank debit Entry in your Bank Pass Book, which has legal stand to prove that you have paid certain amount to the Society.
If you pay by cash, and if Society does not give you the receipt or if you lose your Society's receipt, then it is very difficult to prove that you have made payment to the Society.
By chance, if Society insists on making the cash payment, then to make the Society to accept your Society's dues by cheque, you can make a complaint to the Registrar of Co-operative Societies, under Bye-law No. 174(A)(ix).

AmitShah

In Reply to Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag 8 months ago

Thank you Sir for your reply.

If I deposit the maintenance amount by cash to Society's bank account, then I will have the deposit slip as proof of payment.

My society secretary is insisting that maintenance should be paid only by cheque. I would like to know if byelaws permit cash payment.

Thank you.

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to AmitShah 5 months ago

Bye-law permits to pay Society's dues by cash. However, for safety in handling cash of large number of members, Society can insist on payment of its dues by crossed cheque.
If society insists on crossed cheque payment for its dues, then member cannot make a complaint against Society to Deputy Registrar, for insisting cheque payment.
Cheque payment is properly accounted payment, therefore, your way of paying by cash in Society's account is unacceptable. Surely Society can make complaint against you to Deputy Registrar, and get order in directing you to make payment by crossed cheque.,

AmitShah

In Reply to AmitShah 8 months ago

Small correction

Please read as:
Is it mandatory for a housing society to accept maintenance payment only by cheque?

Thank you.

shashibala kumar

1 year ago

Dear Sir,




Can a new member be inducted in the society if the OC is pending and old members have been shifted in their respective flats in the building, though possession is illegal and the new purchasers have applied for membership?




If affirmative in the above circumstances, what documents would be required to allow them to enter in the society?

If negative, how it can be prevented to disallow them?

Thanks and Regards'




Mrs. Shashibala Kumar

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to shashibala kumar 8 months ago

Inducting the new members in the Society, and occupying the flats in the new building without OC, are two different issues.
When Building is under construction, as per the approved plan of Redeveloping Building of the Society, buyers of the Salable flats, can be inducted as new members of the Society. This process can be done, when salable flats are not yet constructed.
However, whether they are old members or new members, they have to occupy their flats in the newly constructed building only when Building gets Occupation Certificate from the Municipality.
If builder insists on occupying the building without occupation certificate, then the Society or individual occupant/s (of original or salable flats) can take up the matter with Consumer Court or Civil Court, against the Builder.
For more guidance come to Moneylife Foundation's Office on any Tuesday, 4pm to 7pm for free Guidance or Email your query to lrc.moneylife.in to get your specifice reply.

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to shashibala kumar 1 year ago

Kindly refer your query to lrc.moneylife.in to get you the correct reply, free of charge.

Abutalib Qureshi

1 year ago

Respected Sir, Need one advice as currently there is water crisis in our area and
Management Committee is demanding 300/- rupees from all residence to order water tanker. Kindly let me know as per by laws it is correct and MC can demand extra amount apart from normal maintenance charges. As is legal .... Kindly advice and provide your valuable input on this

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Abutalib Qureshi 1 year ago

Kindly refer your query to lrc.moneylife.in to get you the correct reply, free of charge.

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Abutalib Qureshi 1 year ago

Kindly refer your query to lrc.moneylife.in to get you the correct reply, free of charge.

Abutalib Qureshi

1 year ago

Respected Sir, Need one advice as currently there is water crisis in our area and
Management Committee is demanding 300/- rupees from all residence to order water tanker. Kindly let me know as per by laws it is correct and MC can demand extra amount apart from normal maintenance charges. As is legal .... Kindly advice and provide your valuable input on this

REPLY

Shirish Sadanand Shanbhag

In Reply to Abutalib Qureshi 1 year ago

Kindly refer your query to lrc.moneylife.in to get you the correct reply, free of charge.

Abutalib Qureshi

1 year ago

Respected Sir, Need one advice as currently there is water crisis in our area and
Management Committee is demanding 300/- rupees from all residence to order water tanker. Kindly let me know as per by laws it is correct and MC can demand extra amount apart from normal maintenance charges. As is legal .... Kindly advice and provide your valuable input on this

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