Is Your Money Safe With Builders Indulging In Criminal Disreputation Management

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Dear All,

 

For every good reason there is to lie, there is a better reason to tell the truth. – Bo Bennett 

 

We are standing at the very edge of the precipice of our existential presence, and are staring into an abyss  We have been sent over 18 legal notices, (see here https://app.box.com/s/kulgmwza7jxsre4krpx5), by one of the most prominent lawyers of the Supreme Court of India, specializing in Cyberlaw, threatening to wipe out our existence in cyberspace.

 

The illegal “legal notices” to website hosts are to take down well-researched articles and complete sites like http://www.GurgaonScoop.comhttp://www.BuilderScoop.org, and http://www.Qubrex.com which have hundreds of articles not even related to their client Raheja Developers Ltd, and its Managing Director Navin Raheja. Mr Raheja also happens to be the Chairman of NAREDCO, National Real Estate Development Council, Under the Aegis of Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, Government of India.

 

And Raheja Developers have also filed a case against us in the Delhi High Court, setting the stage for a landmark case in cyberlaw involving the practice of reputation management & its criminal counterpart disreputation management. 

 

As a real estate analysis, brokerage & consulting firm which helped many buyers buy into the Raheja Atlantis & Raheja Atharva projects, we  have written about events & issues that concern and should concern, the buyers and investors in projects by Rahejas. Not only is their response DISPROPORTIONATE to our well researched & analyzed articles & reports, it has been ILLEGALLY SENT by misrepresentations of their true self. This white-washing of the web by hitting out at WHERE the content is being hosted, rather than addressing WHAT the content is, is part of an emerging trend among builders and is called disreputation management. In a rapidly deteriorating real estate market for builders, many builders are crossing the line from legal “reputation management” to illegal & criminal “disreputation management,” and this is the developing story of one such builder.

 

He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself  does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you. – Friedrich Nietzsche

 

With their most recent barrage of 18 legal notices to hosts like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Scribd, Evernote, Rebelmouse, and Yourepeat they have  DRAWN FIRST BLOOD and have been able to remove our articles like “Raheja of NAREDCO – The Man Who Would Be King,”  http://www.scribd.com/doc/125978191/Raheja-of-NAREDCO-The-Man-Who-Would-Be-King  an article on a major fire in Raheja Atlantis, and articles related to LPG gas pipeline blast in Raheja Atlantis that injured a maid and took over 3 months to fix. https://www.evernote.com/shard/s1/sh/2c69da68-ea7a-4828-a29e-3f8bbf60c509/72e8b737031c99ffe4733f351496d4b0 Without even asking for our consent, our hosts and intermediaries like  SCRIBD.com and EVERNOTE.com removed our content as they were not able to discern the misuse of the Indian Information Technology Acts by the builder.

 

This despite the fact that the article “Raheja of NAREDCO – The Man Who Would Be King” had been VETTED BY the FEDERATION OF APARTMENT OWNER’s ASSOCIATION (FAOA) AND EXCERPTED on their official website at   http://www.faoaindia.org/news/navin-raheja-is-he-the-face-of-real-estate-in-india/ (archived at http://archive.today/es91q) FAOA is an umbrella body of over 40 Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs), including that of Raheja Atlantis. (You can still read the Raheja Of NAREDCO report on Scribd that has been uploaded by another user – God bless them – http://www.scribd.com/doc/143387689/Raheja-Gurgaon). And the articles on the Fire in Raheja Atlantis and the LPG gas pipeline blast were from major newspapers, and the photos of that we had added were genuine. 

 

In life, unlike  chess, the game continues after checkmate. – Isaac Asimov 

 

Rahejas, mostly through their VP- Customer Service, have also been reprimanding their own buyers & customers for posting online anything unfavourable about the builder – leaving many with a taste of veiled threat. It does have a chilling effect on the buyers who have already paid tens of lakhs to Rahejas, and are suseptible to this soft blackmailing. For the newer buyers Rahejas have even formalized this GAG clause into the “Agreement to Sell” itself, saying without any finesse, and probably illegally (Raheja Revanta Builder-Buyers Agreement) https://www.box.com/s/h1qbunfiya5inga2rh98 that:

 

“The Purchaser agrees, accepts and undertakes not to make or publish either by words spoken or intended to be read or by signs or visible representations via internet or any form of media any imputation/defamatory material concerning the Seller/Management/Projects, which harms the reputation and credibility of the Seller/project/Owners Association.”  Rahejas then tries to justify the transgression in right to free speech (which the United States has now explicitly stated is not illegal for the same reasons http://tinyurl.com/b4g49mp)  in terms of profits as “The Purchaser understands and acknowledges that beyond and apart from him there are other Purchasers who have invested their hard earned money in this project and any defamation of this complex/project by web posting or creating Google groups/e-groups can undermine valuations or reputation of their investment in the project.”  The price of speaking up against Navin Raheja is very very heavy for his newer buyers. As the Raheja’s Buyers Agreement states, “Upon commission of any such act by the Purchaser the Seller (i.e Rahejas) shall without prejudice to any other remedies and rights available including termination, cancellation of agreement or allotment, claim liquidated damages which the Seller might have suffered due to such irresponsible acts of SELF DEFAMATION breach committed by the Purchaser.”

 

Further, in the e-groups (like Google or Yahoo groups) created by buyers of Raheja properties, a line has been helpfully added to the effect “Any email or information shared over this group should not be used for any quote/unquote or legal solicitations/reference,” while in the online videos that Raheja Developers posts about it’s “progress” of various projects they have added a disclaimer “contents of this video shall not be downloaded as Company has sole proprietry rights of the same, and the information made here is only for viewing and not for legal evidence.” So all the “Construction Updates” posted by Rahejas at their Youtube channel here http://www.youtube.com/user/rahejamedia/search?query=construction+update could all be pretty lies, but you can’t take that to court!! Maybe Rahejas are petrified, and rightly so, that all these can be used as legal evidence to nail them, and hence have added a GAG clause to protect themselves. All these firewalls might eventually not stand muster in a court of law,  but that has not stopped Rahejas from using a sledgehammer to crack small nuts like us, or their own customers.

 

Discovering witnesses  is just as important as catching criminals. – Simon Wiesenthal

 

Not satisfied with GAGGING their buyers who have entered into an Agreement with them, Rahejas are now trying to GAG people like us who are not bound by any agreement to them. Should we not be able to alert people about the possible risks to their investments – the largest investment most people will make in their life? It is very frustrating when you can see injustice and unfairness all around you, and there is very little you can do. All we can do is write about it, and sometimes laugh about it.

 

Humour is the weapon of unarmed people: it helps people who are oppressed to smile at the situation that pains them. – Simon Wiesenthal 

 

When we wrote about Badmash builders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD0IUEn65I8 we were laughing at the irony of a 30 minutes show on Zee Business where Mr Raheja (as Chairman of NAREDCO) was pontificating about what to do about other builders who were deceiving customers. We pointed out out that he himself was accused of all the same charges to which he was displaying a holier-than-thou attitude. In another video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQehvtJWVR8 we had taken a clip of a song from the movie Jolly LLB, where Bappi Lahiri is singing about how builders have cheated people and were Maha Chors – and we wondered if Bappi Lahiri had Navin Raheja in mind. In another we were poking fun at Navin Raheja trying to describe his planned high-rise at Kathputli Colony as being three times higher than the historic Qutub Minar, and in his pompousness had named it Navin Minar – after his first name “Navin” Raheja. https://www.facebook.com/gurgaonscoop/photos/a.10151261728078282.474624.310638768281/10151331292858282/?type=1 Are all these attempts at humour so offending that they have to be served a Legal Notice from a “Supreme Court Advocate,” and have to be removed from cyberspace itself. Is there no outlet for people like us, no place for people who have been shafted by Raheja, to express ourselves through humour, wit, or satire?

 

And the attempt to throttle unpleasant news by Raheja Developers stops not at us, but was also directed to an international magazine like Time asking them to remove the story at http://time.com/12073/india-kathputli-colony-of-street-artists-to-be-demolished/The story, which was targeted in one of the 18 legal notices by Advocate Pavan Duggal, was not been written by us, but by Nilanjana Bhowmick of Time Magazine. Look at the cheek of Mr Navin Raheja and Raheja Developers – they are telling Time Magazine, an international magazine founded in 1923, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_(magazine) to remove an article writtten by one of its writers because it does not fit the Rahejas script!! The legal notice to Time Magazine is here https://app.box.com/s/48t7k24x40tzn49ba8b7  and says in Point 10, “The negative content authored by you the ADDRESSEES is so vicious and damaging …” and then Point 9 in the legal notice helpfully explains addressees to mean both Dr. Sanjay Sharma and Time magazine as “that the comment of addressee no 2 on the story has been published in the public domain on the website being Time.com, the addressee no 1.” Arrogance, thy name is Navin, and no wonder the tower that is planned to be 3 times taller than the Qutub Minar (completed in 1368 AD by Firoz Shah Tughlak) is going to be called Navin Minar. http://www.millenniumpost.in/NewsContent.aspx?NID=18491 And the attack at Time magazine doesn’t stop at that. Rahejas have asked for the removal of a link to a petition  in our comment on Time.com pointing to https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/najeeb-jung-to-stop-the-relocation-of-residents-of-kathputli-colony-till-raheja-builders-demonstrates-ability-to-finish-2800-flats-in-time-of-two-years where there are currently over 130 signatories, humbly asking for Raheja to first deliver his long delayed (some launched over 7 years ago) and only then take on new projects like the Kathputli Colony Slum redevelopement one.

 

In DEFIANCE & OPEN CHALLENGE To Mr Navin Raheja & Raheja Developers, and builders like him who are practicing the criminal disreputation management, we have uploaded all legal notices & deleted pages  here https://app.box.com/s/wi1nwx0lh8iuw8mfbn0o By using overwhelming force, and in focusing on WHERE the content is and WHO is hosting it, rather than WHAT the content is and WHO is creating it, Navin Raheja & Raheja Developers have crossed from the legal field of “reputation management” into the criminal & illegal “disreputation management.”

 

DISREPUTATION MANAGEMENT

 

Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. – Plato  

 

Cyberlaw Expert & Advocate of Supreme Court Pavan Duggal’s 18 legal notices to us have something very peculiar – they do not address WHAT our content is, but it hits out at WHERE it is being hosted.  They are ATTACKING THE MESSENGER, NOT ADDRESSING THE MESSAGE. 

 

  • The white hat “reputation management” addresses the WHAT of the content, and WHO is creating it. It tries to solve the issues, and put certain greviances into perspectives, trying to ensure that individual incidents should not unfairly look like persistent and pervasive patterns. Reputation is “a widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic,” and reputation management is the practice of monitoring the reputation of an individual or brand, addressing contents which are damaging to it, and using customer feedback solutions to get feedback or early warning signals to reputation problems. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reputation_management It adresses the WHAT of the content.

Disreputation Management is very successful 2014-04-28_140728

 

  • Disreputation on the other hand is the “Loss or want of reputation or good name; dishonor; disrepute; disesteem.” Disreputation management, instead of dealing with the WHAT of the content, deals with WHERE content is placed. The disreputation managers cross over to the criminal side to use various methods to intimidate or trick the intermediary, or the host, to remove the content. As the intermediary (or webhost) generally does not have much invested in the content it is easier to force them to remove the content. Sometimes you can also use money-power and your power-connections to scare minor content creators into removing the content themselves, without much discussion about the WHAT of the content. All negative news is being systematically  removed, thus making it almost impossible for a consumer to make an informed choice. This way of whitewashing the web is ILLEGAL, IMMORAL, AND FREQUENTLY CRIMINAL. But, for the person or company falling inexorably into disrepute this is the easy, and occasionally the only, way out.

 

As a child I was a great liar. Fortunately my mother liked my lies. I promised her marvelous things. – Gunter Grass

 

It has become a standard practice by practitioners of disreputation management  to draft a threatening letter, and then start mailing it to all and sundry on the web who you think are writing something that is not to your liking. For example Rahejas sent us a letter on Dec 23, 2013 https://app.box.com/s/fdzigz4el8rwcdld4r04 asking us to take down some videos. It had an attachment of a scanned notice https://app.box.com/s/sw8zfd50ixnucpsf1z2n  that had been signed on 27th of November 2013 – almost a month earlier. So, ostensibly, they once prepared a threat & take-down letter on 27th Nov, 2013 and then had a team of Shakespearean monkeys sit on a keyboard looking for various websites that carried content not to Rahejas liking. As soon as they found something offending to their sensibilities, they would send the notice from an ominous Sender’s address “IT Enforcement,” and attach this letter. It seems that they found our content after almost a month of surfing the web, and then sent the SAME STANDARD STALE LETTER to us. We are sure that many recipients of these letters must have collapsed to the threats of “IT Enforcement”, but not us. We sent them a gentle reply on Dec 24, 2013 https://app.box.com/s/cs9gci0714m3xla3fw74 requesting them to “make a detailed rebuttal of any falsehoods that you allege are in our postings.”

 

We then heard nothing for months till the artillery fire on April 18, 2014 where in a period of 2 minutes (8:11PM to 8:12PM on Friday night) we received 18 legal notices from Mr Pavan Duggal representing the Rahejas. They had all the same charges rehashed again, but this time threatening our intermediaries (our webhosts) as the first party. They were able to knock down the “Raheja of NAREDCO – The Man Who Would Be King” article from Scribd.com and also some reports on the Fire in Raheja Atlantis, and LPG line blast in Raheja Atlantis, from Evernote.com. We have sent a strong reply to their legal notice of April 18, 2014. https://app.box.com/s/jq4xzavoi0bvgulqwhsp With your support force them to face the WHAT of the content instead of sniping at the WHERE of the content. In the meantime Rahejas are proceeding with a High Court Case against us, as you can see in Serial Number 7322 below.

 

Pavan Duggal High Court Case for Raheja Developers

 

Evil brings men together. – Aristotle

 

OTHER BUILDERS ARE ALSO DOING this sort of “disreputation management,” and we are sure that many more builders will learn to do the same from the Chairman of NAREDCO, Mr Navin Raheja. If the leader does it, with great amount of success, why should the other builders hesitate from doing it? And if the criminal actions seem to be implicitly blessed by the Govt of India (as NAREDCO is under the Aegis of the  Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation), there is no reason why this practice of “disreputation management” would not spread like wildfire.

 

The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem  those who think alike than those who think differently. – Friedrich Nietzsche 

 

  • On May 8, 2014 we received a notice from Youtube that someone called “The Curtain Raiser” had claimed copyright over our video, and hence it had been DELETED. https://app.box.com/s/ln5alssdqn7054kwpcs1 The “Curtain Raiser” could claim defamation, or illegal content, or object to the content in some way – but, copyright? Our content was removed without even asking us by false claim of “copyright.”  This is video of Sanjay Sharma (Yours truly) live (on Sept 13, 2012) on Zee Business Money Guru Show, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivoSNSwM9xE on which I regularly appear to answer questions related to property matters. In this particular segment I  talked about the illegality of the project Cambrian Forest launched by SKM (Sumeet Kumar Malhotra) Refcon Group http://www.planetskm.com I am on the show answering questions, the show is created by Zee Business, and there are hundreds of segments of our Zee Business show that are on our Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/qbtpl Instead of addressing the content, someone falsely claims copyright on ONE uploaded clip, and gets it removed. A classic case of attacking WHERE by lies, rather than addressing the WHAT of the content. SKM had launched the Cambrian Forest project with fanfare, collected tens of crore rupees from people, then used this money to game the system and now continue to collect more. Now AS THEIR FRAUD IS BEING EXPOSED, and they have removed from their website the very mention of the project Cambrian Forest http://planetskm.com/projects.html (archived at http://archive.today/ls31V), are now resorting to “disreputation management” and trying to wipe out from the web all traces of their misdeeds. You can see how this fraud was perpetuated and developed here http://www.indianrealestateforum.com/real-estate-gurgaon/t-skm-cambrian-forest-sec-95-a-21366.html

 

The destruction of the past is  perhaps the greatest of all crimes. – Simone Weil

 

 
The disreputed builders will stop at nothing, and will use the police, bureaucracy, courts, and media to their advantage. It is also important to note that Rahejas did not even have the Locus Standi to approach the intermediaries & webhosts with their legal notices, as they are neither in possession of “actual knowledge” and nor do they represent any govt agency, and we raised the issue in the reply to their legal notice of April 18, 2014, served by Supreme Court Advocate & Cyberlaw expert Pavan Duggal. https://app.box.com/s/jq4xzavoi0bvgulqwhsp They have misrepesented themselves, and illegally asked the intermediaries to remove the content.

 

When truth is buried underground it grows, it chokes, it gathers such an explosive force that on the day it bursts out, it blows up everything with it. –Emile Zola

 

The tragedy is that “disreputation management” can be resorted to by only people and entities that once had repute, and now with the loss of that are falling into disrepute; you can’t have disreputation if you once did not have reputation. So, Rahejas are now walking into the minefield of criminality because they once had repute, and they no longer have it. Whether the repute was merited or not, it was there – and now it is falling away. As recently as Jan 2013 Navin Raheja “flaunted his success at his son’s wedding,” as Caravan reported. http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/road-gurgaon “When I met Raheja last summer at his bungalow in Sainik Farm—an affluent unauthorised residential colony in South Delhi — he said there were 38 cabinet and chief-minister level guests at the reception, including the Congress minister Ambika Soni, and Tejinder Khanna, then the lieutenant governor of Delhi (whom Raheja counted as “chief-minister rank”).” The list of guests was helpfully published in the builder’s official newsletter “Raheja Impressions.”  It included “almost all of who is who of India graced the occasion.”  “Personalities included Ambika Soni, Sushil Kumar Shinde, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Lt Gov Tejinder Khanna, Kumari Shelja, Harish Rawat, Salman Khurshid, Subodh Kant Sahay, Saifuddin Soz, Shahnawaz Hussain, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Rajiv Pratap Rudi, Vinod Sharma (?), Mufti Mohammed Sayyed, Amar Singh, Ram Jethmalani …”  many of whom can be seen in the video dream weddings that was broadcast on CNBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIIwzbRTSuo
Raheja - Shaadi Mubarak in Impressions

 

  • Incidentally, Ambika Soni, who contested the Lok Sabha 2014 elections from Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, was given an advance of Rs 2.5 crore by Raheja Developers. Raheja’s spokesperson Dimple Bhardwaj said, “Yes, we have given refundable security of Rs 2.5 crore for development of project on their land in Gurgaon.” http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/34798526.cms
  • You can find a full copy of the builder’s newsletter  “Raheja Impressions” here  https://app.box.com/s/yevh2w3bg41nnxyooys9, which by the way, after grand publishing of the news of this marriage in Feb 2013, has not had any other issue come out in the last 15 months as you can see on the Raheja website. http://www.raheja.com/md-newsletters.asp (archived at http://archive.today/h2lVu) It is as if nothing notable has happened in the company in the last 15 months that would warrant the publication of a newsletter! It may very well be true that nothing notable has happened since Feb 2013, and THAT IS EXACTLY what is gravely concerning the buyers … and may give an insight as to why projects launched over 7 years ago are still far far away from completion.

 

As REPUTATION FALLS & DISREPUTATION BEGINS the true character of the company and its Managing Director is starting to show. Tough times test the character of people. We as real estate consultants faced tough times, and still have managed to keep our faith and our reputation. But, it looks like that the tough times are revealing that Rahejas are made of glass not steel.  As the old Russian proverb says, “the blow of a hammer shatters glass, but strengthens steel.” There is no doubt that real estate is passing through tough times, and there is a lot of pain around, but that does not mean you turn to crime to support your lifestyle. And for Sumeet Kumar Malhotra and his SKM Refcon Private Limited, they once had reputation (even if false and manufactured) by which they were able to collect over tens of crores of rupees, and now as that reputation has gone  … the criminal “disreputation management” has begun. You can see our response to Youtube and our request to restore the video here http://comments.gurgaonscoop.com/2014/05/11/qbtpl1-video-removed-copyright-infringement/ In Oct 2013 over 100  investors had marched to Sumeet Kumar Malhotra’s house only to find him absconding http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Investors-land-up-at-builders-house-find-him-nowhere/articleshow/24793793.cms, and in May 2014 the fraudsters are white-washing out all evidence of their crime from the collective memory of the web. After having collected hundreds of crores, Triveni Infrastructure instead of delivering on its promises is trying to crush & destroy the buyers under a barrage of false FIR’s. They are trying to wipe out the voices of the past buyers from the collective memory of society itself.

 

 

The past is our definition. we may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it. – Wendell Berry

 

SHOULD CRIMINALITY BE REWARDED

 

Common sense and history tell you that rewarding illegal behavior will only encourage more of it. – Ric Keller 

 

In miscarriage of natural justice and fairness, even as the builder is proving to be tardy, failing to perform, reneging on promises, the DDA and the current Govt seem to be hell bent on rewarding the Rahejas. WHILE WE ARE BECOMING EXTINCT, Raheja Developers are ready to be rewarded by the Delhi Developement Authority (DDA) and the Govt with the lucrative Kathputli Colony in-situ slum rehabilitation project. Why is the DDA willing to be complicit in getting the slum residents to relocate to the transit camp for 2 years, when there is not a shred of evidence to support the contention that Raheja Developers can deliver 2800+ apartments in 2 years for the slum dwellers?  Why is govt rewarding him with Kathputli Colony project even after the last 5 years, since the contract was signed, have proved his inability to deliver much smaller projects even 7 years after launch.

 

Instead of being held accountable and made to deliver on past promises, Navin Raheja & Raheja Developers are being allowed to make new and newer promises – Why? Mr Raheja is frittering away time on “deliberations” of over 900 acres of land that he may develop in the future, (as the legal notices from Advocate Pavan Duggal state https://app.box.com/s/kulgmwza7jxsre4krpx5) even as the buyers in the current projects have to wait for months for an audience with him; and many still return disappointed. Should there not be a freeze on him launching new projects in the near future like the Bawal Residential Project, Commercial in Bawal, Raheja City Arcade, Raheja Business Floors, Raheja Bajghera, Residential Sec 99A, and Raheja Industrial Township …. till he completes projects launched since 2007 that are still disturbingly incomplete including Raheja Vedaanta, Raheja Atharva, Raheja Navodaya, Raheja Shilas, Raheja Sampada, Raheja Vedas, Raheja Vedaanta Floors etc despite the builder having collected over 90% of the payment a long time ago.

 

Before Mr Raheja starts collecting money from buyers in his new projects, should he not be persuaded to complete and handover his earlier projects. Should he not be prevented from possible and tempting Ponzi behaviour where he is collecting money from new buyers to finish his committments to his older buyers, and then looking for more new buyers, and on and on.

 

Instead of being allowed to sell new promises, Rahejas should be asked hard questions about its current and past performance. QUESTIONS about the delay in his current projects, and questions about violations of laws, acts, and criminal & unethical actions. We need to now SQUARELY bring the focus back on the WHAT of the CONTENT that he is trying to destroy  People who are entrusted with large amounts of other people’s money have to be held to a higher standard, and Mr Raheja should be interrogated about the issues we have raised before being rewarded.

 

  • We should ask him if he has not violated his commitments, and also many Laws and Acts, including the LC IV A of Haryana Apartment Ownership Act as described in the article “Raheja of NAREDCO – The Man Who Would be King.” https://app.box.com/s/9m8a00l0sdjvkausvlni
  • Has he not sold parkings seperately and charged for them despite a Supreme Court of India order to the contrary in Nahalchand Lallochand case.
  • Has he not indulged in illegal Community Investment Schemes http://www.sebi.gov.in/faq/cis_faq.html like the one based on “buyback” of plots in Sohna. https://app.box.com/s/pb98ez1j0r1xrs93i2o6
  • Has all this illegal and unethical behaviours not put at risk the investments of his buyers. And have his large and unproductive investments in large projects like the thousands of acres purchased for for SEZs which went belly up, or the hundreds of crores needed for the Kathputli Colony project https://app.box.com/s/prg6fz3ddg14ph04n6ps, not been siphoned from the installments of current buyers that were paid towards the completion of their respective projects – not to fund his own schemes.
  • A person who has attained a high status by virtue of raising large amounts of a very large number of people has added responsibility of convincing the public that their money is safe.

 

This is probably the worst time for Raheja to be diverting his attention to the complex project of slum redevelopment in Kathputli Colony, and it would be better to force him to first deliver on his promises to his current buyers, and only then start work on new projects. The Ship of Rahejas has hit its Titanic Iceberg in part due to a confluence of bad decisions, bad luck, bad performance, bad environment, bad ethics, bad products, and bad hearing  A detailed report explaining why Rahejas are in deep trouble is available at https://app.box.com/s/t1vm5zmt9lfwkqq6mls2, and shows that before they are allowed to launch new projects and raise more money from the markets and buyers, they must first be made accountable to all the money that they have already taken. There are a lot of serious and important questions that need to be asked of the Chairman of NAREDCO, as regards to his personal business. As the KING of builders in on the BACKFOOT today, SO ARE many OTHER builders, and the actions we take against Raheja Developers will have wide ramifications for the real estate market.

 

The time to demand Transparency, Accountability, and Concentrated Responsibility has come, and transgressions must be punished instead of being rewarded. This is an idea whose time has come.

 

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come. – Victor Hugo

 

FACE-OFF WITH DISREPUTED BUILDERS & THEIR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOUR

 

Fairy tales do not tell children that dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children that dragons can be killed. – G.K. Chesterton 

 

We are not rich, and we are not as powerful as the Rahejas. And, it is not really our face-off with Rahejas, or disreputed builders like them. It is the face-off of the builders with their Karma, and the forces of nature.

 

As the forces of Creative Destruction play out in the real estate market, it is but natural that some builders will fall into disrepute as their methods of doing business are rejected, and they feel the contractions in the marketplace. Creative destruction describes the “process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.”

 

 

Such victories are an indication that courts are now being supportive of buyers, even against builders whose might was at one time unquestioned.
The time has come to take a stand for self respecting buyers & investors against the bad practices of the builders. Badmash builders, who are the bad apples of the real estate market must be systematically singled out and made to face the music. Some of the bad practices are shown in this video of Mr Navin Raheja on Zee Business https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD0IUEn65I8.  In this confrontation begetted by the yawning difference between the builders promises and their performance, there will be casualties. Some companies will correct their ways and emerge stronger, while the other will stumble, keep ignoring the lessons of history, to become history themselves.

 

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. – Winston Churchill

 

If the builder was to become history, it does not necessarily mean that the buyers will lose out. If a company like Rahejas were to fall, and in the wildest thoughts Mr Navin Raheja were to exit the company, the Limited company (Raheja Developers Ltd) will still survive. And the builder’s currently incomplete buildings will not collapse, but may be completed faster. Some people start believing that they are indispensable, but no one is; history is witness to it.

 

We need to have professional 3rd party observers to ensure that the builders are on track, and that in the long journey of 3 to 10 years (which it seems is taking some builders now to complete their projects) they don’t go off-track. We need to support pressure groups that are effective in standing up to the builders and holding them to their responsibilities and promises. We need to support the builders, but then also reprimand them when the need arises. We need to trust builders, but we also need to verify. For the builders can cheat only those who trust them; those who don’t trust will not provide an opportunity to the builder to cheat.

 

We have tried to play our role as a real estate broker & consultant ethically, and there are many more like us.  You can look at our (QuBrex) track record available in newpaper & magazine articles, in our numerous TV appearances, and many blog posts to see that we have called the situation in the real estate world as is.  We are a well renowned real estate consulting & analyst firm (www.QuBREX.com), have appeared in articles in Times of India, Business Standard, Forbes India, Money Today, Economic Times, Outlook Business, Indian Express, Caravan Magazine, Construction World, FridayGurgaon etc http://qubrex.com/qubrex-in-the-news/ and have been appearing on a weekly/monthly basis regularly for the last 4 years on Zee Business Money Guru Show on property matters. I have also co-anchored a weekly program on Sahara Samay “Property Watch” for over one and an half years, and have appeared on CNBC Awaaz, NDTV Profit, CNN IBN, etc. http://www.youtube.com/user/qbtpl We also submitted an invited report on behalf of the RWA in the landmark DLF Vs CCI case in which DLF was penalized Rs 630 Crore.  http://www.scribd.com/doc/57893914/DLF-vs-Belaire-Park-Place-Owners-Report-by-Qubrex-Submitted-to-CCI-Competition-Commission-of-India-Final-Report-May-08-2010-Completed-Projects My brief profile is given here https://app.box.com/s/xemabep72f2gfjffgcjg 
So it hurts when a serial -defaulting builder like Raheja Developers is able to suffocate us into silence. There is not a single quote, single byte, or single status update over the last 9 years that we are ashamed of. Many people may not have believed at that time what we were saying, but time has by and large proved us right. If we came after builders when they were wrong (especially in our older avatar of http://www.GurgaonScoop.com from 2005 to 2010, a position since yielded to http://www.indianrealestateforum.com), it was to help weed out the few bad apples from the real estate basket. And our attacks were, and still remain, issue based.And there are many individuals and groups like us, that are interested that there is fairness in the real estate industry. Currently all these efforts are fragmented, and most initiatives are for a specific builder or issue. There is a need to bring all these intiatives together, and allow for knowledge creation and easy exchange. The technological tools are there, and so is a receptive culture and social setting. It is imperative that the real estate buyers & investors now come together to somehow address the bad practices on the real estate sector. And it is a LIFE & DEATH MATTER.

 

If disreputed builders try to impede this nascent process of knowledge creation and sharing, or if the disreputed builders try to erase the past deeds & misdeeds from the collective memory, it should not be dismissed as a pardonable nuisance – but it should be considered as an unpardonable crime. If a car manufacturer was trying to hide a flaw, or trying to remove from the web-posts that highlighted some problems with the cars, would you find it acceptable? Then why should we find it acceptable for Rahejas to get removed articles about a major fire that took place in Atlantis in 2009 in Apartment E 41. And why should it be allowed to suppress and remove information about a gas pipeline that burst in Apartment E 33 of Raheja Atlantis in 2013 causing injury to a maid.   In Caravan magazine http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/road-gurgaon  Praveen Donthi reports “that building’s (Raheja Atlantis) LPG pipes were improperly installed, and had corroded ten years earlier than expected.” Should we not heed this lesson, and make sure that the pipes in the newer projects of Raheja are properly installed? Should we not try to dig deeper, investigate, learn lessons and try to prevent another accident or tragedy. Should we not learn our lessons from history? Should we not bring the FOCUS BACK TO WHAT of the content that people like us raise, and not digress by being drawn into WHERE of the content. If we do not learn the lessons of history, we are condemned to repeat them.

 

Those who do not remember the past  are condemned to repeat it.- George Santayana

 

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF AS A FARCE 

 

That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the  most important of all the lessons of history. – Aldous Huxley 

 

There are some persistent patterns and quirks of nature, in people and entities. Some of these are minor irritants, while others may turn out to be fatal flaws. And until a great effort is made to change these habits and patterns they inevitably recur. History repeats itself.

 

And the 18 legal notices that came to us was also part of a pattern.

 

 

History repeats itself, and that’s one of the things that’s wrong with history. – Clarence Darrow

 

By the way, the when a Boston based financial journalist suggested there was no way Ponzi could legally deliver such high returns in a short period of time, Ponzi sued and won a minor victory and $ 50,000. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Ponzi But soon after Ponzi lost it, and was jailed. And, as they say, the rest is history.

 

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary  act. – George Orwell

 

Given the lessons of history, we can expect another set of legal notices from Rahejas, to which we will reply, and again and again … This may be funny. But, sometimes it is not.  It is not funny when it is a question of LIFE & DEATH.  It is not funny when a major fire breaks out in Raheja Atlantis in 2009, then again in 2013 a major gas pipeline bursts. And all this happened despite the residents telling Rahejas of the inadequate preparations. Here is some of what the residents were worried about, and this is how they expressed themselves.

 

  • “Yesterday’s incident which occured at the E block highlights the general apathy of the living condition at Raheja Atlantis.” “I am aware that RDPL (Raheja Developers Pvt Ltd) thinks this is a “minor fire” as quoted by Ms Dimple in the press. The pictures and videos taken of both the flats and the damage to the outside façade, not to mention the footage of your staff hurriedly painting and removing burnt things just an hour after the fire would make the claim of “minor fire” at best laughable and at worst a blatant lie.”

 

  • “On the day the fire happened, there was no WATER that came through the pipes, for more than half hour! That’s what caused the fire to spread from one room to TWO FLATS and half the side façade of tower E.” “After the fire, your (Raheja Developers) people came and removed Orange seals from the sprinklers in my house and cleaned the plaster off them. HOW DID WE EXPECT THE SPRINKLERS TO WORK IF THE SEALS WERE STILL ON??? Why did they remove it after the fire? Is that not criminal destruction of evidence?”
  • “I am arranging a copy of show cause notice from fire department ,where Jt commissioner has written that during his visit one main pump was not started in presence of Mr. Navin Raheja as well. None of the sprinkler was functional, while the keys of the E041 is with Netaji (owner of apartment) , RDPL claiming that special investigation been carried out by them and found that there was earthing problem. Surprisingly RDPL is only company who can investigate any matter without going to the place of incident.”

 

  • “I had personally discussed with Mr. Navin Raheja and warned him about the possibility of occurence of such mishap even 4 months prior to this incident during a residents meet on 21 March 2009. I am attaching a list of queries which were put up by me on that day.” Needless to say, Rahejas had addressed none of his concerns till the day the fire broke out. 
  • “At the time of the fire, residents, tenants, people on the street, people living in the houses next to the Condo…everyone was looking at the destruction and the utter chaos that ensued. The only thing in my mind was why do we pay the maintenance and why do we exhibit so much patience on every failed commitment.”
  • And in the newspapers, it was reported https://app.box.com/s/ic7tad56chof9vrypm45 & https://app.box.com/s/kpzkuk5wtr0nwri3t5je “According to Sreedhar Mishra, an engineer residing in the complex, the residents pay Rs 4,000 as maintenance charges every month. However, there is no water or hydrant provided by the builders. “A few months ago, I had refused to pay the charges since there was hardly any work done as far as maintenance was concerned. The builders harassed me by disconnecting my electricity supply and reconnected it only after I paid the entire sum,” he said.” Also, “According to fire officials, the fire could have been brought under control much before the tenders arrived had the systems installed inside the buildings been maintained and functional. “There are smoke detectors and water sprinklers provided in each apartment so that in case of a fire, an automatic security system can take over. However, as per our information, there was lack of maintenance that resulted in the automatic system failing to control the situation,” a senior fire official present at the site said.” In another serious allegation the papers reported that the building plans were faulty, and “The fire officials alleged that the building plan did not allow fire tenders and hydraulic platforms to move inside. “We had to break a part of a wall to reach the block where the fire broke out,” H C Sihag, fire station officer, Sector 29, said.” Should not these serious charges have been investigated further, and lessons learnt from these been disseminated widely amongst the public – esp. to people living in high rise apartments?
  • And just like in the Hindi movies, the police comes into the scene after all the action is over, the papers reported, “The Gurgaon police have not registered a case yet. “We have not received a formal complaint from the residents,” Commissioner of Police, Gurgaon, S S Deswal, said.”
  • SOME OF THE PHOTOS OF THE GUTTED APARTMENT ARE HERE:

21072009502Damage in E41 by fire in Raheja Atlantis 01 Damage in E41 by fire in Raheja Atlantis 02 Damage in E41 by fire in Raheja Atlantis Damage in E41 by fire in Raheja Atlantis 04
 
We (Qubrex) created a video and put it online, but it was deleted by Youtube in 2009 as Rahejas complained of defamation. But, today you can see the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnDENNUQyTM as we have reposted it. In your judgement, should our video have become victim to Rahejas disreputation management in 2009? On what basis did they claim defamation?
 
youtube defamation complaint in 2009 where a video was deleted without even asking us - raheja
 

And here are photos of the apartment when the gas line exploded in Raheja Atlantis in March 2013.
 
Raheja case LPG blast injured maid Raheja Case LPG blast damage

 

We sincerely prayed after the incident in 2009 that history should not repeat. But, it did. In March 2013 “Two people were injured when a piped natural gas (PNG) line exploded in an apartment at Sector 31 in Gurgaon on Saturday.” http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-2294577/Two-injured-gas-pipeline-explodes-Gurgaon.html “Sahil Chandra, the flat owner said it was a lucky escape for the family as the pipeline blasted on weekend and the school was closed. “Normally, my wife keeps moving around the kitchen as she has to send the kid to school, but today she was not there,” he added.” “However, the FIR has not been registered so far.” Sahil’s father, Prof Suresh Chander is an old client of ours, and I had immediately called him up. They were wanting to file an FIR, but it seems that they did not go through with it. Instead a written complaint was filed. “”We have received written complaints against Raheja Builders and the gas agency. We are probing the case,” Sharwan Lal of sector 40 police station told a news agency.” http://zeenews.india.com/news/delhi/three-injured-in-cooking-gas-line-blast-in-gurgaon_835877.html Even after the fire in 2009 there was news that an FIR had been filed, but seems it led nowhere. As an aside the Times of India recently reported http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/gurgaon/Junior-accuses-top-fire-officer-of-corruption-in-written-complaint/articleshow/18962474.cms?referral=PM that a Junior officer had accused top Fire Officer of corruption in written complaint. In his complaint, he has said that the top Fire Officer demands and accepts bribes to issue certificates such as fire NOC and fire fighting scheme.

 

It is only education  and understanding of the past that teaches us not to repeat history. – Eugene Jarecki

 

False promises were made of possession in 3 years to buyers of Raheja Atlantis in 2005. False promises of possession in 3 years were made to buyers of Raheja Vedaanta in 2007. False promises of possession in 3 years were made to buyers in Raheja Navodaya. And now promises of possession in 2 (TWO) years are being made to slum dwellers in Kathputli Colony in 2014. Should we let it happen? Should we let thousands of poor, uneducated, many elderly, and almost all artists, be trapped into promises that are meant to be broken. Should they be forced to accept Raheja’s assurances that he will complete 2800+ apartments in 2 years for them, when he can’t even complete smaller projects launched over 7 years ago? If you believe that the Kathputli Colony residents must be saved from the farcical promises, please sign our petition here https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/najeeb-jung-to-stop-the-relocation-of-residents-of-kathputli-colony-till-raheja-builders-demonstrates-ability-to-finish-2800-flats-in-time-of-two-years

 

History repeats itself, first as tragedy,  second as farce. – Karl Marx 

 

And there is a history of huge amounts of money being directed to misadventures of the Rahejas. First, Money was wasted by the Rahejas on the great chase of SEZs. Then huge amounts were spent in cornering land in Sohna, where eventually to raise money Rahejas had to launch an illegal Community Investment Scheme (CIS). And now huge amounts are being spent on Kathputli Colony where the BJP & AAP parties are alleging a Rs 1000 crore scam, and papers have estimated that approx Rs 400 crore ($ 65 million) is the cost of developing the transit camp and of building the nearly 3000 flats.  https://app.box.com/s/prg6fz3ddg14ph04n6ps

 

And, by the way where did Mr Raheja get the money to splurge on his misadventures? He was a failed scooter distributor at one point in his life. Maybe, just maybe, that is the reason why your project is incomplete, or progressing slowly. A CAG probe is needed to understand the money trail, and as the Kathputli Colony project is a PPP project, the Supreme Court has recently ruled that a CAG probe can be conducted. And it should be conducted, in addition to a CBI probe as demanded by both the BJP and AAP. You can find a lot of stories about the Kathputli Colony project aggregated here  http://www.builderscoop.org

 

The history of man is the history of crimes, and history can repeat. So information is a defence. Through this we can build,  we must build, a defence against repetition. – Simon Wiesenthal

 

Let us START BY holding the NAREDCO Chairman to his promises, and put pressure on him to deliver. If it requires the civil & criminal courts of law, of police, of public opinion, or politics – so be it. Let us prevent the king of builders from white-washing the web, and let us prevent Mr Navin Raheja & Raheja Developers from taking up new projects till he delivers on his pending ones. And let us force the Rahejas to focus on WHAT of the content, rather than letting him go after WHERE the content is, before he seeks to get it expunged from the web, and hence the collective memory of society.  And this is not with a selfish motive, or with a view of enriching a few individuals. We are ourselves part of this real estate eco-system, and there is only so long you can cannibalize it, only so long you can take it as a zero-sum game. If property prices are to stabilize, and if it has to attract money from investors, and if it must be a place where you can safely park your life savings, this ATTEMPT TO WHITE-WASH THE WEB MUST STOP. The criminal activity of disreputation must stop, and all builders indulging in it must be given exemplary punishment.

 

WHAT REAL ESTATE MARKETS REALLY NEED

 

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be. – William Hazlitt 

 

If real estate sector does better, so will we. Builders must become more productive, work more speedily, and deliver better quality products.

 

We are brokers and real estate consultants, and our aim is to get a larger share from an expanding pie. If builders deliver on their promises it is easier for us to sell their products, and we will spend less time in courts and media fighting them. If they deliver even a fraction of what they promise, the quality of life will increase and people will be willing to pay more; as prices rises so will our commissions. And in addition to the brokers like us, the buyers will gain, the sellers will gain, the banks will gain, the contractors will gain, the labour will gain, the manufacturers will gain, the media will gain … After all, by various estimates real estate is estimated to contribute almost 6% to our GDP. There are two things that businesses need and that is TRUST, and VISIBILITY into the FUTURE. We must be able to enter into agreements so that the party which is paying knows exactly what it is going to get. And we must have visibility into the future so that when we get what we paid for, it is of the value (not price) that we had expected when we went into the agreement.

 

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. -Galileo Galilei  

 

INTERMINABLE DELAYS ARE BAD because they change the value of the product/service by delivering (if at all) at a time when the environment around the product has changed for good or bad. If, the real estate markets are in the dumps today (in 2014) it is in large part to the fact that buyers & investors no longer trust majority of the builders – that is why there are almost no takers for under-construction property. Millions of investors have suffered huge losses, and homebuyers are suffering mentally & are financially stretched  – a major factor leading to a crash in the real estate market is the LOSS OF FAITH IN BUILDERS.

 

  • Even Rahejas have now had to fall on their knees in this crashed market, and to sell the unsold stock of projects launched over 7 years ago are peddling schemes that beg “pay 10% now, 15% in 60 days and the rest in EMIs AFTER possession!!” On top they are offering “2 years rental guarantee AFTER possession!!!” whenever that possession happens. Haha. What a fall from grace for the arrogant and delusional builder. The Times of India ad of April 2014 can be seen here https://app.box.com/s/33um9qbcyxu1gulfigs4 Rahejas have fallen because of their own bad decisions (fatal blunders), bad luck, bad environment, bad performance, bad ethics, bad product, and bad hearing, and you can read a detailed analysis of their dire situation in “How High Flying Builder Navin Raheja & Raheja Developers Hit Their Titanic Iceberg” here  https://app.box.com/s/t1vm5zmt9lfwkqq6mls2

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them. – James A. Baldwin

 

 

  • Rahejas are now also offering to “buyback” their Raheja Revanta Apartments after 3 years – promising you 66% returns.  https://app.box.com/s/juefuyenyal3jcwpm95m They have changed the property product into a financial product tying it to returns (or essentially interest), with the underlying asset (the apartment) just being a proxy. With this scheme Navin Raheja is not selling homes to the public, which builders should do, but is in-essence raising money from the market like that done by Mr Nirmal Singh Bhangoo, MD of Pearls Agrotech Corporation Limited (PACL) http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-06-28/news/29712743_1_pyramid-scheme-land-bank-deposits, or that of Subroto Roy of Sahara Pariwar. http://www.caravanmagazine.in/editors-corner/saharas-financial-mirage Rahejas are effectively raising money from the public by giving as collatoral an apartment that does not even exist! There is no apartment there yet, but just thin air – he is not selling an apartment, but the RIGHT to an apartment, making this scheme potentially illegal as he is raising money and offering assured interest without any underlying “real” asset.  What is the guarantee that he will have money to “buyback” after 3 years?? And so, buyers should stay away from them. If Rahejas are not honoring  agreements that they have about delivering homes, why would someone believe that they would honor the agreements about providing 66% returns in 3 years. And this lack of trust in them is more real and valid, because they are still not willing to take responsibility on themselves for delaying projects that were launched over 7 years ago. They are blaming HUDA, some of the buyers who do not want possession, market forces, force majuere etc etc – everyone except themselves. Look into thy mirror – Mirror, Mirror on the wall … who is the most *$%!@ builder of all …

 

PUNISH SEVERELY BETRAYAL OF TRUST. Trust is perhaps the key metric by which one evaluates investment schemes. http://www.caravanmagazine.in/editors-corner/saharas-financial-mirage Builders like Navin Raheja should not be able elicit trust by making grand promises, and then to pass the buck to someone else for their OWN failures. Raheja has been trying to pass on the blame for HIS incomplete projects on HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority) saying that they have not provided the roads, sewerage, electricity, and what not.  HUDA had never said that they would provide anything in Sectors 108, 109, 92-95, etc by 2011, or 2014, or 2018, or in any timeline. All that HUDA has notified is a Year 2021 (then 2025, and now 2035) Masterplan in which they are to provide the infrastructure. Further, HUDA is not party in any Tripartite Agreement between Raheja Developers and the Buyers, and cannot be invoked in failure of Raheja Developers to deliver on the Bipartite Agreement that is ONLY between the Buyers and Raheja Developers. On what basis, on what policy, on what agreement with HUDA, is Raheja trying to pass on the blame for his failure to deliver on to HUDA. Raheja Developers is bound to deliver on his Agreement with the Buyers; period. And the drama of a poll of how many people want possession is a legally untenable maneuver to wiggle out of his committments. The betrayal of trust of the buyers, and the violation of the spirit of the Agreement to Sell that was entered with the buyers, must be severely punished.

 

Evil is always unspectacular and always human. And shares our bed…and eats at our table. – W.H. Auden

 

As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do. – Andrew Carnegie

 

NO MORE FALSE GRANDIOSE PROMISES Builders must measure each & every one of their words carefully, and if the builder is making false boasts or promises (this is what confidence tricksters do to get people to trust them), they must be punished. Raheja has made many bombastic statements, which may have conveyed to people that the group is much larger than what it actually is, and the group must be made to eat their words publicly. Making promises to get people to buy into your project, and then conveniently forgetting them when the time to deliver comes, should be punished severely.  Raheja Developers announced with grandstanding 7 hotels in 2009 https://app.box.com/s/whvffkom3zeqa38ioqxo, and 5 years later in 2014 what is delivered is one hotel ONLY – and that too in piggy-back on an existing project, Raheja Square in Manesar.  Anyway, what about the other 6 hotels? This is a part of a pattern. Mr Navin Raheja announced  in 2006 TWO SEZs spread over 5327 acres. https://app.box.com/s/5doybf2ymmsa2t19j0hb. In 2009 Mr Navin Raheja announced that in SEZ’s 20 million sqft of usable area would be developed of which 7 million would be housing http://www.mydigitalfc.com/real-estate/raheja-build-20000low-cost-homes-756 Has even 1 sqft been developed in the SEZs – NO.  In the same article in 2009 Navin Raheja claims to be developing 20,000 low cost homes – 5 years later not a single home has been delivered. Nayan Raheja in May 2012 said that the Dwarka Expressway will be ready by end of 2012. https://app.box.com/s/i97pmfse9ezucp6cqdaq It is NOT ready. In May 2012, in the same interview, Nayan Raheja said that they are getting ready to give possession of Navodaya and Atharva soon. Almost 2 years to the month since he said that, have they given possession to the apartments in Raheja Navodaya or Raheja Atharva? No, and No. Boasts like these, made with the sole intention of duping newer buyers into buying into their projects, are frauds – and must be punished as such.

 

Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

SINS HAVE HELPED CREATE GREAT WEALTH in Real estate, and have bought great riches to many at the cost of many many more. It is no doubt that property has historically been one of the safest assets over the long run, and in a rapidly growing economy the upward draft to its wings are unstoppable. But, there are many human frailties that make it easier for some to generate great wealth for themselves at the expense of others. Apradh (illegality) seems to be the fount of great riches for Indian realtors, and as the well researched story in Gfiles “The Great Haryana Land Robbery” https://app.box.com/s/fen4v03mrh1g69j4a22q documents, the last 10 years in Haryana have been a loot at a very large scale.  Mr Navin Raheja, and many other builders, seem to have been direct beneficiaries of this largess. Then is Thaggi (Trickery) Jhoot (Lies). In the unregulated wild world of Indian Real Estate, Maya (illusion) is used to draw buyers into the parlour, and Swarth (selfishness) and Irshya (envy) used to push them over the edge. Lobh (greed) keeps the buyers hanging on to the last remnants of hope, as Aalas (sloth) keeps them passive and docile. And for those who try to walk out of the parlour, the Bhrasht (corrupt) drag them back into the spider’s lair. Such a complex system cannot be easily reined in, and needs an organized system to fight back. We need an intelligence that is larger than the sum-total of our individual intelligences.

 

The Internet is the first thing  that humanity has built that humanity doesn’t understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.”Eric Schmidt 

 

We await the ESTABLISHMENT OF NETWORK INTELLIGENCE. We need a collective memory to remember everything – good and bad. If there is something good, it must be there in the records, and if there is something bad it must be there too.  Decision-making and ENFORCEMENT are complex processes, and the least we could do is to provide facts (as they are) to build upon. We then need an information & knowledge clearing house about real estate to set into motion these memories. At present some work of information & knowledge collection and organization is being done by IREF (http://www.indianrealestateforum.com/f-real-estate-gurgaon-28.html/) where a wealth of information is shared by real estate enthusiasts for real estate all over India. But it is faceless, anonymous, and seeded & moderated by volunteers. To make it more powerful  a new incremental concerted effort is needed. The new COLLECTIVE effort must lay the groundwork for an EMERGENT & NETWORK INTELLIGENCE- an intelligence that is larger than the sum total of all our intelligences, and it must have the ability TO ENFORCE its will on the players. Building upon the work & concept of IREF, we want to give it real faces, and we want to organize the available information, and also create, curate, and manage information with the help of professionals. This network intelligence will be geared towards information sharing AND also ENFORCEMENT. We believe that against the tyranny of unscrupulous & disreputed builders only the weapon of actionable knowledge can work. It is also essential that current consumers be educated of the way forward, and prospective customers be made aware of the facts. In addition to being reactive, the knowledge-based bulwark must be proactive.

 

The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place. – George Bernard Shaw

 

The time has come to contribute your bit to help this Network Intelligence emerge and ensure that has the capability of being sentient of the real estate sector and  much more. At this time it is more beneficial to keep the people in our emerging network unmentioned, but as time requires some people will step out. But, right now, we need you to participate actively or passively an build a knowledge base and clearing house. The goals of the effort are to bring to the real estate sector transparency, accountability, and concentrated responsibility.

 

TRANSPARENCY, ACCOUNTABILITY, & CONCENTRATED RESPONSIBILITY

 

When great changes  occur in history, when great principles are involved, as a rule the majority are wrong. – Eugene V. Debs 

 

We need to hold the builders accountable to their Agreements, and have transparency in how the builders are progressing towards completing their promises, and we should be able to fix concentrated responsibility on one or more specific people in the builder’s company if the Agreement is violated.

 

Justice without force is powerless;  force without justice is tyrannical. – Blaise Pascal

 

TRANSPARENCY is especially important, because the time from promise to delivery can range from a few months to many years, and the whole process must be transparent to the buyer. We can use knowledge sharing, and group pressure to ensure that the builders do their best to move according to the promised plans. This can only be done collectively. There must be a critical mass of people who take the lead, and with a few professionals to advise them. Till the Real Estate Regulatory Bill (with real teeth) http://mhupa.gov.in/W_new/Real%20Estate%20Bill%20as%20introduced%20in%20the%20Rajya%20Sabha%20on%2014.8.2013.pdf becomes a reality, buyer groups guided by professionals are the best way to bring transparency & accountability. We will try to gather around professionals who will not be compromised at any price by the builders. The professionals could be consumers like you, but have been spending enough time with real estate related matters to be able to understand the sustained fight that is needed to confront & rein in the builders. Let us sharpen our teeth by taking on the king of the builders, Navin Raheja of Raheja Developers. If there is something wrong that a builder could do, he has been there, done it. And once we have tested our process against him, we will bring the focus onto other builders.

 

You give the builder so much money that for the next 20 years you will be paying it off in installments. For many buyers these installments will consume almost half their monthly salary, month after month, over the next 20 years. And in return what do you get when you ask for an account of the same – a thenga. Not acceptable. If a project to be delivered in 3 years is still incomplete in 7 years, all the books of the builder should be examined by third party auditors, and he must give a detailed account of the whereabouts of the funds collected. We must at all costs prevent the builder from degenerating into another Charles Ponzi, http://www.sec.gov/answers/ponzi.htm where he is diverting the money from one project to another, funneling it to build his personal assets, and using funds in highly speculative projects where the chances of gambling away the money paid by the buyers is high. And in Rahejas case, as it is a PPP (Public Private Partnership) project with the DDA, his books must be opened to a CAG probe, and also to a CBI probe as demanded by the Parliamentary candidates of BJP & AAP. 

 

ACCOUNTABILITY If promises are being made, then there must be a valid basis for those, and there must be teeth in case the promises turn out out be with malice. Five years after selling Raheja Atharva we had to publicly take back our recommendation, and apologize for recommending the project in 2009 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po3Z7DxzZPM because the builder just would not do the work, and there was nothing we could do to prod the builder. If Mr Raheja is making promises to the slum residents that he will give 2800+ apartments to all eligible residents in less than 2 years, then he must show how he will make 2800+ apartments in 2 years when he has not been able to deliver smaller projects in even 7 years (and still counting). If he does not deliver the apartments fully complete in 2 years there must be exemplary penalty. If he does not deliver to “all” eligible residents, there must be penalty. If he does not deliver the apartments of the quality promised then there must be penalty. And the Agreement must be iron-clad so that he is not able to dilate, or take the second and third parties on a wild ride.

 

It is cruelty to the innocent not to punish the guilty – Publilius Syrus

 

CONCENTRATED RESPONSIBILITY We must hold Mr Navin Raheja responsible for the delays in his current projects, and prevent him from taking on any new projects till he finishes all the currently delayed projects. We must make sure that if the money paid to him by buyers has been diverted to other projects, then he is forced to bring it back – even if he has to liquidate his newer projects. If he has already squandered away the money given by the buyers, and that is the reason why he is not completing their project, then we must find him a room next to Shri Sahara Shree.

 

ALL IT TAKES IS A FEW SECONDS TO START

 

With foxes, we must play the fox. – Thomas Fuller  

 

Sign up, and commit your name to the movement, and all it takes is a few seconds to start this process of transparency, accountability, and concentrated responsibility. Please sign the petition here if you are a Raheja property buyer, or buyer in property of any other builder who is not delivering on his promises, or you want to support fairness and prevent the poor and uneducated residents of Kathputli colony from being cheated. https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/najeeb-jung-to-stop-the-relocation-of-residents-of-kathputli-colony-till-raheja-builders-demonstrates-ability-to-finish-2800-flats-in-time-of-two-years

 

The smallest pain in our little finger gives us more concern than the destruction of millions of our fellow beings. – William Hazlitt 

 

If you are scared that Raheja Developers, or any other builder, will penalize you, remember there is strength in numbers. There were recent protests against DLF, Vatika, Unitech, Ramprastha, Vigneshwara, M3M, SKM Refcon, AN Buildwell, etc and you can see a long list here https://www.google.com/search?q=Buyers+Protest+Gurgaon+builders Will the protestors get penalized? On the contrary, remember that it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. For those clinging to hope that their passivity is good, the builder will love them for it and reward them, and if they keep their ears, eyes, and mouth shut things will turn out okay for them: Fine, and God bless you all.

 

Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs  the torments of man. – Friedrich Nietzsche 

 

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION that Raheja should first finish their long-delayed projects and only then be allowed to start work on projects like that of Kathputli Colony, and sign the petition here. https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/najeeb-jung-to-stop-the-relocation-of-residents-of-kathputli-colony-till-raheja-builders-demonstrates-ability-to-finish-2800-flats-in-time-of-two-years It is also important to sign the petition to protect the rights of the poor, elderly, uneducated, and artistic Kathputli Colony residents because if they are forced to trust Rahejas, and Rahejas do not deliver their 2800+ apartments in 2 years, they might be on the road with no place to go. The transit camp where they are being “temporarily” relocated is available for 2 years only. So, far the slum residents have resisted their displacement, and only about 100 of the 3200+ families have moved out, but they still need our support. And they also need support because the plan of what Rahejas is providing them does not suit their life & work-style, and a better plan needs to be presented by DDA & Rahejas to better suit the slum dwellers. There is more coverage here http://www.builderscoop.org

 

SUPPORTING WITHOUT FEAR If there is any punitive action by Rahejas for standing up, or defending your rights, or exercising your freedom of speech, we will do our best to bring the sledgehammer of police, public opinion, and courts to bear on them.  But, for those with a genuine concern and reason for not coming out, we will try to find a way to protect your anonymity like at RTI Anonymous http://getup4change.org/rti/media/ At the Getup4Change website, people can upload an RTI query anonymously to the website, then one of the volunteers associated with the website files it, and once the reply is received the volunteer posts the answer back on the site. This way the actual person person asking the query cannot be traced, or targeted.  Or we will try something like being done at IREF, where revealing real-world personal information is prohibited http://www.indianrealestateforum.com/forum-rules-read-before-posting/t-iref%AE-rules-please-read-6437.html 

 

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. – Edmund Burke

 

FOR MORE ACTION – DONATE & ORGANIZE TO ESCALATE  We need help from you to take the fight to THE RIGHT PLATFORM WITH RIGHT INTELLECTUAL AND FINANCIAL RESOURCES. We should start a thousand mutinies. Badmash Builders, enough is enough. We also seek support of buyers in projects by builders other than Raheja Developers, from the public in general, from people with knowledge of the police, courts, RWAs, and RTI. Help, please. It just takes a few minutes, and it means a lot.

 

If someone is willing to lead the initiative they are welcome to do so, and we will help raise a network of support for them. Actions are costly, and that is why the DLF Belaire & DLF Parkplace Residents Associations which won the historic judgement at CCI for Rs 630 crore had a membership fee of Rs 50,000 for DLF Belaire, and Rs 20,000 for DLF Parkplace. If there is knowlege and money contributions, actions can be taken at the following forums.

 

Reason is not automatic. Those who deny it cannot be conquered by it. – Ayn Rand

 

  • COURTS We are looking for legal advice, evidence, and people willing to file cases against Rahejas in the civil, criminal and consumer courts. The charges range from violations of the Haryana Apartment Ownership Act, esp the section LC IVA which are all detailed in the document “Raheja of NAREDCO – The Man Who Would Be King.” There are also charges of false advertising, and false claims like having delivered 290 million sq.ft space. We are also looking for help to file a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) against builders like Rahejas who are indulging in the criminal practice of “disreputation management” to whitewash the web, and destroy its record of the past.
  • POLICE We are looking for help in filing police cases against Rahejas for illegally getting content removed, and are looking for more evidence where they have bullied people into removing content. We are looking for help in filing cases with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) & SEBI for investigation of possibly illegal CIS (Community Investment Schemes) & Ponzi schemes that the Rahejas have undertaken. We are looking at help in starting a CBI investigation into the possible scam of Kathputli Colony. We are looking at help in getting  a CAG probe against Rahejas esp. since it is now possible after recent Supreme Court decision in PPP case involving telcos. http://www.deccanchronicle.com/140418/business-latest/article/ppp-projects-may-also-come-under-cag-ambit)
  • POLITICS We are looking at help for reaching out to BJP & AAP, and their eminent legal luminaries like Mr Prashant Bhushan. If there are people in Congress who can help, we are seeking their support, and that of any party that can help the buyers & investors in real estate. We would like to bring political pressure, supported by large number of buyers who are voters, to bear on the builder, and also help in moving the levers of the legislature, executive, and judiciary.

 

LINK / HOST THIS ARTICLE TO BEAT CRIMINAL DISREPUTATION MANAGEMENT

 

Ten people who speak make more noise than ten thousand who are silent.  – Napoleon Bonaparte

 

And the best way to beat a bully is to bring his misdeeds into the sunshine. And the best way to stand up to injustice is to speak up.

The builders via their criminal “disreputation management” are trying to remove information & knowledge from the web, and the best way to prove their effort futile is to repost elsewhere the information they remove; replant ten saplings for every tree the builders knock down.

 

What stories the builders like Raheja Developers seek to send to the purgatory can be retreived by your links to the same story. Let us show that by such actions Mr Navin Raheja is not “the man who would be king” but he is an “emperor who has no clothes.”

 

If you have a blog please host our stories and our files. If you have social media accounts please link to our stories and our files. And please take the time to add comments to all the websites where Raheja related stories are posted. We are aggregating a lot of stories at http://www.builderscoop.org

 

With your help we hope to fight back and prevent the builders from destroying what we cherish the most, which is our freedom of speech. It is this freedom to speech which is the fount of transparency, accountability, and concentrated responsibility. It is this freedom of speech that makes our country so great. It is your help in preserving this freedom of speech that makes you special. Please help us.

 

It’s not so important who starts the game, but who finishes it. – John Wooden

 

Sanjay Sharma
9811987371
Qubrex@gmail.com

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5 comments
Raheja Developers
Raheja Developers

This is the official communication from the company regarding above mentioned article:-


·He was extremely successful in every venture. For better prospects he chose real estate.

·That’s his family name and there is nothing wrong in choosing a company name on the same.

·There is no personal interest into becoming the chairman of NAREDCO. The members of           NAREDCO choose its representatives through voting/election through a transparent process.

·The company has received awards from very reputed agencies like CNBC AWAAZ, ZEE BUSINESS, GOLDEN PEACOCK AWARDS, ASIA PACIFIC BLOOMBERG AWARDS, EUROMONEY, BRAND SLAM etc that have     international repute. You should ask them directly why have they bestowed them on us on what basis/criteria.

·He attended the meeting on invitation from the Government like all other developers of Haryana.

·We haven’t given any illegal favors to anyone. It is better you please recheck your information. We do not want to comment upon anybody’s relationship as we are not really aware of these facts.

·Out of the total licenses granted by Hooda, we do not have even 1% of the land share. We only acquired land after publication of master plan on prevailing market rates.

·We acquired land after the master plan became public. In fact we suffered badly due to certain changes in subsequent master plan.

·As mentioned above None of our land in Gurgaon was acquired before master plan became public.

Our company operates out of Delhi, Gurgaon, Haryana. We conduct our business transparently as per by laws and rules as applicable. 

qbtpl1
qbtpl1 moderator

@Raheja Developers @raj_shekhar72 It does not look to be any "official" comment. There is no identification of the person, no contact information of the poster of the comment, and neither is the "official communication" of the company addressing the issues raised in the article. No self-respecting & digitally aware company would post like this.

qbtpl1
qbtpl1 moderator

If you as an individual, or association, or RWA, or buyer / investor/ allottee  have received any restraining or intimidating notices from builders please let us know. You can write to me in confidence at Qubrex@qbtpl.com