Forbes India: PMO asks Haryana to probe complaints against Raheja Developers

UPFRONT/SPECIAL | Dec 19, 2014 | 1045 views
Dear All,
Winds of change are in the air, and the answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind. 
 
A small step by aggrieved Raheja buyers, but a giant leap for all buyers suffering at the hands of robber-baron builders. The Prime Minister's Office has asked for a report from the Chief Secretary of Haryana on the complaint of buyers of Raheja Atharva. And the issues raised in the complaint of these buyers are germane to the buyers in almost all private builders …. and are the core reason why the excesses by these unethical builders have cause a loss of faith & trust in the sector, and consequent collapse of the real estate market. The impact is huge as real estate contributes almost 6% to the GDP of Indian Economy. So, if in your business or job you start feeling pain in the coming months, you can blame it to no small measure to these errant and rogue builders …..
Buyers from other Raheja projects are also rising, and this may be the second wave buyer activism, after the one in the DLF CCI case. The issues are grave, and the stakes very high. And the most important is that the compensation that the builder pays for delaying the project should be commensurate with the penalty they charge when buyers delay their payments. This is basic law, and natural justice. 
The GM of Corporate Communications of Raheja Developers, Ms Dimple Bhardwaj, has been commenting on these issues using the handle @ranisantosh77 at the following pages. Please weigh in the discussion if you can.
9811987371, 9871219911 
UPFRONT/SPECIAL | Dec 19, 2014 | 1045 views

PMO asks Haryana to probe complaints against Raheja Developers

Flatowners move office against irregularities in Gurgaon housing project
PMO asks Haryana to probe complaints against Raheja Developers

T

he Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has issued a letter to the Haryana chief secretary to look into complaints against a Raheja Developer's housing project in Gurgaon. A group of flatowners had moved the PMO alleging irregularities in the Atharva project on the Delhi-Gurgaon border. This comes close on the heels of a lawsuit filed by 43 flatowners in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, obtaining a stay order against the cancellation of flat allotment.  

Wing Commander Alok Verma, to whom a copy of the letter was sent, is one of the complainants. He alleged that the builders have received occupancy certificate from the Haryana government without providing for water or electricity. “Mr Raheja (Navin Raheja, chairman and managing director of Raheja Developers) launched the Atharva project in 2007-08. Buyers have paid 90 percent of their installments to the builder only to realise that there is no water or electricity provision in Atharva,” said Verma. 

“Raheja is now asking us to pay the remaining installment and has threatened to cancel our flat allotment if we don’t pay up,” he added. “But why should we pay the rest of the amount when there is no basic infrastructure in the project?”  

The flatowners who moved the National Consumer Redressal Commission have also asked Raheja Developers to compensate them for a three-year delay in the project. “Atharva was to be delivered in 2011 but we got possession in 2014. Our agreement with the developer says they should pay us compensation at the rate of Rs 7 per sq ft per month,” says Verma. He and his co-complainants are now demanding compensation at an interest rate of 18 percent per annum, the rate at which Raheja charges from buyers for any delay in payment.  

The company seems to be headed for more trouble as a group of 100 buyers of the Vedaanta project have sent it a legal notice complaining against a three-year delay and non-payment of compensation. About 50 buyers of the Navodaya project are preparing to file a case against the group as well. “We will file a case in the second week of January in the national consumer commission asking for the developer to pay compensation at the rate of 18 per cent per annum,” says Ajit Kumar Jha, a buyer. “The project was to be delivered within 36 months of its launch in July 2007, but we haven’t yet got our flat allotment. We have all taken loans to buy flats so we want the builder to pay us compensation for the delay.”


Read the full article and post your comments at  
http://forbesindia.com/article/special/pmo-asks-haryana-to-probe-complaints-against-raheja-developers/39249/1

Raheja Atlantis Still Waiting For Navin Raheja, After 20 months, To Transfer Crores In Maintenance Security

q08 raheja for sons wedding expenses didnt build 2 apartments - ha - 2014-12-17_081505 - details

Twenty months after being forced to relinquish the maintenance of Raheja Atlantis in April 2013, Raheja Developers is yet to transfer the maintenance security running over Rs 5 crore, to the Raheja Atlantis Apartment Owners Association (RAAOA) which has taken over the maintenance now. http://www.faoaindia.org/news/process-of-handover-of-maintenance-and-complex-has-started-1st-is-raheja-developers/ This continuing default by Navin Raheja led RDL to pay up “is causing a severe liquidity issue which is hampering the efforts of the Board in managing the (Atlantis) complex effectively.”

If interest of 18-24% per annum is added (which Mr Raheja would have charged the Atlantis residents if they were not paying up), the total amount of Maintenance Security (IBMS collected by the builder when selling the apartments) due to RAAOA has increased by about a crore rupees. Let alone paying back the principal, Mr Raheja is not even paying the interest due. And the Atlantis residents are in suffering and pain.

Buyers in ongoing Raheja projects should take note because they may face similar situations. Whether it is projects like Raheja Vedaanta, Raheja Atharva, Raheja Navodaya, or the newer projects like Raheja Revaanta & Oma, the only way to see what Mr Raheja will do in these projects is to see his past performance. And that is why the situation in Raheja Atlantis – the flagship project of Raheja Developers – is very important to study. Does the builder stick to his promises & commitments?

This is not a large amount of money for Mr Raheja as he disclosed in an interview with Caravan Magazine.When asked about the extravagant and opulent wedding of his son Nayan Raheja (also a director in RDL), Mr Raheja said “Out of thousands of apartments I make, I told myself I didn’t build two apartments and spent the money on my son’s wedding instead.” http://www.caravanmagazine.in/reportage/road-gurgaon

q08 raheja for sons wedding expenses didnt build 2 apartments - ha - 2014-12-17_081505

Based on the videos broadcast on CNBC TV 18 as “Dream Weddings” and proudly displayed on the official Raheja Developers Youtube official channel https://www.youtube.com/user/rahejamedia/search?query=wedding it looks like a lot of money was spent on the wedding. And if Mr Raheja makes that much money on two apartments, the dues for Atlantis residents are just peanuts. Please Mr Raheja, go ahead and pay the small amount that is due to RAAOA. Raheja ji, ek apartment RAAOA ke naam kar do.

Wedding videos of Nayan Raheja  & Kashish Goel

Wedding videos of Nayan Raheja & Kashish Goel

Such petty behaviour of making the RAAOA suffer due to your non-payment does not jive well with the image that you are trying to create of “India’s Best & Most Awarded Developer For Two Consecutive Years,” and have it tagged to every email that leaves your office.

raheja claim of india best and most awareded builder 2014-12-17_073123

On top it the acrimonious spat that Jyoti Anand of Raheja Developers had with Kapil Gupta of RAAOA on CNBC Awaaz in March 2013 reflect poorly on a company that is claiming to be India’s best. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFtgQiA1A8I Even the kids in Atlantis had to appeal to “Raheja Uncle” because Raheja’s had close the swimming pool and were demanding Rs 50,000 for membership that most people believe had been included in the purchase price itself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hftQA3zr1vQ

raheja kids asking for Raheja Atlantis pool
And now to make the Atlantis residents suffer more you are not transfering their maintenance security deposit even 20 months after leaving the Atlantis complex.

May be Raheja Developers are waiting for the courts to compel them to make the payment as it happened in the case of Parsvnath chairman Mr. Pradeep Jain. Recently when Parsvnath Chariman tried brushing off a Rs 15 lakhs due payment to a buyer, the court ordered Mr Jain’s immediate arrest and incarcination in Tihar Jail. Realizing the seriousness of the situation Mr Jain called his office and a draft of Rs 15 lakhs was made and presented to the buyer in 15 minutes. Does Mr Raheja need an order like that. http://news.qubrex.com/2014/11/13/fear-of-immediate-arrest-of-builder-15-lakhs-returned-in-15-minutes/.

pradeep jain jail threat for 15 lakhs payment

And even the politicians who patronage they court, as the new BJP govt in Haryana may tighten accountability on “specific developers who have been playing truant with customers.” http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/gurgaon-real-estate-rejig-likely-as-state-seeks-info-on-errant-firms-114121200248_1.html Even in the Lok Sabha Union Minister Mr Arun Jaitley has indicated a hardening stand against such traunt builders, even to the extent of jailing them. http://youtu.be/RZR7kJML0dI

Chief Justice of India designate H L Dattu

The discontent of the buyers with Raheja Developers is increasing. Forty three (43) buyers from Raheja Atharva have sued Raheja Developers in the National Consumer Commission, and another 50 Buyers are expected to join the law suit shortly. Around 100 buyers of Raheja Vedaanta also sent a legal notice to Raheja Developers last week. Over 50 Raheja Navodaya buyers are also readying a case against Raheja Developers.

These cases against Raheja range from mis-selling, approval, super area, common areas, delay penalty, escalation charges, maintenace charges, to construction quality. They also have the potential to be the landmark cases like the DLF vs CCI and will be closely followed by the media because they involve fundamental issues of law and natural justice.

Mr. Navin Raheja should see the writing on the wall and start rectifying the problems with his flagship project Raheja Atlantis.This is the project that got him into the big league of Gurgaon real estate market. He should immediately pay off his dues to RAAOA. This would be a good first step for him to start digging himself out of the ditch that he has rapidly descended to.

Mr. Raheja Exit Gracefully from Raheja Atlantis, not leaving behind a wake of bitterness.

NCR: What Signals In High Level of Advertising of Real Estate Projects?


There were 82 pitches for real estate projects from 99acres in my inbox in the last 30 days. Very high level of advertising for what is considered a slow time for real estate. Even DLF has gone ahead with a planned launch in Gurgaon. The recent news papers are flush with property advertisements, and some like M3M and Lodha are making land purchases for eye popping valuations. What is going on? Are these the green shoots, or the gasp before a 1-2 year period of slump? Have the fundamentals of property buying environment changed? Have the supply and demand lines crossed again as the supply was crimped in recent quarters?
.
To see the world in a grain of sand,
and then to see the beach where the sand lies.

Raheja Developers: Did Black Money Lead To Shoddy & Incomplete Projects?


PLEASE CONSIDER REMOVING MR NAVIN RAHEJA, RAHEJA DEVELOPERS, FROM THE CHAIRMANSHIP OF NAREDCO

Raheja Developers were recently caught in a black money sting operation of Cobrapost. The apex body CBDT has asked all tax authorities to submit a compliance report on Rahejas and the other builders caught in the sting. Mr Navin Raheja & Raheja Developers were in tax trouble in 2010 also, when tax evasion worth Rs 80 crore was unearthed after raids on 15 premises of Rahejas in Delhi and Gurgaon, including Mr Raheja’s residential property in Sainik Farms.
This black money angle may explain why builders like Rahejas cannot complete their projects even 7 years after launching them, and the “product” “offered for possession” is so shoddy that 43 buyers of Raheja Atharva have already sued them in National Consumer Commission. Another 15+ are expected to file their cases soon. One buyer in Navodaya has filed a case against Raheja in National Consumer Commission, and also filed a police complaint against Rahejas with hope that it will result in a police FIR. Similarly, over 70 buyers in Raheja Vedaanta are planning to file lawsuits against Raheja Developers like the Atharva buyers, and will send a legal notice before Dec 15, 2014 to Rahejas regarding the same.
Black money could be a root cause for all these problems that Rahejas have dumped on all the buyers who trusted them. Imagine that a company has calculated the profitable selling price to be Rs 7000 per square feet for selling its project. As long as the company takes all the money in cheque or white money, it will go into the accounts of the company. Now if the company sells the same in black money 50-50, it means that the company books will only show receipts of Rs 3500 per square feet, while another Rs 70 lakhs will be in cash (assuming a 2000 sq.ft apartment) and off the company books. What happens to this Rs 70 lakhs in cash is what causes projects to be late, and their quality poor. 
There is no accounting for this Rs 70 lakhs (per apartment or plot) of black money, and it is definitely not stored in the developer offices ! Some may be kept for the company to use in paying bribes, if needed, but chances are that it is used to buy more land-banks for future projects. And much of it may go into the personal pockets of top directors. How would the company then have enough funds for its projects when huge amounts of money have been siphoned off? 
If the company does not have sufficient funds it then tries to extort more money from the existing customers if new customers cannot be found. Some of the steps include adhoc charges, extremely high maintenance charges, denial of delay compensation on flimsy grounds, threats of charging escalation (to the tune of approx Rs 400 psf in Vedaanta!), not making the club, commerical areas, common areas, and not completing the individual apartments till the customer makes life impossible for them. All this may be due to the money crunch in the company as money has been siphoned off by keeping it off the company books. While the individual employees of the company live life in maharaja style – the  company itself suffers. The buyers suffer as the money paid by them has not been used to building their property, but diverted for miscellaneous activities.
Whether this was happening at Raheja Developers will only be known after a detailed investigation. 
You can see the full transcript of the Raheja Sting Operation here http://cobrapost.com/index.php/news-detail?nid=7299&cid=23 You can see details about the 2010 tax evasion here http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Tax-evasion-worth-Rs-80cr-unearthed/articleshow/5586071.cms The Central Board of Direct taxes has asked its Income-Tax investigation cells to submit their report on Raheja & other developers by Dec 15, 2014. http://indianexpress.com/article/business/business-others/cbdt-orders-probe-against-select-real-estate-firms/ These may provide insight into why Raheja Developers have failed the people who trusted them, including their buyers.
With warm regards, 
Sanjay

Navin Raheja & the Cold Smile Photo Story

Yesterday there was an advertisement in the Economic Times about its Realty Convention on December 12, 2014. A photo of one of the eminent speakers, Navin Raheja, caught our eye.

A photo that was supposed to show the cold-smile of Mr Navin Raheja had found its way into an advertisement of the “eminent” Mr Raheja!

What was created for a scathing & explosive article on the “Grimes & Crimes” of Mr Raheja was being propagated and distributed freely and widely on our behalf, increasing our reach many fold – by the very entity that the photograph was railing about. Karma works in mysterious ways, indeed.

 

The Economic Times Realty Convention on 12th-Dec-2014 - The Economic Times - 5-Dec-2014

The story behind this ironic twist of fate goes like this. Mr Raheja and Raheja Developers have never liked us, because, one they owe us money, and two, we speak our mind (based on facts) about him and his company. Rahejas have tried very hard to silence us through money, police, and legal firepower, but so far we are still standing. They have filed a case against us in the Delhi High Court. The company then engineered cyber-attacks on us, and got over 350 of our videos removed by false claims of copyright causing us immense loss. But, we kept on with our job of writing more and towards creating the epic real story “Open Letter To Housing Minister About NAREDCO Chairman Navin Raheja,” and building a case for Mr Navin Raheja to be removed from the NAREDCO Chairmanship.

For this story we needed a photograph of Mr Raheja that showed what we perceive him to be, and the true face behind the staged smiles. We wanted a photograph with an expression that in its contradictions caught for us the essence of the man.
We found the expression at 2:58 minutes.

q08 raheja 2-58 into corporate film

We first did a Google search, but none of the images it threw up fit the bill. Then we came across a Raheja Corporate Video.  In the video we zeroed down on a single frame that captured the “cold smile” that we were looking for, and it was at 2:58 minutes into the video. We created an image out of it, and that became the headliner for our article. And if you see the preceding few seconds of the frame of the video at http://vimeo.com/101993585 you will realize that what is on Mr Raheja’s face is not a smile at all. It is just a pause as he is describing how he found the taste of big money in real estate. This picture was perfect for our hard-hitting article at http://www.qubrex.com/open-letter-to-housing-minister-about-naredco-chairman-navin-raheja It is this very same picture that has been used in the advertisement for Mr Raheja’s speech at the Economic Times Reality Convention on December 12, 2014.

q08 raheja ET realty ad 2014-12-05_142903

The December 12, 2014 date is very significant as when Mr Raheja will be speaking on “Building India: A Model in Regional Planning,” he will also have on his mind the hearing in the National Consumer Commission the same day, where 43 (forty three) buyers have sued Raheja Developers for severe deficiency of services. https://www.change.org/p/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/u/8574404 Another legal notice from over 70 buyers of Raheja Vedaanta would have also reached him by then. The season of legal action against him has just begun as buyers find their voice, and activism refuses to take the back seat to the diktats of the robber-baron builders.

We wish that at least then Mr Raheja will realize that his time is best spent in his Raheja Developers Ltd (RDL) office, getting the work done of his buyers, and not pontificating in seminars like that by ET about what the nation should do, when your own backyard is not in order.

It is also time that Mr Navin Raheja resign from the Chairmanship of NAREDCO (National Real Estate Development Council, under the Under the Aegis of Ministry of Housing & Poverty Alleviation, Government of India). Raheja Developers has also been caught on Cobrapost sting cameras http://cobrapost.com/index.php/news-detail?nid=7299&cid=23 accepting that they manage black money, they generate black money, they rob the exchequer by showing lower prices of the property than they actually sell at, of using the Raptor ECC offices in Dubai for accepting black money … etc. etc. The CBDT has asked Income Tax departments to submit a complaince reports on the stung builders by Dec 15, 2014. http://www.livemint.com/Home-Page/DYeHASvLZQDDovzYg2U6FP/Black-money-CBDT-orders-IT-probe-against-select-real-estat.html And if any criminal wrong-doing by any employee is found, the person should foot their own legal bills and not RDL, as the buyers have not paid money to the company to waste it on people who are found indulging in criminal activity.

In addition Raheja Developers have run illegal Collective Investment Schemes (CIS), floated dubious assured return & buyback schemes, and have violated many acts/laws of Housing in Haryana. Should someone like Mr Navin Raheja be allowed to hold such a high post, even as his company is wading through a comedy of errors.
Raheja Developers has been tom-tomming on their facebook page an article “Self Made Mogul” on Mr Navin Raheja, as being published in Mail Today November 30, 2014. https://www.facebook.com/RahejaDevelopers/photos/a.144369789461.137979.119816589461/10152840205299462/?type=1 archived at https://archive.today/Pvj9l It was NOT published in Mail Today, but in the “Property Mail” advertising supplement of Mail Today. The text of this article is totally paid for, and has appeared in many places of the web over the last 6 months. It is without real sourcing, and was the cause of Mr Navin Raheja’s wikipedia page being deleted when the Wikipedia editor reviewed the post and found it to be overly promotional and an attempt at authentication by circularity. In addition, in the same article is an error when “Naveen” is written on the top left hand side, and “Navin” is written in the article.

q08 raheja self made mogul navin naveen

What else can you expect from a company when even the”likes” on its facebook account are fakes ….

Mr Raheja and Raheja Developers Ltd have created a bubble within which is their virtual and artificial world. Mr Raheja, during one of his jungle retreats, should take a deep look at the “Maya Mahal” and realize that he must stop blaming others – and take the blame onto himself.

For Whom the bell tolls, Naveen – Navin, the bells toll for thee.

Raheja Developers BUSTED in Sting Operation By Cobrapost Regarding Black Money

BREAKING NEWS !!
Sting operation of Raheja Developers reveals how they accept black money in Dubai, and how they under-report the prices to rob the exchequer. Caught on tape are Kartik & Chetan in the Raheja Developers offices …
If they have so much money then why are their projects so late, incomplete, and severely deficient in services? Maybe because most of the money has already been parked abroad instead of being spent on the projects …
Full report of sting on 35 builders is here http://cobrapost.com/index.php/news-detail?nid=7290&cid=23
You can read our full report on Raheja's Grimes & Crimes here http://www.qubrex.com/open-letter-to-housing-minister-about-naredco-chairman-navin-raheja and you can read about how 43 buyers in Raheja Atharva have sued the builder in National Consumer Commission http://comments.gurgaonscoop.com/2014/11/17/forty-three-43-raheja-atharva-buyers-sue-raheja-developers-gurgaon-in-national-consumer-commission-court-case/, one case has been filed by Mr Arunesh Madan of Navodaya, and more cases are in pipeline from Vedaanta & Navodaya.
Warm regards,
Sanjay


Another Builder Bites The Dust – Ambience’s Gehlot Pleads “Let us Live In Peace”

After 12 years, ALARWA is finally going to bell the cat. During the Chautala and Hooda govts, Gurgaon builders had a free run, and what a run it was.

Twelve (12) long years ago the residents of Ambience Lagoon formed a RWA (Residents Welfare Body) to protect their rights. Led by retired army officers they wanted things to be fair and square. But, Mr Raj Singh Gehlot had different plans, and collecting 10 (allegedly his own) people he created another RWA and called it LRACA. Mr Gehlot is still claiming LRACA to be the legitimate RWA, but the majority of residents differ and are still holding ALARWA to be the real RWA.

Many cases were filed against Ambience Developers, with ALARWA questioning the validity of the Deed of Declaration that Mr Gehlot has filed. And due to the doggedness of ALARWA, and the Housing Laws & Acts of Haryana helped in part by the Lokayukta, the Ambience Lagoon complex has become a hot potato in Mr Gehlot’s hand. He can’t hold on to it, and yet can’t hand it over to ALARWA which will snatch away his hand along with the potato.

In the letter excerpts below, you can see a desperate Mr Gehlot wanting to hand the hot potato to his creation LRACA, which unfortunately does not have the numbers or the trust of majority of the residents. Mr Gehlot has issued one final plea to the residents to join the LRACA and inherit the mess from him, but the residents are wiser.

And if Mr Raj Singh Gehlot has to come to the table across from ALARWA after 12 long years of acrimoniously fighting them, the cat would have finally been belled.

And it would be a lesson to other builders, that no matter how mighty you are today the foundation of your business are your buyers. And eventually, the sledgehammer of Karma will come back to hit hard.

 
Excerpts from Mr Raj Singh Gehlot’s letter to all Ambience Lagoon Residents on November 11, 2014. The excerpts have been rearranged so that the narrative is clearer (in the spirit of artistic remix), and you can see the original and much longer letter also attached below.
 

Dear Apartment Owners, 


I am approaching you directly after a gap of almost five years in respect of maintenance and various issues agitating you since long. 


You may please recall that ALARWA was formed by some residents on 26th May, 2002 as an informal Association. Lt. Gen Vinay Shankar was state to be elected as First President. 


We then kept on resquesting the then office bearers of ALARWA to give me the name of the apartment owners to enable us to form the statutory association … but all in vain. Then we have to take the initiative and somehow gathered the required number of apartment owners to form the statutory association (LRACA) and filed the Deed of Declaration.  …. We got formed and registered initially with 10 members/apartment owners and later on joined by many more residents. 


However, after that office bearers of ALARWA started leveling false and baseless allegations against us and filed complaints and court cases against us at multiple levels. You may recall that I have called for the meeting of all residents irrespective of their affiliation to ALARWA or LRACA in Leela Hotel on 11.06.2014 in terms of the order of DGTCP, Haryana Chandigarh. … In the meantime, DGTCP, Haryana, Chandigarh and Lokayukta, Haryana, Chandigarh discusses the petition/complaint filed by ALARWA.  

We have decided to handover the maintenance of Lagoon Apartment Complex to LRACA w.e.f 1st January, 2015. … In terms of provision of Haryana Development & Regulations of Urban Areas Act, 1975 and Rules 1976 thereunder and Haryana Apartment Ownership Act 1983. May I request the residents to cooperate in the smooth transition of maintenance services from Ambience Facilities Management Pvt Ltd. to LRACA. 


It will also be relevant to mention that the contention of ALARWA that they are in majority is neither correct nor feasible. The apprehension being created in the minds of residents that we have deprived the residents of their common areas and facilities by forming the abovesaid association (LRACA) are absolutely false and baseless. Certain few other persons have got hold of ALARWA and restarted maligning the company against the broader interests of the complex. So much so it is joining hands with our competitors to spoil the exit and entrance and circulation of traffic in the Ambience island Colony. ..Time and Time again some of the office bearers of ALARWA and other disgruntled persons have adopted confrontationist approach and have raised baseless and irrelevant issues without any result and in the process considerable time is lost. 


There is no restriction on LRACA that it cannot pursue the cases filed by ALARWA. It can very well join in place of ALARWA but certainly you as the apartment owners have full right to see the usefulness or futility of litigation with us. Let us live in peace. 


I appeal to all residents to cooperate with LRACA in making the maintenance of facilities, services, and spaces with the lagoon Apartment Complex better and better and to take a pragmatic view of the entire matter and not to precipitate unnecessary controversies. 


With warm regards,
Sd/
(Raj Singh Gehlot)

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

Ambience-Facilities-Management-Pvt.-Ltd.-4-1