Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Exposed: How Estate Agents make false claims to trap societies going for redevelopment

What Fresh Documents & Videos reveal about the Concrete Sire Sukan scam – part 1

Mumbai, October 1, 2015:  Mumbai is full of redevelopment activity that feels less like an honest business, and more like hostile takeover or creeping acquisition of flat-owners' assets. Cooperative housing society members who are at the receiving end of  such takeovers should read this article to understand how exactly this activity is carried out. Interesting documents and videos have been released by the motley bunch of builders and estate agents engaged in a hostile takeover of Shree Gurukrupa Nagar Cooperative Housing Society in Mulund West. In late 2013 or early 2014, Bharat Talesara alias Jain, an estate agent or “redevelopment consultant”, approached the office bearers of Shree Gurukrupa Nagar CHS and convinced them to let him handle their redevelopment. The office-bearers agreed to rig the society's tendering process and select him. To facilitate this rigging, Atul Mehta (B.E. Civil), was engaged as Project Management Consultant (PMC). The office-bearers and the PMC together convinced the society members that issuing advertisements and attracting bids through public tendering may attract underworld elements, and therefore, “private tendering” was the way forward. This stage-managed tender got only three bids, including Bharat Talesara's partnership firm called “Sire Sukan Realty”, which supposedly belonged to “Group of Sire Sukan Companies”. As pre-decided, the PMC recommended Sire Sukan Realty. Bharat Talesara went on to sell the redevelopment project to another entity called Concrete Group, belonging to Anuj Desai and Nilesh Dalal, in return for a nine percent share of profits. 

And what is Bharat Talesara's standing? Let us see. In May 2014, he claimed before the society that he was the founder-promoter of Sire Sukan Group whose turnover is currently Rs 200 crore, after six years in the real estate business. But in April 2015, he wrote to the police, "I have been in the business of redevelopment consultancy since 1 year by name Sire Sukan Group of Company, and working for Developer as well as Old Societies". In this same letter, he goes on to repeatedly say that he is only a consultant working for builders, struggling to make ends meet and support his family. 

Clearly, the housing society's sovereign right to select a redeveloper on the basis of merit was hijacked by an estate agent or middleman of little or no net worth, and zero experience in redevelopment. And 72 flat owners, who trusted their society's office bearers, are the sheep being led to the slaughterhouse. The funny thing is that most of these flat-owners still have absolutely no idea about what is happening, and they refuse to believe that they are being made into bakras! The financial and legal illiteracy of housing society members in general is quite astonishing. 

On September 8, we broke this story (http://bit.ly/1QENkXI ) about the modus operandi of this hijack of a society's development rights by “Concrete Sire Sukan”, a bunch of estate agents and builders. Nettled, Concrete Sire Sukan responded with an article on September 14 (http://bit.ly/1KJodQ4 ) which has today been deleted. However, you may download copies of the article from here http://bit.ly/1JEZuL1  

Rather than defending, however, this article actually gives more details about how the fraud is being committed, not only by these builders, but by large numbers of builders and estate agents in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra.

This article written by the builders purports to be an open letter written by 65 society members, published on a social media platform called Saddahaq. It is full of links to videos and documents, which are a bit hard to download. It's easier to download them from http://bit.ly/1LddMK0 .

STORY OF THE SOCIETY'S 'CREEPING ACQUISITION': 

1) Estate agent makes underhand deal with society office-bearers and PMC, who portrays estate agent as a successful builder and selects him as the redeveloper: The PMC, Atul Mehta, recommended Sire Sukan Realty by falsely reporting that he and other society members had visited a building that was successfully redeveloped by Siresukan Realty. Actually, the redeveloped building in Bhandup that they visited was made by Varasiddhi Group, not Sire Sukan. (Sire Sukan falsely claims that Varasiddhi is a group company belonging to Sire Sukan.) The PMC falsely reported that he had studied the financial position and technical capability of Sire Sukan Realty and found it strong, whereas the fact is that Sire Sukan Realty has no financial documents to speak of. The addresses of Sire Sukan Realty given in the letterhead, viz. “201 Dimple Arcade, Thakur Complex, Kandivali East”, and also, “501, Dimple Arcade” are also fake; they are tiny shops in a shopping arcade where nobody seems to have heard of Mr Bharat Talesara/Jain or Siresukan Realty. PMC Atul Mehta, society chairman Anil Shah and Secretary Sanjay Jadhav went through the motions of complying with the Maharashtra Cooperation Department's 79A Guidelines, slipperily conducted the necessary meetings, passed the necessary resolutions virtually unopposed, and got the unquestioning society members to sign on the dotted line. Although a few members got suspicious and started raising an alarm, they were repeatedly brushed aside and evaded. 

2) Estate agent sells captured redevelopment project to builders who offer maximum kickback:   After canvassing with various builders, trying to sell this project which was pending some paperwork, but already in his bag, Talesara struck a deal with Anuj Desai and Nilesh Dalal of Concrete Group, in return for nine percent share in profits. 

3) Estate agent and builders enter into partnership and get firm registered after getting contract. Maharashtra Cooperation Department gave this horse-trading a stamp of legitimacy by giving the 79A certificate to Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP on June 20, 2014; needless to say, palms were greased. Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP did not even exist on a letterhead, let alone as a legal entity. Not a single letter had been written to the society by this LLP firm, or by its owners Anuj Desai and Nilesh Dalal. Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP came into existence on 14th July, 2014. The incorporation documents of this Limited Liability Partnership firm reveal the details of the deal: 100% financial control rests with Anuj Desai and Nilesh Dalal, and a 9% share in profits is allocated to Bharat Talesara, who is a partner only in lieu of capturing passing on the development rights of Shree Gurukrupa Nagar CHS. Bharat Talesara has zero financial contribution in the LLP form, and therefore, he has no signing  authority or spending authority.

4) Estate agent hands over to builders. In January 2015, only Anuj Desai and Nilesh Dalal signed the Development Agreement with the society. Bharat Talesara was now out officially out of the picture. But he continues to make his presence felt at the society's redevelopment-related general-body meetings is to ensure that the deal does not come unraveled in his absence. After all, he still has to collect his nine percent from the builders, and they are not going to give it to him until they realize their money first! 

With the signing of the Development agreement, the transfer was complete. The 72 flats of Shree Gurukrupa Nagar CHS, together with the plot of land that the society was owner and possessor of, was neatly bundled up and converted into an asset that Anuj Desai and Nilesh Dalal could enjoy and extract profits from.


WHAT DO SIRE SUKAN'S DOCUMENTS & VIDEOS SHOW?

There are many exhibits that have emerged from the article posted by the builders on Saddahaq.com. Here, we will focus on just a couple of them. At the crucial Special General Body meeting on 24th May, when Siresukan Realty was selected by the society members, a powerpoint presentation was made by Bharat Talesara about “Siresukan Group”. This is a video of that presentation that Mr Talesara has released as part of his article: http://tinyurl.com/Siresukan-Realty-PPT-video . Below are some screen-grabs from this video:

1) Suresukan “Group Companies” are just false claims:
Image: http://bit.ly/1KKhFTs


This slide falsely claims that all the above entities belong to Siresukan Group of Companies.

a) There is no such registered entity as SireSukan Capital Venture.

b) Ditto Siresukan Infrastructures LLP.  It does not exist.

c) Varasiddhi Infrastructure Pvt Ltd is an entirely separate entity, belonging to another group of builders. Details of this entity are here: http://tinyurl.com/Varasiddhi

d) Siresukan Capital Advisory & Infrastructures Pvt. Ltd. is the only real “Siresukan” entity.

e) Concrete Lifestyle & Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. is a completely separate entity, owned and controlled 100% by Anuj Desai and Nilesh Dalal. It is the flagship company of Concrete Group.

f) Most significantly, there is no entity called “Sire Sukan Realty” named here, although all  the correspondence with the society was done in this name.


2) Siresukan “group” definition itself shows the false claim.
Image: http://bit.ly/1LOhiZY


Siresukan Group (including Varasiddhi and Concrete companies) is supposed to have been founded by Bharat Jain. Untrue. Neither Varasiddhi and Concrete were not founded by Bharat Jain, and most of the other entities named in this powerpoint presentation simply don't exist. They are just imaginary names on a slide.


3) Fraudulent claim of turnover of more than Rs 200 crore in six-year-old business concern.
Fraudulent claim of turnover of more than Rs 200 crore in six-year-old business concern.
Image: http://bit.ly/1P4ZYRH


There are many evidences that the so-called Sire Sukan Group is just a front, and Bharat Sukanraj Jain alias Talesara is nothing but an over-ambitious estate agent. Shown below is his own statement to the police, where he admits that he is in the business of “Redevelopment Consultancy”.  "I have been in the business of redevelopment consultancy since 1 year by name Sire Sukan Group of Company, and working for Developer as well as Old Societies," Bharat Jain wrote in this letter to the police six months ago, on 15/04/2015“Dear Sir, I am just a consultant and I earn very hard to fulfill my family's primary needs”, he added.

Read Bharat Jain's statement below:


There are many evidences that the so-called Sire Sukan Group is just a front, and Bharat Sukanraj Jain alias Talesara is nothing but an over-ambitious estate agent. Shown below is his own statement to the police, where he admits that he is in the business of “Redevelopment Consultancy”.  "I have been in the business of redevelopment consultancy since 1 year by name Sire Sukan Group of Company, and working for Developer as well as Old Societies," Bharat Jain wrote in this letter to the police six months ago, on 15/04/2015. “Dear Sir, I am just a consultant and I earn very hard to fulfill my family's primary needs”, he added.
Image: http://bit.ly/1LOhrNa


In other words, Bharat Talesara's claims of being a big builder, and the promoter of a huge group of companies worth Rs 200 crore doing business for six years, are totally fraudulent. It is a false claim, which the Project Management Consultant Mr Atul Mehta, and the society's office bearers have supported and upheld for corrupt reasons. Officials of the Maharashtra Cooperation Department and BMC's Building Proposal Department also appear to be complicit in this white-collar crime.

Conclusion: Unlike hostile takeover of companies (which became rare after the government tightened the screws on creeping acquisition of shares), hostile takeover and creeping acquisition of flat-owners' assets is a rampant malpractice in Mumbai region. Shoddy regulatory oversight by the cooperation department, municipal corporations and other authorities enables builders to take over common people's flats by hook or crook. The financial illiteracy of flat-owners and society office-bearers and the willingness of office-bearers and project management consultants (PMCs) to ally with builders, makes “society acquisition” and “redevelopment consultancy” a lucrative business. Even a powerpoint presentation full of false claims is enough to convince a society member that the person doing the takeover is a big builder. Office-bearers and PMC play their role by nodding their heads and claim to have seen the necessary documents. Until the government takes cognizance of such tactics and sets up a government body specifically for overseeing redevelopment projects, flat-owners will continue to be taken for a ride.

There are many more elements of this fraudulent redevelopment project, which we will expose in press releases that we shall release now in quick succession.

What the other side said: A draft of this press release was emailed to the builders and PMC, with a request to provide their rebuttal supported with documents. Here is their response: http://tinyurl.com/Concrete-Group-Rebuttal1

Issued in Public Interest by
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114
krish.kkphoto@gmail.com

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

How Builders Hijack Redevelopment Projects -- step by step

Dirty Tricks of Developers, Managing Committees and Project Management Consultants

Mumbai, 8 September 2015: Some residents of a cooperative housing society in Mulund have painstakingly documented step-by-step how builders, project management consultants and society office bearers work together to hijack the flats of even intelligent and educated flat-owners, and hand them over to third parties. In a letter sent to Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta last week, seven residents of Shree Gurukrupa Nagar Co-operative Housing Society Limited on Nahur village road have alleged that their society's Secretary and other managing committee members have abused their power and influence to confer the society’s development rights on a business entity called “Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP” which did not even bid in the society’s tender. “Neither this LLP nor its designated partners, Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal, participated in the tender/bidding for the society’s redevelopment project. 
"Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP was a non-existent entity at the time when development rights were conferred on it, and neither the LLP nor its designated partners, had carried out any correspondence with and/or made any written proposals to our society before their unilateral selection by the managing committee without any reference to the general body,” says the letter written by a group of residents led by Mrs Amisha Atul Gandhi, a chartered accountant who works for Reliance. The group has sought a meeting with the municipal commissioner so that they can explain their case with documentary evidence of financial irregularities. 

The letter goes on to add, “The financial credentials of this LLP are still unverified by us or by our society... The partners of “Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP”, supported by our society's managing committee, persistently refuse to provide copies of any documents showing their financial and technical capability for undertaking our society's redevelopment project, valued at Rs 89 crore by the stamp duty registrar. Sir, our Fundamental Right To Life and Liberty are gravely jeopardized because our homes are placed in the hands of persons and parties whose identities and antecedents are unverified, and whose locus standi in the matter of our society’s redevelopment is highly questionable.”
Read the full text of the letter received by the Municipal Commissioner’s office on Friday afternoon:  http://tinyurl.com/Gurukrupa-Letter-MCGM  
The members of Shree Gurukrupa Nagar Cooperative Housing Society, Nahur, Mulund, allege that the modus operandi was to endow the development rights on one Mr Bharat Talesara (Jain), who then went on to become a nominal partner in Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP with 9% share allocated to him in respect of the development rights, which is given accounting treatment as if it is his asset. Although the “Redevelopment Directives” issued by the Maharashtra Government on 3rd January 2009 (popularly called 79A Guidelines) forbid such transfer of redevelopment projects, the paper-trail confirms the transfer of this asset from Mr jain to Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal, through the instrumentality of “Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP”. CA Amisha Gandhi explains, “The bidder who wrote a proposal for our society's redevelopment was 'Mr Bharat Talesara (Jain), partner of Sire Sukan Realty (Group of Siresukan Companies)'. But our society awarded the redevelopment contract to 'Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP', belonging to Concrete Group of Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal. 'Sire Sukan Realty' and 'Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP' are two separate legal entities, having similar names to create confusion. The main thing is that our society's redevelopment project was sold off by Mr Bharat Talesara Jain to Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal, in collusion with our society's managing committee and the Project Management Consultant.
Image:  http://bit.ly/1JOZgSB

The society members allege that the modus operandi was to endow the development rights on one Mr Bharat Talesara (Jain), who then went on to become a nominal partner in M/s. Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP with 9% share allocated to him in respect of the development rights, which is given accounting treatment as if it is his asset. Although the “Redevelopment Directives” issued by the Maharashtra Government on 3rd January 2009 (popularly called 79A Guidelines) forbid such transfer of redevelopment projects, the paper-trail confirms the transfer of this asset from Mr jain to Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal, through the instrumentality of “Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP”.

CA Amisha Gandhi explains, “The bidder who wrote a proposal for our society's redevelopment was 'Mr Bharat Talesara (Jain), partner of Sire Sukan Realty (Group of Siresukan Companies)'. But our society awarded the redevelopment contract to 'Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP', belonging to Concrete Group of Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal. 'Sire Sukan Realty' and 'Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP' are two separate legal entities, having similar names to create confusion in the minds of people. The main thing is that our society's redevelopment project was sold off by Mr Bharat Talesara to Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal, in collusion with our society's managing committee and the Project Management Consultant. In my opinion, our development agreement is clearly a void contract, which cannot be enforced in any court of law.”

Pritesh Gosar, who is a businessman, says, “Over and above this, our development agreement has many other shortcomings that can cause huge issues in future. It is based on some documents that are forged and fabricated. For that matter, even M/s. Sire Sukan Realty and Mr Bharat Talesara (the bidding entities) are completely unknown to the society, and there is no record on paper as to their financial history and the projects they have completed.”

Of the 72 flat-owners of Shree Gurukrupa Nagar CHS, those questioning this dubious deal constitute roughly 10%. While their numerical strength is considered insufficient to oppose the redevelopment project in court, the clear documentary proofs of financial irregularities should set alarm-bells ringing, and should make the government and judiciary sit up and take notice. “Even a majority cannot make an illegality legal, and convert lies into truth,” says CA Amisha.
The documents suggest that employees of the Building Proposal Department Eastern Suburbs, cooperation department, the society’s secretary Mr Sanjay Jadhav and the society’s project management consultant Mr Atul Mehta -- are all part of a clever scheme masterminded by the builders.

From an outsider’s perspective, it is quite amazing how easily the financial illiteracy of society members has been exploited to pass a series of “general body resolutions” and create documents that endow the society’s development rights on persons and business entities who did not even write a single letter to the society, let alone bid for the redevelopment. All the contractual documents that have been created avoid mentioning PAN numbers, CIN numbers, registered address etc. of the various parties shown as the selected developer; by contrast, on the society’s side, each and every detail is mentioned. Strange? Yes, strange, but convenient for the builders who can slip in and out of partnership firms like clothes.

“Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP did not even exist when our managing committee unilaterally conferred development rights on it on 27th May 2014,” says Pandharinath Rajeshirke, a tutor and life coach. “The LLP firm was incorporated on 14th July 2014, and even its name was approved only on 9th June 2014. Its liability is limited to only its one lakh rupees share capital.” Rajeshirke is deeply uncomfortable with the society's policy of secrecy. “We have written many letters to the society's managing committee, asking them to be transparent with us. We have asked them to share necessary documents to show that the parties they have selected as builders have financial and technical capability to undertake our society's redevelopment project, which is valued at Rs 89 crore by the Registrar of Stamp Duty. But our managing committee and the builders have bluntly refused. They will one day demolish our houses, and we cannot even ask them to prove with documents that they are capable of rebuilding it?” Rajeshirke asks angrily.

Step-by-step – How the Redevelopment Project was captured and sold

1)      On 30 April 2014, the Secretary gave notice of a meeting to be held on 24 May 2014, wherein a builder would be appointed. Ten days were given for members to submit “sealed tender bids” from a developer who was “personally known to him”. The sealed tenders would be opened on 11 May 2014 by the PMC, and then evaluated and rated. See http://tinyurl.com/1-notice-of-meeting

2)       On 22 May, the PMC recommended M/s. Sire Sukan Realty. See http://tinyurl.com/2-PMC-recommends

3)      On 23 May, “Sire Sukan Realty (Group of Sire Sukan Companies)” submitted a revised offer, supposedly based on some additional information received from the Society management after the tender bidding. It was signed by Bharat Talesara (Jain) “for SireSukan Realty”. See http://tinyurl.com/Siresukan-revised-offer

4)      On 24 May, the selection meeting was held. At this meeting, general body members signed a document dated 25 May, stating that they had unanimously approved “M/s. Sire Sukan Realty Partner Mr Bharatbhai Jain Talesara Developer in consultation with PMC”. http://tinyurl.com/General-Body-selects

5)      On 25 May, the society’s Secretary and Chairman gave a Letter Of Intent (LOI) to “Sire Sukan Realty, (Group of Sire Sukan Companies), Shri Bharat Talesara (Jain) (Partner)”. See http://tinyurl.com/LOI-to-Siresukan

6)      On 27 May, the minutes of the meeting of 24 May was circulated. It said that “the PMC recommended M/s. Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP” and the committee approved this LLP as Developer for redevelopment of the society building. This came out of the blue; the society had not received any correspondence from Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP. See http://tinyurl.com/Minutes-say-LLP

7)      The society received correspondence from Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP for the first time on 30 June 2015, over one year later. This letterhead reveals that the LLP belongs to “Concrete Group” belonging to Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal. It does not belong to “Group of Sire Sukan Companies” owned by Mr Bharat Jain. See http://tinyurl.com/Concrete-Group-Letterhead

8)      The correspondence of Concrete Group with the Registrar of LLP reveals that as of 1 July 2014, Concrete Siresukan Realty LLP had not yet been granted registration, and even the name was approved on 9 June 2014.  It also shows that Mr Anuj Desai and Mr Nilesh Dalal are “regular partners of the LLP, and they will contribute towards capital as well as provide all future funding for completion of the Project.” Whereas Mr Bharat Talesara “shall be a limited partner, and shall provide non-monetary contribution by facilitating and providing the business prospect comprising the said project”. Towards this, Mr Bharat Talesara will be given a 9% share in profits of the LLP. See http://tinyurl.com/Bharat-9-percent-partner


CONTACT DETAILS FOR JOURNALISTS:

a) Complainants
·        Ms Amisha Atul Gandhi --  99675 97719, amishaatul2004@yahoo.com
·        Mr Pritesh Gosar – 99879 08929, pritesh.gosar@gmail.com
·        Mr Pandarinath Rajeshirke – 93248 33735 / 97694 33735, pandharinathrajeshirke511@gmail.com 

b) Builders / Developers
·        Mr Bharat Talesara/Jain – 99201 16588, siresukan@siresukan.in
·        Mr Anuj Desai – 022-6576 6838 / 2682 3108, anuj@concretegroup.in
·        Mr Nilesh Dalal – 022-6576 6838 / 2682 3108, nilesh@concretegroup.in

c) Project Management Consultant
·        Mr Atul Mehta – 98211 17826, 022-25682107, atulmehta17@gmail.com

d) Society Office Bearers
·        Mr Sanjay Jadhav, Secretary – 98213 68477
·        Mr Anil Shah, Chairman – 98206 27795

e) Municipal Corporation
·        Municipal Commissioner, MCGM – 022 2262 0525
·        MCGM Building Proposal Dept. (Eastern Suburbs), Deputy Chief Engineer – 022-25782182

WHAT THE OTHER SIDE SAYS:
The above named builders, PMC and society office bearers were contacted, but they refused to comment.

ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
Journalist and Activist
9821588114
Mumbai