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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Vasai residents uncover administrators fake degree misconduct abuse of power

Vasai residents uncover administrator’s fake degree, misconduct & abuse of power

Updated on: 27 November,2023 07:24 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Diwakar Sharma | diwakar.sharma@mid-day.com

Residents’ pursuit for justice reveals corruption and abuse of power in housing societies in Vasai

Vasai residents uncover administrator’s fake degree, misconduct & abuse of power

Office of deputy registrar in Vasai. Pics/Hanif Patel

Key Highlights

  1. An administrator is facing charges for presenting a fake degree certificate from DU
  2. Rocky Gonsalves used his post to bully & exploit anyone who spoke against irregularities
  3. Residents found POCSO cases were registered against Gonsalves

Rocky Gonsalves, an administrator appointed in 2019 by the divisional joint registrar at Konkan Bhavan, is facing charges for presenting a fake degree certificate from Delhi University. The initial FIR lodged at Manikpur police station by deputy registrar Vasai has been forwarded to Palghar police for further investigation.


Gonsalves, in his 60s, has a history of legal issues, including two molestation cases one under POCSO in Vasai back in 2013. Residents of Evershine Marvel Co-op Housing Society, where Gonsalves worked as an administrator, accused him of mental harassment and extortion. Victor D’britto, a 58-year-old resident, highlighted how Gonsalves imposed hefty illegal fines, escalating from nearly Rs 5 lakh to around Rs 9 lakh, and targeted those questioning financial mismanagement within the society. "He also expelled a few residents from the housing society by misusing his power, and all this was done in connivance with the top brass of the cooperation department," said D’britto.


D’britto shared, “He used his position to bully and exploit anyone who spoke against irregularities. My family now faces the threat of losing our home due to a penalty imposed without any legal basis.”


Rocky Gonsalves, an administrator appointed by divisional joint registrar at Konkan Bhavan; (right) Yogesh Desai, deputy registrarRocky Gonsalves, an administrator appointed by divisional joint registrar at Konkan Bhavan; (right) Yogesh Desai, deputy registrar

"The issue started when the office bearers started spending exorbitant amount to buy tanker water. Others and I questioned the excessive spending on tanker water by our housing society’s office bearers. Gonsalves retaliated by targeting anyone who spoke up. He seemed determined to silence us," said D’Britto.

"He was there to drain our society's funds and intimidate anyone who dared to challenge him," he added.

"He aimed to torment me because I raised my voice against the irregularities. Now, my flat is on the verge of being auctioned due to an unjust penalty imposed to harass me. It's disturbing my entire family," said D’Britto, now residing in Virar.

"When I questioned him about the steep maintenance bill, he accused me of encroachment without providing any evidence. He remained silent when I mentioned involving the civic body for verification. I contacted the VVCMC officials to check if I had encroached upon the society area, but nobody from civic body came on a visit," he added.

"Despite my complaint to Deputy Registrar Yogesh Desai, he chose to stay silent. Now, I'm threatened with flat auctioning if I don’t pay the penalty and pending maintenance. After three notices my flat will be auctioned to recover the amount," he lamented.

"Since the seniors are supporting Gonsalves, he received more than eight Co-op Housing Societies to oversee, a clear breach of the order from the divisional joint registrar limiting an administrator to three societies," he highlighted.

Other residents voiced similar grievances, citing instances where Gonsalves misused authority, expelled residents, and unjustly enforced fines. Despite complaints to higher authorities, including the commissioner registrar in Pune and additional chief secretary in Mantralaya, Gonsalves operated unchecked due to alleged support from senior officials.

"We submitted an RTI application on January 27, 2022, to the divisional joint registrar of cooperative societies, Konkan Bhavan, requesting documents submitted by administrator Gonsalves. We received a response on February 16," said a housing society member from Vasai.

"We obtained Gonsalves' degree certificate submitted during his 2019 recruitment. The certificate had his name spelt as 'Rock Gonsalves,' and a Hindi word was incorrectly written. These discrepancies prompted us to investigate further, revealing his criminal record involving the sexual assault of minor girls in Vasai," the member added.

"Was Gonsalves' recruiter at Konkan Bhavan oblivious to these errors in his name? Or was it a result of collusion with senior officers in a department tainted by corruption?" said the resident.

Flying squad inquiry

When residents from various housing societies reported against Gonsalves to higher authorities, he was ousted as an administrator. The Registrar of Co-op Society, Mumbai, then commissioned a flying squad inquiry. mid-day is in possession of the enquiry report.

"The investigation, led by special auditor Nilesh Naik and the flying squad, unearthed significant irregularities during Rocky Gonsalves' tenure as administrator. These involved substantial amounts from the societies' funds," said a society member.

"Even after his dismissal by the divisional joint registrar, Gonsalves disregarded the order and continued managing the society's funds. This persisted until his reappointment by Deputy Registrar Yogesh Desai at Evershine Marvel CHSL," added the source.

Residents approached DU

Concerned residents escalated the issue to Delhi University's vigilance department, which confirmed discrepancies in Gonsalves’ degree certificate.

"The letter from Delhi University citing the degree fake provided enough grounds for us to seek action against Gonsalves, but we had to pursue every avenue for help. The top brass seemed to suppress files everywhere. Even the former senior inspector of Manikpur police station repeatedly refused to register an office against Gonsalves, for reasons known only to him," the resident explained.

"After 14 months of persisting with the Delhi University vigilance report, an FIR was finally filed against Gonsalves at the same police station where we were previously denied. The deputy commissioner of police got convinced after reviewing the manual, prompting the order for the FIR," resident added.

Deputy Commissioner, Pournima Chougule-Shringi from MBVV Police said, "Deputy Registrar Amar Shinde filed a complaint against Rocky Gonsalves, who submitted a fake degree in 2019. A zero FIR was lodged at Manikpur police station, and we've transferred the case to Palghar police for further investigation."

Amar Shinde, deputy registrar of Vasai taluka, said, "I filed the FIR as per directives from higher-ups. I'm not aware if Gonsalves has been arrested. He submitted false documents for his enrolment in 2019."

Yogesh Desai, Shinde’s predecessor, said, "I assigned only three housing societies to Gonsalves as per the rules. I'm unsure if he administered eight or nine housing societies."

Desai, currently a deputy registrar in Mumbai, said, "We removed him last year following the complaint.” Desai was sent on forced leave after the anti-corruption bureau caught a former employee in September. Presently, Desai works as a deputy registrar in Mumbai.

Expert speaks

Advocate Vinod Sampat, president of the Cooperative Societies Residents Association, said, "The divisional joint registrar should conduct regular checks. 

Administrators must provide weekly or monthly diaries detailing their work, subject to regular scrutiny by the deputy registrar. Unfortunately, in reality, these diaries often go unchecked due to time constraints faced by deputy registrars."

"A deputy registrar tends to favour a particular administrator. Consequently, they assign more than three co-op housing societies to one administrator simultaneously, a clear violation," advocate Sampat told mid-day.

"Implementing a board of administrators within the society is crucial. Administrators shouldn't make policy decisions regarding matters like redevelopment or membership," Sampat said.

"Evicting a resident solely for monetary gain constitutes extortion by the administrator. In such instances, contacting the deputy registrar, joint registrar, commissioner for cooperation, chief secretary, and involving the media to shed light on the issue is essential. Additionally, filing a separate complaint at the nearest police station is recommended," he added.

2019
Year Gonsalves was appointed as administrator

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