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Term Paper

Illegal Architectural Practices In India

Professional Practice

Currently there are 900 Companies practicing architecture in India. The most imperative requirement for a practicing architect is: 1. To be registered with the C.O.A(Council of Architecture) as an architect. 2. To be registered as an architectural practice with the Tax Department of India.

Registration with Council of Architecture

One cannot use the title Architect if they are not registered with COA in India. The following qualifications are required to register, as specified by the Architects Act, 1972: 1. To hold a recognized architectural degree or diploma. 2. Resides in India 3. If he/she is not an India citizen, but has been engaged in the practice for not less than 5 years. 4. Possesses other qualifications that certify his application. (

Types of Practices
The two types of practices are sole proprietorship and partnership. Partnership Ownership A partnership is an unincorporated association of two or more persons or entities for the purpose of operating a business with the intention of making a profit. Income It not registered with the state The partnership, however, is not a and Tax as a limited liability company separate legal entity distinct from or corporation. the partners, and general The owner does not pay partnerships are not required to income tax separately for the file state organizational company, but reports business documents or federal tax income or losses on his/her identification forms. individual income tax return. Legal The sole proprietor herself is Each partnership statutes Obligations legally responsible for all presume that all partners share obligations of the business, income and losses equally, and including liabilities. do not commonly recognizes a partnerships intention to treat certain parties differently with respect income, losses, or both. Sole Proprietorship A business structure in which an individual and his/her company are considered a single entity for tax and liability purposes.

Illegal Partnerships
Currently there are 3 aspects under which the profession is being illegally practiced. 1. Illegal Practice 1 a. Foreign Company Practicing with Local Partners b. Has Unregistered Foreign/Indian Directors c. Company is registered to pay Service tax for Architecture 2. Illegal Practice 2 a. Indian Company Practicing b. Has Unregistered Foreign/Indian Directors c. Company is registered to pay Service tax for Architecture 3. Illegal Practice 3 a. Indian Company Practicing Architecture b. Registered Indian Directors c. Company is not registered to pay Service tax for Architecture If any of these pointers are true then the practice is Illegal and can be tried in the court of law. These illegalities concern the constitution of the firm or practice. If the firm is legitimate, there are various other laws that stipulate the code of conduct for a practicing architect. (Bij, 2012)

Illegal Practices
The ARCHITECTS (PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT) REGULATIONS was incorporated in the Architects Act in 1989 to promote the standard of professional conduct/ self-discipline required of an Architect. It is certified by the Council of Architecture, with the approval of the Central Government, and stipulates the regulations practicing architects, in sole proprietorship and partnerships, should abide by. Every architect, either in practice or employment, subject to the provisions of the Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules, 1964 or any other similar rules applicable to an Architect, he shall :1. ensure that his professional activities do not conflict with his general responsibility to contribute to the quality of the environment and future welfare of society, 2. apply his skill to the creative, responsible and economic development of his country, 3. provide professional services of a high standard, to the best of his ability,

4. if in private practice, inform his Client of the conditions of engagement and scale of charges and agree that these conditions shall be the basis of the appointment, 5. not sub-commission to another Architect or Architects the work for which he has been commissioned without prior agreement of his Client, 6. not give or take discounts, commissions, gifts or other inducements for the introduction of Clients or of work, 7. act with fairness and impartiality when administering a building contract, 8. maintain a high standard of integrity, 9. promote the advancement of Architecture, standards of Architectural education, research, training and practice, 10. conduct himself in a manner which is not derogatory to his professional character, nor likely to lessen the confidence of the public in the profession, nor bring Architects into disrepute, 11. compete fairly with other Architects, 12. observe and uphold the Council's conditions of engagement and scale of charges, 13. not supplant or attempt to supplant another Architect, 14. not prepare designs in competition with other Architects for a Client without payment or for a reduced fee (except in a competition conducted in accordance with the Architectural competition guidelines approved by the Council), 15. not attempt to obtain, offer to undertake or accept a commission for which he knows another Architect has been selected or employed until he has evidence that the selection, employment or agreement has been terminated and he has given the previous Architect written notice that he is so doing : a. provided that in the preliminary stages of works, the Client may consult, in order to select the Architect, as many Architects as he wants, provided he makes payment of charges to each of the Architects so consulted, 16. comply with Council's guidelines for Architectural competitions and inform the Council of his appointment as assessor for an Architectural competition, 17. when working in other countries, observe the requirements of codes of conduct applicable to the place where he is working, 18. not have or take as partner in his firm any person who is disqualified for registration by reason of the fact that his name has been removed from the Register under Section 29 or 30 of the Architects Act, 1972, 19. provide their employees with suitable working environment, compensate them fairly and facilitate their professional development, 20. recognize and respect the professional contribution of his employees, 21. provide their associates with suitable working environment, compensate them fairly and facilitate their professional development, 22. recognize and respect the professional contribution of his associates, 23. recognize and respect the professional contribution of the consultants,

24. enter into agreement with them defining their scope of work, responsibilities, functions, fees and mode of payment, 25. shall not advertise his professional services nor shall he allow his name to be included in advertisement or to be used for publicity purposes save the following exceptions :a. a notice of change of address may be published on three occasions and correspondents may be informed by post, b. an Architect may exhibit his name outside his office and on a building, either under construction or completed, for which he is or was an Architect, provided the lettering does not exceed 10 cm. in height c. advertisements including the name and address of an Architect may be published in connection with calling of tenders, staff requirements and similar matters d. may allow his name to be associated with illustrations and descriptions of his work in the press or other public media but he shall not give or accept any consideration for such appearances e. may allow his name to appear in advertisements inserted in the press by suppliers or manufacturers of materials used in a building he has designed, provided his name is included in an unostentatious manner and he does not accept any consideration for its use, f. may allow his name to appear in brochure prepared by Clients for the purpose of advertising or promoting projects for which he has been commissioned g. may produce or publish brochures, pamphlets describing his experience and capabilities for distribution to those potential Clients whom he can identify by name and position, h. may allow his name to appear in the classified columns of the trade / professional directory and/or telephone directory/ website. The most common lllegal practices are the submission of false drawings to the government and the negligence to follow building by-laws. Some examples are given below

Uphaar Cinema Fire Tragedy

The Uphaar Cinema fire, occurred on Friday, June 13, 1997 at Uphaar Cinema, Green Park, Delhi, during the premiere screening of the movie, Border. Trapped inside, 59 people died, mostly due to suffocation, and 103 were seriously injured in the resulting stampede.

The fire broke out at 5:10 pm. According to reports, it was caused when a 1000 kVA electricity transformer, maintained by the Delhi Vidyut Board (electricity Board) (DVB), and housed in the theatres overcrowded basement car park, burst, and engulfed some 20 cars, where some 36 cars were parked instead of the admissible 18. The fire eventually spread to the fivestorey building which housed the cinema hall and several offices. Most of the victims were trapped on the balcony and died due to suffocation as they tried to reach dimly marked exits to escape the smoke and fire and found the doors locked. A case was filed against Sushil Ansal &Gopal Ansal, the owners, by the family and friends of the victims. The case identified this faults with respect to the building: 1. The decision to install a DVB transformer, contrary to sanction plan and without the permission or approval of the Licensing Authority and MCD 2. Absence of fire safety measures within the transformer room, again contrary to regulations; 3. The Structural Deviations in the cinema hall; 4. Use of several portions of the cinema hall for commercial purposes; 5. Negligent management of parking; 6. The decision taken to completely shut the right side gangway in the balcony, that reduced the number of gangways, correspondingly increased the seats and also crucially blocked the right exit; 7. Failure to ensure proper supervision within the cinema at the time of the show contrary to the mandate of DCR 1953 & 1981

8. Failure to ensure functioning fire safety equipment that would have warned patrons to leave the cinema hall immediately upon the outbreak of fire or an emergency and also facilitate their escape through proper lighting, were directly attributable to the owners and occupiers of this cinema hall. Almost 15 years later, the high court ordered that the total compensation amount awarded was Rs18.50 crore (DESHMUKH)

Hafeez Contractor Ban

In its letter of March 24, 2009, the council, an autonomous body of the Central government, has ruled that Contractor be suspended from practice for one year "from the date of issue of letter conveying the order''. During the suspension period, Contractor must surrender the certificate of registration issued to him by the council, and is not permitted to undertake any work. The council, which is empowered by parliament to take action against erring architects, commenced its inquiry after a complaint against Contractor by Delhi-based architect Sudhir Vohra in 2008. The complaint related to professional misconduct by Contractor for advertising his work as an architect, his "skills and philosophy as an architect'' and for proclaiming himself to be "India's favourite architect''. The ad, in which Contractor endorsed a computer, described him as "India's favourite architect''. This violates the 25 rule in the architects (professional conduct) regulations. The letter, signed by registrar-secretary Vinod Kumar stated: "The committee finds Mr Hafeez Contractor guilty of having allowed his photographs/himself to appear in an advertisement in a very prominent manner in a national newspaper and an international magazine, thus violating Regulation 2(1) (xxv) of the Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations 1989,'' (Bharucha, 2009)

What is being done?

The CoA is asking illegal entities to shut down or change their MoA. It is summoning unregistered practioners. Companies are also facing criminal charges. 1. On 10th October 2011 a circular was released by Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA), instructing all ROCs and RLLPs to not register any company that have architecture in their Memoranda of Association (MoA). In their notice they clearly index Architects Act 1972 Section 36 and 37. 2. On 1st March 2012 another circular was released by MCA to ROCs and RLLPs. This time, commenting on the profession of Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant, Architect, Company Secretary etc. Here, the October circular was reinforced and all ROCs + RLLPs were instructed to refer the respective regulatory body before registering a company. Clearly that would mean that for Architects the CoA was to be refered and CoA in turn indexes the Architects Act. 3. On 16th July 2012, TOI highlighted some of the issues regarding foreign practices. It used the case filed against RSP Architects as an example too. In short the purging of the profession has begun. (Bij, 2012)

(n.d.). Retrieved from (n.d.). Retrieved from Architects, C. o. (1989). Architects(Professional Conduct) Regulations. In Architects Act. Bharucha, N. (2009, March 27). Architect Hafeez barred for 1 year for figuring in ad. Times of India. Bij, A. A. (2012, August). Architecture Live. Retrieved from DESHMUKH, V. (n.d.). Uphaar Cinema fire . Retrieved from