In a reprieve for the trust running the Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture, the Bombay high court on Tuesday quashed an offence of cheating lodged against it based on a complaint by the Kamla Raheja Foundation.
“We find no reason for the police to interfere in the dispute between the trust and the foundation at this stage,” the division bench comprising Justice BH Marlapalle and Justice UD Salvi observed while quashing the FIR lodged on April 1, 2011.
In the FIR lodged at Juhu police station, which was subsequently transferred to the Economic Offences Wing, the foundation had accused the trust, Upnagar Shikshan Mandal, of cheating. The foundation alleged that the trust had cheated it when some of its trustees had denied the existence of an agreement executed between the foundation and the trust in 1995.
The trust had then agreed to name the architecture college and a vocational institute after Kamla Raheja and also to accept two of the foundation’s nominees as members of their governing councils in lieu of donations received from the foundation.
Since 1991, the foundation has donated over Rs3 crore. But last year the trust tried to deny the existence of the agreement in pending proceedings before the city civil court and the charity commissioner.
Satish Borulkar, representing the trust along with Manoj Mhambrey, contended that the dispute was of a civil nature and had no element of criminality.
Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, representing the foundation, alleged the trustees had sought to introduce corrupt practices in the architecture college’s admission process, and was trying to remove the foundation nominees who were opposing the move.
The court accepted Borulkar’s contention holding that prima facie no case was made out for breach of the agreement.