The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) may have bent some rules while allotting 18 classrooms of a civic-owned building temporarily to a private trust whose managing trustee is NCP chief Sharad Pawar's daughter and MP Supriya Sule, a copy of documents with HT shows.
According to the documents, despite a circular in place to not allot classrooms meant for educational purposes to charitable trusts, the BMC made an exception for Sule's trust. The documents point to how the decision to allot classrooms to the Sule-run Pawar Public Charitable Trust (PPCT) was taken by BMC chief Subodh Kumar, a day before the actual application came.
The PPCT wrote to Kumar on May 4, proposing allotment of 22 classrooms in a BMC-owned training centre at Raheja Vihar in Chandivli. Within a day, the BMC's education department took possession of the building from the civic estate's
department. On May 6, the education department wrote to the BMC chief, proposing to approve the allotment, pointing out that the civic chief had, in consultation with other officials, approved the allotment on May 3, whereas the letter from the trust came on May 4. Interestingly, the letter also mentions the existing BMC circular that does not permit renting out of civic properties meant for educational purposes to private trusts.
The letter, by the deputy education officer (Zone-5), reads, "Despite this (circular), it is learned that the BMC chief, in consultation with the deputy municipal commissioner and additional municipal commissioner (city) agreed to hand over the classrooms to the trust."
Additional municipal commissioner (city) Mohan Adtani said, "The building was reserved for a training centre, so the circular doesn't apply. Also, the trust was in talks with us for a few days so even though the letter came on May 4, they had orally proposed the use of this school earlier." RTI activist Anil Galgali, who accessed the documents said, "The documents clearly show rules were twisted to favour the Pawar-run trust."