On the heels of the Charity Commissioner issuing a show-cause notice to the trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), the state’s law department has intervened and sought a detailed report in the matter.
The Charity Commissioner had served notice on the trustees asking them why they should not be sacked for blocking a probe into alleged financial irregularities.
It now turns out that on September 9, a day after the notice was issued to the trustees, the Law and Judiciary Department sent a letter to the Commissioner seeking details. “Minister of State (Law and Judiciary) has directed that the [information] should be sent immediately. As such, a detailed report should be sent,” said the letter.
When contacted, Hasan Mushrif, Minister of state, Law and Judiciary, said he was busy campaigning in Kolhapur. “I will check the facts and let you know when I am in Mumbai.”
The law department’s move was in response to the plea made by the BPP seeking relief from the fees of Rs 1.20 crore to be paid to the auditors Nimesh Mehta and Associates who will be conducting a ‘Special Audit’ of the Punchayet’s transactions in the last ten years.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Dinshaw Mehta, chairman, Parsi Punchayet said the trust had made representations to all the authorities to relax the amount.
“Our repeated representations to the Charity Commissioner expressing inability to pay such an exorbitant amount have fallen on deaf ears and hence we asked for the minister to intervene.”
He said the amount should be either recovered from the petitioner (Percy Patel) or the previous trustees whose term ended last year.
“Except me all the trustees are new and it is unfair to target them,” said Mehta.
However, petitioner Patel, who sought the special audit, said: “The trustees should adopt transparency in their dealings instead of asking for such interventions.”
“The Charity commissioner has given an order only after we produced documentary evidence showing large scale irregularities,” said Patel.