The Charity Commissioner has allowed the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) to examine a preliminary investigation report over alleged irregularities in managing the affairs of the punchayet.
The BPP is one of the biggest landlords in Mumbai.
The order came in response to demands by the BPP, which is facing a special audit of its transactions.
This audit was ordered on the basis of the probe report.
Initially, the report had been denied on grounds of the ‘Official Secrets Act’. The BPP challenged it before Charity Commissioner M.K. Chaure.
The BPP said that in the age of ‘Right to Information’, suppression of the document was against natural justice.
Dinshaw Mehta, chairman of Parsi Punchayet Funds and Properties told Hindustan Times that they would reply to the various issues raised in the report.
“We were not aware of the report’s contents. After studying the report, we will file our reply on why the special audit is not required,” said Mehta.
The case refers to a petition filed last year by Dadar resident, Percy Patel who alleged gross irregularities in the trust’s management. Subsequently, the Accounts staff of the Charity commission visited the Punchayet office in December last year and discovered large-scale irregularities.
This prompted the charity commissioner to order a ‘special audit’ for the last 10 years by auditors’ firm, Nimesh Mehta and Associates. A fee of Rs 1.20 crore was fixed as payment by the BPP.
This too was challenged, saying it was an exorbitant amount.
Meanwhile, Patel has filed a contempt petition against Minister of State for Law & Judiciary, Hasan Mushrif, and seven trustees, alleging that they were trying to influence the judiciary.
Based on the letter by the BPP, Mushrif had asked for the entire report of the case from the Charity commissioner.
“All these members are trying to influence the judiciary which is wrong,” said Patel.
The Parsi, Punchayet said it had received Patel’s notice. “Our lawyers will give a suitable reply,” said Mehta.