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Parsi Punchayet accuses ex-chairman of misappropriating funds

The press conference on Friday.—Photo: Special Arrangement  

Office-bearers of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet held a press conference on the developments in a controversial case about the tenancy of Dadi House Building at the The Garware Club, Churchgate. The meet was addressed by chairman Yazdi Desai and ex-trustee Khojeste Mistree.

The trustees alleged a discrepancy of Rs. 20 lakh and accused Dinshaw Mehta of misappropriation of funds. Khojeste Mistree, the original complainant and ex-trustee, said, “I took this issue up in January 2014 to do something which is right for the community. We want to fight for the truth and what is wrong must be stopped.”

Viraf Mehta, son of Dinshaw Mehta and a trustee of BPP, gate-crashed the meeting. Kersi Randeria, trustee of BPP, reminded him that he is not invited. He said it is their private function and asked him to leave. Mr Mehta said, “It’s a function by the trust and being a trustee I’m entitled to be present in the meeting.” After some arguments, Mr. Randeria allowed him to attend the meeting, saying, “Actually it’s a good thing that you are here, that way you can affirm or deny the allegations.”

In 2013, the tenancy of Dadi House was to be transferred to Musharraf Yusuf Kader along with two others. In an affidavit Musharraf Kader said, “It was decided in the meeting that we would pay sum of Rs. 45 lakh to the BPP for the purpose of obtaining the tenancy in March 2013.” Minutes of the meeting were recorded by Dinshaw Mehta and the amount was not mentioned in the minutes. In the affidavit, he said, “After the meeting, Mr Dinshaw called me and said, we would have to make the payment partly by check (Rs. 20 lakh) and partly by cash (Rs. 25 lakh).” However, the deal got stuck because one trustee realised the BPP had received only Rs. 20 lakh.

Mr Randeria said, “The trustees realised the then Chairman, Dinshaw Mehta had in fact received Rs. 25 lakh in cash. A meeting was held, where Dinshaw Mehta admitted to have taken the cash and agreed to resign. He requested that his resignation be effective on December 31, 2013. The draft resignation was prepared and printed out for Dinshaw Mehta’s signature. However, his son Hormuz called up saying his father was unwell and had to be rushed to a hospital. However, the next day Dinshaw Mehta was in the BPP office from noon.”

In a affidavit Mr. Musharraf himself admitted that he had given Rs. 25 lakh in cash to Dinshaw Mehta at Late Mehli Colah’s residence on the instructions of Dinshaw Mehta. He also admitted that on the November 8, Dinshaw Mehta returned Rs 25 lakh in cash and requested him to issue cheques for the same amount, which he did.

Mr. Randeria said, “Dinshaw Mehta sent out an email stating that further cheques had been received from Musharraf, totaling Rs. 25 lakhs, and self-declared that the case against him didn’t stand anymore as now the full amount had been received by cheque.”

The EOW (Economic Offenses Wing) did not find sufficient ground to file an FIR. Khojeste Mistree approached the Metropolitan Magistrate Court and this Court found prima facie evidence and directed the MRA Marg Police Station to file the FIR.

Mr. Mehta in a written statement said, “the formal closure of this case is being deliberately delayed by Khojeste since May, 2015 with the view to keep the case against me pending and alive.”

The trustees have also got affidavits of Mrs. Mehli Colah, wife of ex-CEO of the BPP, admitting the receipt of cash amount at her residence; Hashim Parammel who accompanied Mr. Kader to the residence of Mehli Colah and audio and video proof.

Mr. Randari said, “Musharraf also requested the Trustees to complete the formalities of transfer of tenancy to his name, which the trustees have unanimously agreed upon.

"However, it now appears that Dinshaw Mehta and his son Viraf Mehta have become aware that the facts are coming out in the open, and are therefore trying to pressurise Musharraf into issuing a letter wherein they want Musharraf to exclude Dinshaw Mehta’s name from the cash transaction and worse still, to shift the blame onto the former CEO of the BPP.”

Dinshaw Mehta had made a written statement that “as a quid pro quo Randeria and Yazdi have agreed to execute and register the tenancy agreement provided the incoming tenant/co- accused give the statement against me.”

The writer is an intern at The Hindu

Viraf Mehta, son

of Dinshaw Mehta

and a trustee of

BPP, gate-crashed

the meeting

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 6:39:30 PM |

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