The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) has found Rs 21.43 lakh and gold jewellery in a cupboard belonging to its late CEO, Mehli Colah. The discovery has set tongues wagging in the community as earlier there have been allegations that some of the property transactions include a cash component, a charge which the Punchayet has denied.
By Nergish Sunavala | Times Of India
The BPP—city’s biggest private landlord controlling over 4,500 flats—is investigating the source of the funds.
“For the last four to five Tuesdays, an inventory has been taken of all his cupboards, which were kept locked,” said BPP chairman Dinshaw Mehta. Colah, who was suffering from cancer and passed away in December 2013, was the trustee of various trusts, agiaries and anujumans.
On Thursday, BPP trustee Muncherji Cama sent out an email to fellow trustees stating, “Since the BPP has been unable to investigate the title and origin of the contents of Mehli’s cupboard opened in the presence of two trustees and staff on Tuesday afternoon, I reiterate that the matter be handed to the police.”
Mehta said the source of the funds might have been from the sale of shares or may have been kept in “safe custody” by the BPP after a community member passed away without any legal heirs.
However, community activist Kersi Randeria linked it to an earlier controversy regarding a Bora Bazaar property, which was transferred in lieu of the trust receiving Rs 65 lakh. At the time, co-trustees, Khojeste Mistree, Yazdi Desai and Jimmy Mistree, had filed a complaint against Mehta with the economic offences wing for misappropriating a part of the transfer fee.
Randeria questioned why the Colah’s cupboards had not been accessed for nine months and pointed out that when a community member dies without a will, the BPP has to follow an established legal process before taking possession of the individual’s personal effects. Mehta, however, reiterated that everything was “legal”. He added, “Mehli Colah was a gem of a man and one of the best CEOs the BPP had ever had.”