Bombay Parsi Punchayet trustees cry Rs 45 lakh swindle, put chief in a spot

Four trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) on Wednesday filed a complaint with the joint commissioner of police against their chairman, Dinshaw Mehta, for misappropriation of funds, cheating and criminal breach of trust.

By Ashutosh Shukla | DNA India

1918949 The complaint was filed by BPP trustees Yazdi Desai, Khojeste Mistree, Jimmy Mistry and Arnavaz Mistry. Two other trustees who are part of the trust have not signed the complaint.

“We filed the case with the economic offences wing because there was criminal breach of trust on Mehta’s part,” said Desai.

According to the trustees who filed the complaint, the trust was to receive around Rs65 lakh for the change in tenancy for a property in Bora Bazaar Street. The complaint states that while Rs20 lakh was handed over by cheque, the rest was received by the chairman in cash and went unaccounted for while the tenant moved into the property.

“All money given to the trust should be paid by cheque. There is no way it can be taken in cash,” said Desai.

A public charitable trust, the BPP is over 300 years old and is one of the largest landlords in Mumbai, owning 5,500 flats and other immovable properties of approximately 100 acres.

However, the BPP has often been mired in controversy, with members of the community dragging the Punchayet to court on charges of corruption.

Meanwhile, Mehta has denied all allegations made against him. “The charges are not true. The full amount has been received by cheque in the trust account. They (the trustees) are frustrated and this case is politically motivated. One of the trustee’s (Yazdi) wife lost a trusteeship election, which is why they are doing this. Since he (Yazdi) threatened the other trustees to become either co-accused or complainants, they signed the complaint. Let the police investigate and the truth will be out,” Mehta said.

“Nothing was done by coercion. We discussed the issue and after much thought, a complaint was filed. The investigations will bring out the truth,” said Jimmy Mistry another trustee.

Joint commissioner of police (crime), Himanshu Roy, confirmed that a complaint had been filed against the BPP chairman. “I have ordered a preliminary inquiry into the matter,” Roy said.

Where did the money go?

According to the trustees who filed the complaint, the trust was to receive around Rs65 lakh for the change in tenancy for a property in Bora Bazaar Street. The complaint states that while Rs20 lakh was handed over by cheque, the rest was received by chairman Dinshaw Mehta (in pic) in cash and went unaccounted for.