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Govt control over Parsi Punchayet?


TRUST with properties worth Rs 5.000 cr in city laces funds misuse charge.

By Naresh Kamath for the Hindustan Times.

MUMBAI: The Charity Commissioner has issued a show-cause notice to all seven trustees, of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, one of Mumbai’s richer trusts asking them why they should no! be dismissed for blocking a probe into alleged financial irregularities.

The Punchayet has proper­ties worth Rs 5,000 crore in Miimhai and controls some of ihe city’s must famous baugs ­like Cusrow Raug in Colaba and Rustom Baug in Byculla. It also allots houses to the poor in the community,

The commissioner has asked the trustees to give in their response on Seplember 22. If they are dismissed, an admin­istrator will be appointed to oversee the trust’s affairs till an inspect ion of the Punchayets accounts for the last ten years is complete,

Percy Patel. a Dadar resident, had asked the commissioner for a special audit in 2008. He had alleged that the trustees had mismanaged funds and ques­tioned a 10-vear lease given to a company for erecting hoardings at various locations, “arbitrary” purchase of  construction materials without inviting ten­ders and favouritism in allot­ment of houses.

A probe in December 2008 by the commissioner’s accounts division revealed irregularities. The commissioner then appointed a firm to do special audit of the last ten years’ accounts and fixed a fee of Rs l.2 crores for it (9% of the trust’s annual income of Rs 12 crores.  However, when the auditors visited the Punchayet’s office on August 05 this year, they were shown the door

Dinshaw Mehta. Chairman, Parsi Punchayet Funds and Properties* said; "We are not o|)posed to the audit. Our objection is that since we are a char­itable trust, we should nut be chained such exorbitant fees".

[Hat Tip: Mickie Sorabjee and Arzan Ghadially]

Original article here.