The Bombay Parsi Punchayet is one of the largest landlords in the city of Mumbai. And it has been in the crossfire in recent years because of an inconsistent and sometimes ad-hoc policy of allotment of apartments.
Below is an exchange of emails between a concerned Parsi, Arzan J. Ghadially and Yazdi Desai, a sitting trustee of the BPP.
From the exchange, there are two positives. The first is the citizen vigilante by Arzan, and the second is the clear communication by a Trustee.
Arzan J. Ghadially emails:
Dear CEO / Board of Trustees,
This is in continuation to my email of July 9, 2013 & Aug8, 2013 addressed to you, under copy and to the other Trustee’s of the BPP which remains not responded by either. I have, through sources been informed that Mr Phiroze Patel’s daughter’s case was put up once again in the BPP Board meeting on Oct 8, 2013 .I am also given to understand that the Mr. Phiroze Patel made sure that it was put up for discussions only after some trustee’s opposing the allotment left the Board room and the matter in principle was passed with the consent of all the remaining Board members present.
As a CEO of a Public Trust I request you and the Trustee’s responsible to kindly clarify how this has been allowed to happen as the matter is serious in nature and raises doubts on the functioning of this Charitable Body, Next term the some Trustees will once again draw out their begging bowls during elections and visit colonies for votes and bribing some gullible voters with false promises and food packets. The Trustees as custodians for a term and should not run the Trust like it is their property. Can any Trustee please explain the logic for spending Crores during elections and even stage skits to get elected to do an honorary job? I can understand politicians claiming they do but are there any takers to their theory. These Politicians spend crores in elections because in their 5 year term they make 10 times more than what they have spent. I don’t think that is the case in BPP. Can you or the Trustees have a peaceful night’s sleep knowing that your actions have deprived one needy family of a home by this unjustifiable act of passing of allotment of a flat in principle at FOC to a daughter of a housing executive of the BPP whose sister is a Broker and sells flats for BPP?
It is shameful that Mr Phiroze Patel who is in charge of Housing Dept got his daughters application put up in meeting after meetings and finally got it passed in principle for allotment at Nirlon in Goregoan absolutely free of cost while Mr Phiroze Patel and the Trustees have rejected similar applications of the needy – even when they were ready to pay – on very same grounds on which Mr Phiroze Patel got his daughters application passed in principle. Mr Phiroze Patel’s daughter can be accommodated in her father house which also is in Nirlon, alternatively the boy’s father residing in Tata Blocks can also accommodate his son and daughter in law. The allocation is cleared in minutes and without any investigation like they do in other cases.
There are Hundreds of genuine applications rotting in the BPP and it is unfortunate that they don’t have agents like Phiroze Patel’s sister who can broker an allotment for a fee and the Brother helps in passing them as Executive in Housing. This cannot be possible without the knowledge of the Board. I pointed out the matter 3 months back to the Trustees and instead of conducting an inquiry they have gifted his daughter a flat FOC ( Free of cost ) and the day is not far when we will know the Trustee’s responsible for allotting his daughter a flat.
This raises a doubt on a Parroted CEO, and the Trustee’s responsible for allotment, and you all have a choice to accept and rectify it or deny and take a legal recourse on me at the Trust’s expense as the BPP is known to have a budget of Cr + to spend on litigations every year. The Choice is yours. I have the support from my community and sufficient grounds to prove all allegations covered from my 1st email till date and they are your BPP documents which are in your records too.What action is the BPP planning.
You will appreciate that I have requested to be responded since 3 months and neither you nor a single Trustee has responded. Once again I need to stress that my intention is not to malign you or the Trustees of BPP responsible for this action. In all fairness I will wait until Oct 16, 2013 for a suitable response and further course of action from your side. Failure to act will compel me to convert my communications to open letters and put them in public domain at your cost and consequence for the community to debate. This should not be construed as a threat or a character assassination since I have given an opportunity of 3 months to clarify one to one which you chose to ignore. When people don’t respond / clarify the community steps in. I am ready to face the BPP Board on this matter if they are comfortable.I am sure the Chairman will not disappoint the community.
The community will not rest until his daughter’s application is rejected as on no grounds she merits it and he be removed from his position as a Housing Executive as there are many complaints against him for harassing applicants. He is rude and arrogant with applicants. If anyone merits an allotment even if he is an BPP employee by all means allot but not in this manner. When an allotment takes place a BPP staff makes enquiries and personal visits and submits a report. Was it followed in Mr Phiroze Patel case? ‘No’ the Trustees have given Mr Phiroze Patel immunity from any investigations.
Please understand I have no hidden agenda behind this nor do I want a flat nor do I want you to allot a flat to anyone thru me, nor do I have anything personal against any Trustee. I am merely taking up this issue on behalf of all those poor needy couples and families who are homeless and not as fortunate as Mr Phiroze Patel to have Trustees backing him with allotments FOC.
Best of Regards
Arzan J Ghadially.
Yazdi Desai’s response.
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Subject: Mr Phiroze Patel
Date: Tue, 15 Oct 2013 09:43:10 +0530
You are right that I left the Board Meeting early at 5.10 pm on account of an urgent appointment. Khojeste was also not present at this Board Meeting as he is in London.
I was later informed by Mehli Colah, that 5 Trustees ( Dinshaw Mehta, Jimmy Mistry, Arnavaz Mistry, Armaity Tirandaz and Munchi Cama) have decided to allot a 2 R + K flat at B. P. P. Complex, Goregaon (East) to Mrs. Feroza Khushru Mewawalla (daughter of Mr. Pheroze D. Patel, senior Executive, Housing Dept. of the BPP).
Khojeste and I have expressed grave reservations about this proposed allotment. In fact there have been several objections to the allotment. I had also circulated a detailed note dated 20th August 2013 to all the Trustees giving cogent reasons why this allotment cannot and must not be allowed. I have attached the said note for your ease of reference.
I am extremely disappointed that my Co-Trustees should discuss and take a decision on this allotment in the absence of Khojeste and myself, especially when this Item has been on the agenda for several weeks and has not been taken up for decision. Most notably, in the Board Meeting of 1st October 2013, wherein Khojeste and I were both present, this item was listed as Item No 27. and Trustee Mr. Dinshaw Mehta as Chairman of the Meeting, discussed all the items in proper sequence from Item No 1 to 31, but deliberately skipped this Item No 27, ostensibly to avoid participation of Khojeste and myself.
I understand that this unhealthy decision has been taken by the majority of the Trustees, but as we are all aware, a decision taken by the majority is no justification for wasting and/or dealing improperly with the property of the Trust. There are hundreds of extremely deserving Parsis waiting for years to be given a roof over their heads by the BPP and this Pheroze Patel’s daughter walks away undeservingly with a flat.
I must inform you that at one of the meetings when my note of 20th August was discussed, Trustee Mr. Dinshaw Mehta categorically said that Feroza Mewawalla cannot be allotted a flat under any circumstances and he went on to further add that if a flat is allotted to her “I will not be able to face Arzan Ghadially”. I wonder what prompted the volte face by Trustee Mr. Dinshaw Mehta, and how he will face you now!
As a benefiaciary, I am sure you will take whatever steps are necessary to prevent this gross wastage and misappropriation of Trust property.
On my part, I am waiting for Khojeste to return from London, after which we will decide further course of action.