Cama’s Appeal For Stay Order Not Granted By High Court

On 4th October, 2016, Muncherji Cama’s Originating Summons (OS) was heard by Hon’ble Justice Kathawala at the High Court. Cama’s counsel asked the Judge for a ‘Stay’ against the BPP Trustees from doing any further work on behalf of the Trust. In the alternative, Cama’s counsel asked that Cama be appointed as an ‘Ad-hoc Trustee’, till such time as his pending Resignation Case before the Charity Commissioner was disposed-off.

On hearing the opposing counsel, representing BPP Chairman, Yazdi Desai, and Trustees Noshir Dadrawala and Kersi Randeria, Justice Kathawala was not inclined to grant any of Cama’s prayers. He was heard asking Cama’s counsel whether he wanted to shut down the BPP or would he prefer that a fresh election be called for! Justice Kathawala went on to state that he was not empowered to declare Cama as a Trustee, and he has directed the Charity Commissioner to expedite the hearings in both the matters – i.e Cama’s Resignation Case, as well as Cama’s application under Section 41 E r/w Section 41 A, where Cama has yet again asked for a ‘Stay’ preventing the BPP Trustees from carrying out their duty towards the community.

In the latest development of the 41 E case filed by Munchi Cama in the Charity Commissioner’s office to obtain a Stay Order against the BPP Trust, 5th of October, 2016 was the date given to the BPP Trustees for the filing of replies to Cama’s Stay application. However, on the said date, the Jt. Charity Commissioner (JCC) was not available. Some of the BPP Trustees present in court have filed their replies, as per the instruction of the JCC. 27th October, 2016 has been set as the next date for the hearing.

Cama was elected as BPP Trustee in mid-2011 but submitted his resignation in June 2015 to the Trustees instead of the then Chairman, Dinshaw Mehta. There are divergent views about the validity of the acceptance of his resignation. Cama’s resignation was a well thought-out decision making detailed and serious allegations against all his colleagues including the Chairman. However, Dinshaw Mehta filed an objection. After maintaining a dignified silence for almost five months, Cama decided to file his reply in November 2015 (post the election of the new Trustees). Cama chose not to attend any Board meetings since he put in his resignation.
Given the slow speed of the Indian judiciary and the fact that the technicality of Cama’s resignation and its acceptance can only be decided based on the evidence from various parties, it seems unlikely that the deadline set by the High Court will be met. Even if the deadline is met, there’s a strong possibility of the losing side moving the High Court in appeal.

What is crucial to note is that if Cama’s prayers are accepted by the Charity Commissioner or the High Court, the community will once again suffer, as it did for 2 years from 2014-2015, where the entire working of the BPP was brought to a grinding halt. All housing allotments will cease, all financial transactions will be stayed, and the Trustees will once again languish with their hands tied. Surely our community and its members do not deserve to be punished in this manner repeatedly due to infighting amongst Trustees. The new Board has proved its dynamism since its election, and such unnecessary attempts to create hurdles to keep them from working towards the welfare of the community will have the members of the community bearing this inactive brunt yet again.

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