Another case of frivolous litigation
Without getting into technical details, the bare facts are as follows:since the past several weeks a lot of misinformation, untruth and half-truth seem to have been spread through the print and electronic media. A case in point is the falsehood being spread that some trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet are Squandering instead of Safeguarding valuable community assets like Aderbad Society and A. H. Wadia Baug Society.
- The Aderbad Society litigation had been simmering in various courts for almost three decades. Previous Boards rendered lip-service to the plight of the flat owners who all had paid the agreed consideration to buy flats on ownership basis. Various resolutions were passed and recorded but, not implemented. When the current Board was elected in October 2015 it took its promise to the community of minimizing litigation and where possible settle litigations very seriously. The Board had authorized trustee Noshir H. Dadrawala to negotiate the terms of settlement with Aderbad Society and M/s. Bakhtawar Construction Company. After several meetings and consultations with a number of legal experts, a mutually acceptable settlement was worked out between the three parties, i.e. Aderbad Society, Bakhtawar Construction Company and the BPP. Two trustees, Mr. Viraf Dinshaw Mehta and Mrs. Armaity Rustom Tirandaz recorded their dissent. However, as per clause 32 of the High Court Framed Scheme of election, four trustees (the majority trustees) viz. Mr. Yazdi Desai, Mr. Kersi Randeria, Mr. Zarir Bhathena and Mr. Noshir Dadrawala decided to go ahead with filing the consent terms in court.
- The essence of the consent terms was that subject to the approval of the Charity Commissioner, the trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet agree to lease of the land and conveyance of the building to, the Aderbad Society and the Society will be bound by the Parsi Zoroastrians only covenant.
- Virtually the same day that the consent terms were filed in court, FORMER trustee of the BPP, Mr. Dinshaw R Mehta who seems to think that he is still a trustee of the BPP, filed a Chamber Summons and subsequently trustees Viraf Mehta & Armaity Tirandaz filed Notice of Motion.
- Fortunately, the City Civil Court dismissed the Chamber Summons. Notice of Motion taken out by trustees Viraf Mehta and Armaity Tirandaz was allowed only in respect of their prayer that consent terms will be taken on record subject to Charity Commissioner’s approval. What Mr. Dinshaw Mehta, Viraf Mehta and Mrs. Armaity Tirandaz have not been telling the community is the fact that the consent terms filed by the majority trustees anyway lays down this condition regarding “subject to approval of the charity commissioner” and therefore their legal intervention with the alleged aim of safeguarding community assets is nothing but cheap political gimmickry.
- It is every Politically inclined trustee’s aim to act the hero and saviour and keep the pot of chaos and controversy boiling. On the other hand, it is every Professionally inclined trustee’s aim to do only what is legally right and in the best interest of the trust and its beneficiaries and douse the fires of hate, dissentions and needless controversy.
- The trustees who are professionally inclined are solution seekers and have an eye for the next generation living in peace and prosperity. Unfortunately, the politically inclined trustees are problem creators, with an eye only on the next elections.
- Discerning and thinking members of the community would be quick to understand that what the majority trustees are seeking to do with regard to Aderbad Society or A. H. Wadia Baug Society is only what is legally correct and in the best interest of the trust and the community.
- It needs to be reiterated that those who have bought the flats at Aderbad Society or at A H Wadia Baug Society on ownership basis have paid the entire agreed consideration .
- Leasing the land and conveyance of the buildings is in sync with the requirement of law be it MOFA or RERA. With the lease of the land, the property in terms of the land on which the buildings stand, will continue to remain the property of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet and even where the buildings are concerned they will continue to remain for Parsi Zoroastrians only under signed covenant clauses in the conveyance deed. It may be noted this covenant of “Parsi Zoroastrian only” amongst others run with the lease of the land and need to be strictly complied with by the Society. Any breach of these covenants would entail termination of the Lease. Thus, where is the question of compromising or appeasement as alleged by the detractors. Every step taken by the majority trustees has been keeping first and foremost the interest of the trust and then the beneficiaries and all within the framework of the law be it, prior approval of the charity commissioner or compliance with MOFA and ensuring the for “Parsi Zoroastrians only” covenant.
When the Consent Terms (filed in the Court) were itself subject to the prior approval of the Charity Commissioner, where was the need for the two Trustees to rush to the Court and finally get the same relief ? Is it not a case of one more frivolous litigation?
Noshir Dadrawala, Kersi Randeria, Zarir Bhathena