Letters to the Editor

Dinshaw Mehta Relentless In The Eye Of The Storm!

The Ex BPP Chairman – Mr. Dinshaw Rusi Mehta, is finally Chargesheeted. All along, he would say the Chargesheet is not filed as there is no proof. Now that the Chargesheet is finally filed, the man will now claim that we should wait for the verdict and we all know how well the judiciary works in our country!

We may not even be around when the verdict comes, knowing how our judiciary functions in India. The Metropolitan Magistrate Court found enough prima facie evidence which prompted the Court to direct MRA Marg police station to file an FIR. Conviction is for sure, as there are audio recordings of both, father and son – Dinshaw Mehta and Viraf Mehta.  Voice samples of Dinshaw and Viraf Mehta were sent for forensic investigation and if the Chargesheet has been filed, then obviously, the voice samples have matched – which would be a very strong point that will be considered by the judge.

Speaking of MRA reminds me of another case in which Dinshaw Mehta had falsely claimed that the Investigating Officer Mr. More of the MRA Marg Police station had exonerated him and given him a ‘Clean Chit’ of the Rs.20,00,000/- (Rupees Twenty Lakhs) cash, stashed in the cupboard of BPP’s Ex-CEO, the late Mr. Melhi Colah.

After the ‘Clean Chit’ was issued without a proper investigation, the matter was reported to the Police Commissioner Mr. Rakesh Maria and I was called to meet him personally. I had explained the case in detail and he ordered a thorough re-investigation. Thus, the Police Commissioner found merit in my complaint and ordered a re-investigation, which prompted the MRA Marg Police station to withdraw the so-called ‘Clean Chit’, and instructed the BPP not to open the cupboard-seal and/or use or dispose off the money, as the matter is under investigation.

To this day, the MRA Police station has not given a ‘Clean Chit’ in the Rs.20 lakh stashed in a cupboard! The amount of Rs.20 lakhs and jewelry should have been ideally handed over to the cashier and receipt obtained. There is, till this day, not a single piece of evidence to prove the origin of the cash or the jewelry.

Let us not forget Mr. Dinshaw Mehta’s allegations about a bribe paid to the amount Rs.65,00,000/- (Rupees Sixty-five lakhs) in hard cash to a High Court Judge. This money was paid to get BPP a favorable judgment, in a case that involved 104 applicants for housing. Video recordings of Dinshaw Mehta making this allegation during the FPZAI Meeting have been doing the rounds on Whatsapp recently.

A question that has never been asked is, How and Where did Dinshaw Mehta get such a large amount of cash from??? Such a large amount of unaccounted cash (65 lakhs) would obviously be illegal. Questions that should be asked – What is the source of accumulating the amount? Is this Black Money or accounted for in the financial year of the person holding such large sums? If the cash is paid on behalf of BPP, how will it be accounted for, as it is paid by cash? Who will it be recovered from and paid back to? Is it legal to bribe? All community members being beneficiaries of the Trust, we all have the right to transparency as these shady transactions have ruined the reputation of the BPP.

Talking of stashed money in cupboards and at home brings us right back to this case, in which Dinshaw Mehta has been Chargesheeted. From what I understand, out of a total deal of Rs. 45 lakhs, the sum of Rs. 20 lakhs was paid by cheque to the BPP; and Dinshaw Mehta asked Musharraf to hand over the Rs. 25 lakhs in cash, at the late Ex-CEO, Melhi Colah’s residence, which was incidentally handed over to Mrs. Anahita Colah. We are informed that Mrs. Colah has also given an affidavit confirming that she received this package from Musharraf, although she did not open the package or verify its contents.

Since Melhi Colah is no more, Dinshaw Mehta will try to blame him, even though everyone knows that Mehli Colah was an honest and sincere man.

My concern is very simple. Why was the Ex-Chairman Mr. Dinshaw Mehta indulging in alleged cash transactions instead of cheque transactions? Prima facie, it seems evident that Dinshaw Mehta was trying to recover part of the Rs. 65 lakhs, which he had allegedly paid towards bribing the judge. I am informed that in those days, cash dealings, cash stashed in cupboards, cash packets handed over in covers at home… all seemed to be a common practice. There were also questionable land deals which need looking into.

The policies of the BPP were all wrong in those days. Their Mantra was to keep selling flats on deposits and from the deposits, spend on running the show. What they did not realize is deposits are a liability and not assets in the books, and most certainly not an income! They want to repeat the same mistake again as they (Viraf Mehta, Armaity Tirandaz and Xerxes Dastur) are in the majority now, post the passing away of Zarir Bhathena and the current indisposition of Yazdi Desai.

The trustees and the trust must declare to the community that the amount received by them as deposits, have been kept as Fixed Deposits in the bank, as they are legally bound to do, and not spent recklessly putting the Trust at grave risk.

Something also needs to be done about the fact, that though Dinshaw Mehta went out of the BPP in October 2015, he continues to interfere in the functioning of the BPP, thanks primarily to the fact that he has access to all the emails and information, through his son, Viraf Mehta. It is time that Dinshaw Mehta moved out gracefully and allowed his son and the present Trustees to function smoothly, instead of controlling the Board through his three stooges in the Boardroom, who are harming the trust and the community and  stand no chance of being re-elected.

Finally, through Parsi Times, I have but one request to all Trustees. We have to elect one Trustee in a few months at the cost of Rs.30 – 40 lakhs. In another 2 years, we have to elect 5 more Trustees at a cost another Rs. 30-40 lakhs, and followed by Xerxes Dastur, whose term will end thereafter, which means another 30 -40 lakhs!!! Does the BPP have a Crore-plus to waste on 3 elections?? Why not all Trustees resign and stand for elections again in 2021? It would save the BPP Rs.60-80 Lakhs.

Noshir Dadrawalla and Kersi Randeria have publicly stated that they are ready to step down. Xerxes Dastur has, in any case, in his manifesto stated that he would step down when everyone steps down. Yazdi Desai needs to be requested. This leaves us with Viraf Dinshaw Mehta and Armaity Tirandaz, who have to take a call.  If these two agree to step down, the BPP will save Rs. 60-80 lakhs! I believe their refusal to step down and insistence on sticking to their whole term is a lack of confidence of not getting re-elected.

The BPP Trust is for the protection and welfare of community members. We elect Trustees with the faith that they will realise this aim of the Trust. We have not put them in a position of power to realise their own personal agendas and play power-politics! And when that happens, it is incumbent on community members to ensure that the next time around, we elect our Trustees with greater prudence.

Let us hope better sense prevails and justice is delivered – for the sake of our remarkable community, as also the Trust and the Trustees.

– Arzan J Ghadially

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