The Bombay Parsi Panchayat’s properties, which could not be allotted to community members for almost two years due to a charity commissioner’s stay following allegations of misappropriation of funds, were finally freed on Thursday after the joint charity commissioner unconditionally lifted the status quo order passed in December 2013 from all BPP properties. The move will benefit over 800 community members who were in the waiting list for subsidised housing.
“It is great news for us,” said BPP’s chairman Yazdi Desai, adding that the trustees will immediately begin the process of evaluating applications of community members who are waiting for houses. “They have already waited for too long. We will start reviewing the applications and the process of allotment should begin in less than a month,” assured Desai.
BPP’s new board of trustees, appointed in October, had submitted the application to the charity commissioner to free all their properties. According to Desai, the charity commissioner’s stay was imposed after a case of misappropriation of funds was filed against BPP’s former chairman Dinshaw Mehta. “As Mehta’s tenure was over, we pleaded that the case had become infructuous and thus the stay should be lifted,” said Desai. The new board’s application was challenged by Mehta and two other trustees – Muncherji Cama and Armaity Tirandaz. “However, the joint charity commissioner overruled his objection”, said Desai.
In July 2013, the controversial sale of tenancy of Dady House – a commercial property on Bora Bazar Street in Fort – had led to four trustees, including Desai, filing a complaint against Mehta at the Economic Offences Wing for misappropriation of funds, obtaining a stay from the charity commissioner stalling all property deals in December 2013.
Since the stay, BPP, known to be one of the largest land holders in the city, has had 140 flats lying vacant in several Parsi baugs. “Newly married couples, priests and other needy people were suffering as they needed accommodation in Parsi baugs. Newly married couples are given first preference as we encourage them to start a family soon,” said Desai.