In the Bombay Samachar issue of Sunday 08-01-2017, an update had been given upto 03-01-2017 hearing date of the Change Report proceedings filed by Applicant the then BPP Trustee Yazdi Desai in June 2015 against Mr. M. N. M. Cama.

On 07-01-2017, cross-examination of Applicant Yazdi Desai continued and the matter was adjourned to 11-01-2017. On 11-01-2017, Objector No.1’s cross-examination was completed. Advocate of Objector No. 2, Mr. Cama, started his cross-examination of Yazdi Desai and thereafter matter was adjourned to 12-01-2017, when the cross-examination of Yazdi Desai was finally completed. The proceedings were adjourned to 16-01-2017 to allow both sides to argue on the various interim applications filed by both sides.

On 16-01-2017 advocates for both sides argued for and against the various applications filed by both sides and matter was adjourned to 18-01-2017 for giving his orders on the various applications.

On 18-01-2017, the Asstt. Charity Commissioner (ACC) gave his ruling on the interim applications accepting three applications of the Applicant Yazdi Desai as Reporting Trustee for bringing certain articles in Jame Jamshed and Bombay Samachar on record but rejecting his application for stay on payment of fine of Rs. 10,000/- for delaying proceedings. Yazdi Desai was directed to pay the fine of Rs.10,000/- immediately which his wife who attends this hearings agreed to pay at earliest.

The only Application of the Objectors to produce and keep on record the two Minute Books for the same board meetings — one sent by administration after Chairmans corrections first to all Trustees as draft and then officially signed by the then Chairman and the other Minute Book clandestinely prepared and signed by only the four majority Trustees Yazdi Desai, Khojeste Mistry, Jimmy Mistry and Arnavaz Mistry but without mentioning any date thereon and without circulating to administration or to other Trustees –was rejected on that day.

The Asstt. Charity Commissioner further informed that he has already passed an Order on 18-01-2017 closing any further evidence from both sides probably because he has to complete the proceedings and give his ruling on the Change Report as per High Court expedited order (by 25-01-2017). Advocates for both Objectors vociferously objected for only allowing the Applicant Yazdi Desai as Reporting Trustee to complete his evidence and not giving the same opportunity to both the objectors, Mr. Muncherji Cama and Mr. Dinshaw Mehta to give evidence on their behalf. The Asstt. Charity Commissioner informed that already there is sufficient evidence on record to decide the Change Report and it would amount to abuse of law if parties are allowed to lead further evidence. The Asstt. Charity Commissioner refused to entertain their plea to allow them to file their Affidavit of Evidence informing them to move the higher authorities if they were dis-satisfied and adjourned the matter to Saturday 21st January 2017 for both sides to do the final arguments based only on the Evidence so far given only by the Applicant Yazdi Desai.

Since the Asstt. Charity Commissioner was unwilling to move the High Court for further extension, the Objectors have no remedy but to file a Writ Petition before the Bombay High Court that gross injustice is being caused to them if the matter is closed only after allowing Applicant Yazdi Desai to give his Evidence but not giving the same opportunity to the Objectors to file their Evidence in the ongoing proceedings.

The Writ Petition is being filed on Friday 20th January 2017 by the Objectors to extend the date of finalizing proceedings by about 4 weeks to enable the Defendants to file their Evidence in the same matter.

At the time of going to Press, the Writ Petition is proposed to be heard in the evening of 20th January 2017 after which only it will become clear whether on 21st January 2017 the matter will be argued before the Asstt. Charity Commissioner or the Defendants will be given time to file their Evidence.

Published on Bombay Samachar