BPP Trustee Viraf Mehta comes out in support of Trustee Noshir Dadrawala on the allegations made against Chairman Yazdi Desai
To answer the questions raised by you:
1. Are you as a trustee comfortable with the fact that without your knowledge and consent Chairman Mr. Yazdi Desai has unilaterally gone ahead and signed and registered a Leave and Licence agreement without your knowledge or approval?
Yes or No?
Absolutely not comfortable.
Just like Kersi mentioned at our Board meeting last week, I too believe that with just 1 signature, this is not a valid LL Agreement and I would recommend to the Board that it be revoked. A fresh agreement with all Trustees signature must be made.
Allowing LL agreements to be registered with just 1 signature is an extremely bad precedent and can jeopardize all BPP property. That in itself warrants a motion of no confidence against Yazdi.
I would recommend that we take appropriate legal recourse to ensure that henceforth, no one Trustee must have the right to execute a LL agreement or any other document alienating valuable Trust property. There should be a minimum of 4 Trustees (majority Trustees) signature.
2. Is is not true that while 48 other license agreements were pending (as informed to us by legal staff) this particular agreement was hopped, skipped and jumped over all other long pending ones?
Yes or No?
All the other agreements were skipped.
3. Historically has any document ever been registered with such haste and in a clandestine manner?
Yes or No?
All agreements are registered after due process is followed. Unfortunately here, that is not the case.
4. Are other poor and needy applicants given such priority?
Or to rephrase, would such haste and risk been taken by our dear Chairman for an ordinary mortal? Is it not true that all this haste and not even informing colleagues that he is going ahead on his own, singly, only because the applicant was secretary of Ness Wadia?
Yes or No?
In the last 3 years that I have been a Trustee, I have NEVER seen such brazen disregard for rules and procedures. In fact this particular LL agreement NEVER even came to me for my signature. As I’ve mentioned above, if only 1 out of 7 Trustees is allowed to register an agreements, that spells TROUBLE.
5. Is it not true that Sharda recently had the temerity to break open a BPP lock In flagrant defiance?
Yes or No?
She had the audacity to break a BPP lock. Yet, on Yazdi’s insistence, we never took any serious action against her. Ironically this Board has filed criminal proceedings against a Parsi couple for doing the same to a flat in Godrej Baug.
What is even more amazing is that when the Board wanted to try and recover the Khareghat Colony flat, Yazdi actually went on to dissent against the Board’s decision to recover the flat and in turn was directly supporting Sharda.
It must also be known to all that the MoU between Sharda and the BPP (signed by Yazdi) was never shown to the Board of Trustees. Nor did the rest of us Trustees know when Yazdi had signed it. Without informing the Board and without the Board’s approval, Yazdi has gone ahead and signed the MoU with Sharda. And if one were to read this MoU, you would be shocked to know that the Chairman himself is stating that this non-Parsi maid was indeed in possession of two flats in Khareghat Colony, which is NOT the case.
And lets not forget about the minutes of our meeting on this item that Yazdi attempted to change. He had very surreptitiously changed the word tenancy to ownership (in his own hand writing) in favour of Sharda. A copy of this has been made. When I raised this at our next Board meeting, Yazdi had the most unconvincing answer.
6. Is it not true that a big ownership flat at Borivili was offered to Sharda the non Parsi trespasser and only when all other trustees objected did the Chairman revert to offering the Thane flat. Have other Parsi trespassers been treated so kindly?
Yes or No?
YES. That is correct. If the Trustees hadn’t intervened, we would have lost a flat worth Rs.1.5cr to a non-Parsi maid thanks to Yazdi’s indulgence.
7. Was Friday’s function the usual (traditional) BPP Staff Annual function or not?
Were colleague trustees even aware of the planning and execution? Were trustees invited until reluctantly on Thursday night?
Yes or No
YES. Friday’s function was indeed the BPP Annual Staff function. All facts point towards it.
– The receipt for the hall booking is in the name of the BPP Staff Association (Not Yazdi’s personal name).
– The invitation letter sent to all staff is on BPP Staff Association letter head (Not Yazdi’s personal name) and signed by BPP Staff Association Committee members.
– The invitation letter specifically calls the function “BPP Annual Day” (Not Yazdi Desai invited you for dinner and drinks).
Sadly Yazdi thought that by sponsoring it, it became his personal party. He actually told the staff not to inform or invite any of the other Trustees. Yazdi told the staff that he would invite whomever he felt like inviting.
Who does that ? What kind of message does this give the BPP staff when the Chairman himself indulges in petty one-upmanship.
Yazdi’s last minute invitation to the Board on Thursday night (for a Friday evening function) came only after the rest of the Board had decided to issue a letter to all the staff revealing his (Yazdi’s) mischief. It was a complete after-thought.
Yazdi went on to instruct the administration to request me not to bring my father, Dinshaw Mehta, to the function. My father has been a Trustee for 21 years and a Chairman for 7. The staff till date are fond of him and remember him a lot.
So when all Trustees are invited with their families, I do not see why I should not be allowed to bring mine. We have to look beyond the past, otherwise we will get stuck in it, and will never be able to move forward.
It is a known fact that Yazdi and my father do not see eye to eye. But their personal differences should be kept out of the BPP.
I have made a concerted effort not to allow personal differences to affect my duties as a Trustee. But unfortunately Yazdi has not only used but abused his position as Chairman and has forced staff to fight his personal battles for him. To involve the staff is quite pathetic.
Our staff is honest and hardworking. To use them to settle personal scores is very unbecoming of a Trustee, especially the Chairman.
In fact last week at the end of our Board meeting, I once again requested Yazdi to stop this witch hunt he seems to be on against my father and offered a truce so that we can all work together harmoniously. A united BPP Board can and will do wonders, if only egos were set aside. Unfortunately once againYazdi refused to accept my gesture to work together towards a prosperous BPP. He seems adamant to appease his ego and settle personal scores, even if it means he is damaging the image and reputation of the BPP.
Noshir, unfortunately things have gotten way out of line this time round and Yazdi’s actions have started to harm the Trust.
If you were to follow through with your idea to move a motion of no confidence against the Chairman, I personally believe that you would get the support of the rest of the Board.