A year after it was pulled up for allowing a TV commercial to be shot on its premises during board exams, the Wilson College was home to a shoot on the first day of HSC exams
Once bitten twice shy is an idiom that the management of Wilson College in Chowpatty refuses to abide by. After being pulled up by the police and divisional board for allowing an ad film to be shot on the college premises during board exams last year, a film shoot was underway in the vicinity on Saturday, the first day of Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams. The shoot was shifted to Mackichan Hall, the college hostel, on the opposite side of the institute after officials from the collector's office intervened and stated that college authorities hadn’t got permission for the same.
Vanity vans parked in the premises of Wilson College, Chowpatty, for the film shoot
The incident took place at around 11 am on Saturday morning, while a few hundred HSC students were appearing for their first language paper at this exam centre. Looking at the string of vanity vans and shooting equipment, a complaint was immediately made to the collector’s office, Gamdevi police station as well as the divisional board office in Vashi by a few professors of the college. “We have been informed that the college has repeatedly been renting out this property for shooting projects, without getting proper permissions. We refused the permission especially since exams were underway but they still went ahead with the shoot,” said a senior official from the collector's office, on condition of anonymity.
When this correspondent spoke to VJ Sirwaiya, the college principal, he stated that the shoot was underway at another end of the premises, and not where students were appearing for their exam. “We had applied for permission from the collector for shooting on Saturday and Sunday but didn't hear back from the department, so we went ahead with the shoot assuming the permissions would follow. Once the officials stated that we had to stop the shoot, we asked the concerned party to move their equipment and work near the college hostel which is on the opposite side of the road,” said Sirwaiya.
The principal added that no students were disturbed during the shoot. However, a college professor refuted the principal’s claim. “The entire process of set-up and wrap up can be noisy and that’s what happened,” said the professor on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, Mumbai divisional board chairman Laxmikant Pande said that a complaint about Saturday’s incident would be filed with the education inspector of that area. “Education inspectors are our field officers and we will direct them to investigate this matter by visiting the college premises. Action will be taken accordingly,” said Pande.