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Chinchwad edu trust under scanner for 'irregularities'

Joint Charity Commissioner investigates alleged irregularities in the functioning of Kamala Education Society and violation of trust norms; next hearing in case to be held on Jan 13

A Chinchwad-based education trust has come under the scanner of the Joint Charity Commissioner for alleged irregularities in its functioning and violation of trust rules.


In the eye of a storm: The Kamla Education Society in Chinchwad 
 
The fate of Kamala Education Society seems to have run into rough weather with its former and serving trust members indulging in a blame-game over irregularities. Interestingly, one of the 'ousted' members is Gajanan Babar, Shiv Sena MP from Chinchwad . 

The society runs the Pratibha Group of Institutes that offers various courses in business management, commerce, computer studies, MEd and BEd. In all, the institute has around 1,800 students. The next hearing is scheduled for January 13. Former trust members Sujata Bhame and Nalini Bhasate had filed the first complaint with the Joint Charity Commissioner in December, 2010. 

According to Sujata Bhame and Nalini Bhasate, who are also the founder trustees of the society, they were 'ousted' by Deepak Shah. Currently, Shah runs the affairs show of the trust. "Deepak Shah befriended us in 2005 when the trust was in a dire financial crisis and unable to pay the lease money to the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). The money pumped in by him helped us tide over the financial crisis. We were then absolutely under his obligation and did whatever he asked and signed on blank papers without even questioning his motive," said Bhasate. Shah then allegedly forged resignation affidavits on those blank papers and 'threw out' Bhasate and Nalini Bhasate. 

On the basis of RTI applications, Bhame and Bhasate have procured several documents that suggest violation of even MIDC rules. "The income statements and the balance sheets show institute space was rented for various programmes. No plot given on lease can be rented for any other purpose. And if at all it happens, one needs to have special permission from the leasing authority", Bhame said. 

Balance sheets from 2007 to 2009 clearly mention that the trust earned a certain amount of money by renting the leased plot. "The institute still doesn't have the final OC from the MIDC and has also violated several conditions of the conditional OC, including absence of the No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the fire department," said Bhasate. 

Some of the documents procured by Bhame under RTI show that Shah has also signed on various documents with different designations. If, in a letter sent to the Deputy Registrar of Pune University, Shah has signed as the director of the trust, in two appointment letters to job applicants he has signed as its CEO and secretary. 
An MIDC official requesting anonymity said that they have already issued notices to the trust for violating rules of the conditional OC. The official, however, refused to comment on the premises being rented for commercial purposes. Despite repeated attempts, Shiv Sena MP Gajanan Babar remained unavailable for comment. 

The other side
Deepak Shah said that the complaints by Bhasate and Bhame were baseless. "They are doing these theatrics out of jealousy as cannot see the trust progressing. Now, they want to rejoin the trust after resigning themselves," said Shah. About the illegal construction on the plot, Shah said that was immediately demolished by the contractor after MIDC brought it to his notice. Contesting claims of forging signatures, Shah said, "I am the CEO and president of the trust, but had signed on behalf of the Secretary as he was absent. I forgot to specify that I am signing on his behalf. Shah further clarified that he had already enquired with the MIDC and had sought their necessary permission for the same. 

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