Ahmedabad: Prashant Mehta, a trustee of LilavatiKirtilal Mehta Medical Trust, which owns and runs the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai and Palanpur in Gujarat, has accused the rival faction of purported trustees of siphoning off large sums of money from the trust under the pretext of paying lawyers’ fees.
“The unlawful trustees Vijay Mehta, Prabodh Mehta, Rashmi Mehta, Rekha Sheth, and others have spent more than Rs. 7 crores by way of legal fees since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak. The money was paid without the approval of the board and the charity commissioner’s sanction,” Prashant Mehta, the de facto trustee of LilavatiKirtilal Mehta Medical Trust, told reporters.
Prashant Mehta, whose parents Kirit and Charu Mehta were appointed as founder trustees, said ledger entries reveal that huge sums have been paid to lawyers with cash adjustments.
“In the last 10-12 years, the purported trustees have spent Rs. 50 crores on lawyers’ fees in personal litigation cases. Laws bar use of trust funds for personal litigation, but these purported trustees have brazenly violated all norms to siphon off huge sums from the trust,” he said.
Prashant Mehta has also filed a petition in the Gujarat High Court demanding an FIR against the above-named unlawful trustees and other persons in connection with a loot of goods worth Rs. 45 crore, including diamonds, jewellery, silverware, fancy diamonds, etc., from Maharaja of Baroda’s collection from a safe vault in Palanpur in 2019. The valuables were meant for expanding the Lilavati Hospital in Palanpur at an appropriate time.
The police registered a preliminary inquiry and sent his officers to Mumbai, where they recovered some of the goods. Prashant Mehta was told an FIR would be registered against the unlawful trustees and the others for the criminal offence, but the police officers left the valuable items with the accused persons and returned to Palanpur. The police have refused to register an FIR despite all the incriminating evidence against the unlawful trustees, leaving Prashant Mehta no other choice but to approach the Gujarat High Court.
“We have full faith in the judiciary and are confident justice will be done,” Prashant Mehta said, adding they want the looted valuables to be returned to their rightful owners, i.e., the Trust.