Twelve years after a Bombay High Court order, the state government is yet to initiate an inquiry against the Rang Sharda Pratisthan for alleged irregularities and violation of lease agreement norms. The matter came to light in an RTI reply to activist Anil Galgali.
The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) had handed over land measuring 3,000 sqm to the Rang Sharda Pratisthan, which runs the Rang Sharda Auditorium and Hotel in Bandra. A lease agreement for 90 years was signed between MHADA and the Pratisthan in 1980 on the condition that the agreement would be revised every 30 years.
According to the agreement, the Rang Sharda Pratisthan was supposed to build a drama theatre on 50 per cent of the plot. It, however, allegedly used only 26 per cent of land for the theatre while the remaining 74 per cent is being used for commercial purposes.
The Rang Sharda Pratisthan has allegedly handed over the land to Prabhudas Lotia as constituted attorney without following the terms and conditions of the lease agreement or without MHADA’s permission. The so-called constituted attorney, according to MHADA, is nothing but de facto transfer of land. The court had in 2005 directed MHADA to take back the land and cancel the lease. “The Bombay HC’s order dated May 4, 2005, directed MHADA to cancel the lease and, at the same time, asked the state government to conduct an inquiry into the matter and against the official who passed the order. However, no inquiry has been initiated till date,” said a MHADA official.
Galgali said, “These irregularities by the Rang Sharda Pratisthan and the lackadaisical attitude of the state government as well as MHADA has incurred losses worth crores. It’s been over 12 years the state government is sitting on the issue. This amounts to contempt of court.”