Alleging illegality,a PIL in Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court has challenged the appointment of K V Ramni as the head of Advisory Committee of IT department of Shri Sai Baba Sansthan in Shirdi.
Ramni is Managing Director of Shirdi Sai Baba Trust,Chennai,and is also considered an expert in computer technology.
Ramni had reportedly donated Rs 100 crore for construction of a tourist rest house ‘Sai Ashram’ at Shirdi and requested allotment of seven per cent rooms to him.
However,in October 2010,Shirdi’s Sai Baba Trust resolved to allot 20 rooms in the Ashram to Ramni,besides allowing him to open an office for his trust in the premises of Sai Ashram,the PIL alleged.
The PIL,filed by Shirdi residents,Sandeep Kulkarni and Uttamrao Shelke,has questioned the decision of Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan to allow Ramni to start the office of his Chennai-based Shirdi Sai Baba Trust in ‘Sai Ashram’ at Shirdi.
A Chennai-based firm,Cognizant Co Ltd,had entered into a Rs 21 crore contract on May 22,2010 with Sai Baba Sansthan in Shirdi to develop ‘Sai Tech’ Computerisation Project.
In this contract,Cognizant Co was to provide 37 different modules under BOT (build-operate-transfer) scheme by June 2011. However,till date,only five modules have been provided,the PIL alleged.
Although the company failed to provide the specified modules in time to the Sai Baba Sansthan,Ramni failed to take action against the company,the PIL contended.
The PIL alleged that Ramni,by paying a large donation of Rs 100 crore,had influenced the Sai Saba Sansthan to appoint him as the head of IT department of the Trust.
The PIL argued that Ramni’s appointment in this post was illegal ab-initio (right from beginning) and was an outcome of an illegal resolution which was basically against the premable and object of a special statute enacted by the government in 2004 for Sai Baba Sansthan.
The PIL said the name of Ramni’s trust is deceptively similar to the Sai Baba Sansthan in Shirdi. Due to similarity in the names of the two trusts,there is a strong possibility of collection of donations from devotees by Ramni’s trust in Shirdi.
The PIL urged the court to strike down the decision of Shirdi Sai Baba Sansthan to appoint Ramni as the head of IT department of the Trust,disallow him the allotment of seven per cent rooms of the Sai Ashram in Shirdi and also declare illegal the contract of computer project between Shirdi Sansthan and the Chennai-based firm.
The petition will come up for hearing on September 27.