The David Sassoon Library and Reading Room in Kala Ghoda found itself in a fresh controversy after members of the library and the former management committee decided to move a No Confidence Motion against the existing committee, citing alleged financial irregularities and neglect.
Friends of David Sassoon Library and Reading Room, an informal group, has raised the demand for an ad-hoc committee and fresh elections. The members of the group highlighted alleged irregularities in accounts and neglected repair works works in the building under the present committee.
“In a latest annual report, a note from the Vice-President shows a deficit of Rs12 lakh but in the financial highlights of the same report, the figure is Rs 5.58 lakh. This is misleading the members,” said Ralphy Jhirad.
The library has been in the news ever since the resignation of its President Vivekanand Ajgaonkar, who served at the post for the past 25 years. Ajgaonkar resigned after the managing committee shot down his proposal to rope in the Kala Ghoda Association to raise money. A Rs 1-crore restoration plan by conservation architect Vikas Dilawari was vetoed by the committee.
Following this, eight of the 14 committee members have resigned so far, the latest being on Tuesday morning.
Jhirad said a group of 11 members, including eight committee members who had resigned, had written a letter to Vice President Kaushik Oza. He said the letter, which highlighted the concerns of members over accounts and the conduct of the committee, was not responded to by Oza.“The issues can be resolved if we are given a chance to express ourselves before the committee and the Vice-President, but we have not been allowed yet,” said Jhirad.
Oza said: “The Annual General Meeting (AGM) will prove everything,” he said. Solomon Sopher, Chairman and Managing Trustee of the Sassoon and Allied Trust, said, “I feel strongly that such acts (feuds within the committee) should not have happened.”