MHADA wants 6000 sq.mtr plot back
Vibgyor High School in Goregaon (W), which is in a legal battle to recover the building rent from students through fees, is in further trouble after MHADA asked the state government to reclaim the 6,000 sq mt plot that was allotted to the school in 2002.
In a five-page report submitted to the additional chief secretary in the State Ministry of Housing, MHADA has recommended that the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) should probe alleged irregularities by the trust running the elite school, which has six branches in Mumbai, and 2,000 students at the Goregaon branch itself.
MHADA has been at loggerheads with the school management for more than eight years, with the former accusing the school management of siphoning off funds.
According to MHADA, it provided land at a concessional rate to the Madhya Pradesh Mitra Charitable Trust to establish a school.
The trust in 2004 sub-leased a part of the land to a company, Kare Education Institute, which in turn entered into an agreement with Kare Edumin Pvt Ltd (also known as Rustom Kerawala’s Foundation) to run the school from the building on the plot.
One year later (2005), the Madhya Pradesh Mitra Charitable Trust again subleased the remaining part of the plot to Rajasthan Vidyanidhi Trust and Rainbow Education Trust, but no construction has taken place because of a dispute among the trusts.
In 2009, the deputy director of education had disallowed the school to include as expense Rs 2.5 crore it spent towards rent for the school building and trying to recover it from students.
The Bombay High Court in 2011 upheld the deputy director of education’s order, after which the school filed an appeal in the Supreme Court, which gave the state three months to sort out the fee and unaided status issue regarding the school.
Recently, a report submitted by MHADA’s unit – the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Board – said the trust has been “using the land for commercial purposes and profiteering from it”.
The report, signed by MHADA vice-president and CEO Milind Mhaiskar, further said, “The trust is earning an annual income of Rs 30 crore through school fees, but 25% of this income, which should have been handed over to MHADA as per the lease agreement, is not being deposited.”
A spokesperson from Vibgyor Group of Schools said these allegations were “unsubstantiated”, and that the management hadn’t received any communication from MHADA regarding vacating the premises.