Trustee tech­ni­cal­ity gives Anil Am­bani `175 crore re­lief

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE -

From P1

But Patil’s order means the fine need not be paid.

Late Dr Nitu Mandke, who rose to fame af­ter his timely surgery on Shiv Sena chief Bal Thack­ery in the late 90s, was al­lot­ted a 14-acre plot in And­heri in De­cem­ber 1997.

He wanted to build a hos­pi­tal there, but his death in 2003 de­railed plans.

In 2009, the Re­liance Anil Dhirub­hai Am­bani group of­fered to re­sus­ci­tate the hos­pi­tal. Tina, Anil and Kok­i­l­aben Am­bani be­came trustees on the Malati Vas­ant Heart Trust, which al­ready had Mandke’s wife Dr Alka Mandke as a trustee. An FSI of 5 was al­lot­ted for fa­cil­i­tat­ing con­struc­tion of the hos­pi­tal, and it was named af­ter the Am­bani ma­tri­arch, Kok­i­l­aben.

In 2014, the Col­lec­torate slapped a no­tice on the hos­pi­tal for ‘ex­ploit­ing space for com­mer­cial pur­poses other than a hos­pi­tal’. The order men­tioned that the hos­pi­tal, among other things, housed sev­eral of­fices of the Re­liance Anil Dhirub­hai Group, a gift shop, spa, a food court.

It fol­lowed ob­ser­va­tions from a re­port by the state Comptroller and Au­di­tor Gen­eral of In­dia that pointed out for po­ten­tial rev­enue loss for change of prop­erty rights. In 2014, the col­lec­torate slapped a de­mand of Rs 174.88 crore on the trust, which in­cluded 75 per cent of price of the plot as per the Ready Reck­oner Rate preva­lent in 2008 and fine.

The trust chal­lenged this order with the state Rev­enue Min­is­ter, who can ad­ju­di­cate such cases as a quasi-ju­di­cial au­thor­ity. Patil ruled that there was no men­tion of any con­di­tion by the state govern­ment about seek­ing prior ap­proval be­fore adding any trustees. He fur­ther ruled that the Col­lec­tor’s order was not clear enough on how the land own­er­ship changed by adding trustees or re­plac­ing the dead trustee (in this case, Dr Nitu Mandke). He fur­ther noted that the Col­lec­tor’s order seemed to be based on the pre­sump­tion that the trust trans­ferred land own­er­ship by adding new trustees, which was not the case.

Patil was helped by sev­eral or­ders pro­nounced by high courts of Gu­jarat and Mad­hya Pradesh in sim­i­lar cases.

Full re­port: dnain­

Anil Am­bani

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