Remember ME - You Me and Dementia

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dignity Foundation chief caught for illegal transfer from 89-yr-old’s fund, News - Cover Story - Mumbai Mirror

The head of Dignity Foundation, Sheilu Srinivasan, was released by the police on bail on Monday 31st May 2010 after allegations that her group fraudulently obtained power of attorney from an 89-year-old resident of Opera House to administer property worth crores of rupees.

Srinivasan has been named in a complaint, filed at Girgaum metropolitan court in September last year, that says equity shares worth Rs 6.5 crore owned by H S Wadia were sold by a man named Mehernosh Palia, who had influenced him to become co-owner of the shares.

D B Marg police station said that using the power of attorney, an amount of Rs 1,24,000 was transferred from Wadia’s bank account to Srinivasan’s Dignity Foundation.

While investigations do not show whether the NGO was involved in the sale of the shares, police say that a manager of the Dignity Foundation, Hemang Desai, had created a bogus power of attorney allowing the organisation to make financial dealings on behalf of Wadia. Desai was arrested in December 2009, and subsequently released.

On Monday, Srinivasan, 62, furnished a surety at the police station pursuant to a sessions court order in an anticipatory bail application in the matter.

Wadia, a bachelor who lives alone, was a partner in a now defunct family-run engineering firm. Apart from the Opera House flat, he owns equity shares worth several crore rupees. His sister Khorshed Izakil, who is based in New Delhi, has told police that she was suspicious after she saw transactions in her brother’s bank pass-book while visiting him in Mumbai.

When contacted, Dignity Foundation officials said that they had sent volunteers to look after Wadia after receiving a call on their helpline. Wadia, however, has denied calling them for help.

A senior police officer from D B Marg Police Station said that Wadia was not a member of Dignity Foundation. “There is no question of him giving the organisation his power of attorney to act on his behalf in property transactions,” the officer said.

“Dignity Foundation is supposed to charge only a nominal amount for providing services to senior citizens. They cannot create a power of attorney giving them the authority to manage the financial affairs of the people who they help. Srinivasan was arrested because she is the signing authority mentioned in the power of attorney.”

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Dignity chief caught for illegal transfer from 89-yr-old’s fund, News - Cover Story - Mumbai Mirror

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