Mumbai: The manager of Shri Vithoba Temple trust located in Mumbai's Kalbadevi area has filed a first information report (FIR) at LT Marg police station after gold and silver jewellery worth Rs13.45 lakh allegedly went missing from the trust's locker. Termed as a public trust, it was established in the year 1953 whereas the temple, Vithal Rukmini Mandir is said to be 250 years old. After the trust was established in 1953, at every term there were at least 3-7 trustees. The complainant, Saryu Kapadia, 59, has alleged that somewhere between the year 1990-2018, one of the trustees disappeared with the jewellery from the trust's locker.
According to Kapadia's statement to the police, in the year 1997-1995, a person named Manohar Gogte was appointed as the trusts managing trustee. During this period, Gogte held the responsibility of ensconcing the keys of the coffer (tijori), donation box (dan peti) and the bank locker which he declined to give to anyone. After Gogte's death, a man named Jayanth Desai took over as the trusts president.
In 2018, the Charity Commissioner of Maharashtra (Worli) sent a letter to Desai asking to list down all the valuable items in the locker for inspection purposes. Desai had then called an emergency meeting calling all the stakeholders informing them about the missing key after Gogtes death. After an extensive discussion, a duplicate key was made to open the locker. The locker which originally had 55 jewellery items but when opened 8 of them were found missing.
Desai in July 2018, wrote a written complaint to LT Marg police but it was never converted into a FIR. On Monday afternoon, police officially started to probe into the matter after the FIR was registered against an unknown person for the charges of section 406 (committing criminal breach of trust) of the Indian Penal Code. As per a senior police official, they will now dig out all the records and papers from 1990 to 2018 to check for loopholes and subsequently may summon the trustees for interrogation. Accordingly, arrests shall be made, he said.