PIL against Ashram revamp: Can’t jeopardise autonomy of existing trusts, says Tushar Gandhi

The Indian Express | 6 days ago | 06-08-2022 | 12:50 am

PIL against Ashram revamp: Can’t jeopardise autonomy of existing trusts, says Tushar Gandhi

Opposing the redevelopment project of Gandhi Ashram and its precincts, Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, submitted Friday before the Gujarat High Court that “there should not be an unchecked authority to remove the representatives of the six trust representatives within the governing council” of the newly formed Mahatma Gandhi Sabarmati Ashram Memorial Trust (MGSAMT).The five autonomous trusts have now been brought under the umbrella of MGSAMT “where there is state intervention” and this aspect needs to be taken into consideration and their autonomy “can be jeopardised” in such a situation, Advocate Bhushan Oza submitted on behalf of Tushar Gandhi who moved the public interest litigation.The governing council of MGSAMT currently comprises representatives from four of the five existing trusts—Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust (SAPMT), Khadi Gramodyog Samiti Trust, Sabarmati Harijan Ashram Trust (SHAT), Sabarmati Ashram Gaushala Trust, and Harijan Sevak Sangh—that own and manage the erstwhile 120-acre Gandhi Ashram area. Oza pointed out the possibility of the 20-member MGSAMT governing council accommodating majority of its representatives who are not from the five trusts or with those with “no Gandhian background”. The petitioner questioned if the trust would be able to maintain, protect and enhance “the Gandhian values and ethos” in such a scenario.The division bench has now listed the matter for August 18.

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