Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

A poor Parsi: One who doesn’t earn Rs 50,000 per month

The Bombay Parsi Punchayet on Friday told the Bombay High Court that it considers a Parsi who earns under Rs 50,000 a month to be “poor” and hence eligible for allotment of a flat at subsidised rent.

Article by Rosy Sequeira | Times of India

A division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and Ramesh Dhanuka was hearing a petition filed by Rohinton Taraporewala against BPP’s president Dinshaw Mehta and other trustees.

Taraporewala, who is in his 60s, lives in Tarapur. He has contended in his petition that he is “poor and eligible” for housing, but BPP has allotted flats at Panthaky Baug in Andheri to people who are “richer” than him. He has also said that he and his wife are ailing and require to live in Mumbai to avail of medical treatment.

When the matter came up for hearing, Taraporewala’s lawyer was not present. BPP advocate Percy Gandhi said a copy of the petition had not been served to his client. “He is not poor and has moved court because he was not allotted a flat at Panthaky Baug. He is very rich and has acres and acres of land. These flats are for the poor and needy,” said Gandhi.

To a query from the judges as to who is defined as poor by the BPP, Gandhi replied, “A person earning income below Rs 50,000 a month is regarded as poor.” Justice Majmudar remarked, “We have not come across any poor Parsi.”

On October 15, 2009 the HC allowed BPP to sell 108 flats at Panthaky Baug at rates approved by the Charity Commissioner to cross-subsidise housing for needy Parsis. Some 300 flats are to be constructed and given on a merit-rating scheme.

Gandhi submitted that the108 flats “are also to be also sold to poor and needy Parsis” and as Taraporewala is “not poor”, he was not allotted a flat. Directing that a copy of the petition be served on BPP, the judges have adjourned the matter for two weeks.