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Bombay High Court: Go by income criteria for house allotment to Parsis

Go by the income criteria that defines the eligibility for a Parsi to get a flat allotted at subsidized rate at Panthaky Baug in Andheri, the Bombay HC told Bombay Parsi Punchayet on Tuesday.

By Rosy Sequeira, TNN

A division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Ramesh Dhanuka was hearing a petition by Dahanu resident Rohinton Taraporewala challenging the non-allotment of a flat.He filed the petition against BPP chairman Dinshaw Mehta , six trustees and the charity commissioner. Earlier, the BPP had told court that a poor Parsi is someone who earns below Rs 50,000 a month and would qualify for allotment of a flat at a subsidized rate.

Taraporewala’s advocate Satyajeet Mirajkar argued that the property was bequeathed by Behram Panthaky to build a housing society for poor and needy Parsis. He said BPP is in contempt of HC’s October 15, 2009, order to allot flats to needy Parsis. The judges asked whether Taraporewalla is needy. "Are you a needy Parsi? Are you earning below Rs 50,000? Allotment is only to poor Parsis," said Justice Majmudar.

BPP’s advocate Percy Gandhi said when the applications were invited, the emphasis was on the poor and needy. He said Taraporewala is an agriculturist and has "20 acres of land in Dahanu" . "He has income in lakhs and Rs 50 lakh in fixed deposits. He in no way qualifies for an allotment," said Gandhi.

Mirajkar denied that Taraporewala is rich and added that the petition has listed names of those Parsis who were given allotment despite earning more than Rs 50,000.

To the petitioner, Justice Majmudar. said, "Show you are needy. If you are within the income criteria, we shall consider. If not, then you are not a poor Parsi," said Justice Majmudar. The BPP has been asked to file a reply and the case has been adjourned.