Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

BPP trustees move court over defamatory articles

Owner of Mumbai Samachar to appear in HC on Feb. 16

CQzL9aPVAAAMGXxMumbai: Trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) have approached the Bombay High Court over a series of news reports published in a supplement of Mumbai Samachar, one of the oldest Gujarati dailies in the country. Over the past few weeks, several articles criticising the BPP have been carried in the supplement, Metro Junction.

Sources said all seven BPP trustees have signed consent terms, which restrict them from publishing material defaming the BPP in media concerns owned by them. Mumbai Samachar is owned by the Cama family. One of its shareholders, Muncherji Cama, was a BPP trustee till he resigned in 2015. His resignation has been challenged in the Charity Commissioner’s office. They added that Mr. Cama had signed the first part of the consent terms.

Community members say the decision to move court is to stop the press from reporting critical Parsi community news. The community’s oldest newspaper, Jam-e-Jamshed, was brought under the management of the Parsi Times in 2016. The youngest community newspaper, Parsi Times is owned by Kersie Randeria, a BPP trustee. “With both newspapers being controlled by BPP trustees, articles criticising them cannot get through. Now, they want to build pressure on other newspapers as well,” a community member said. The matter is listed to be heard by Justice S.J. Kathawalla on Thursday in his chamber. Mr. Cama told The Hindu that he has been asked to appear in court on February 16.