Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Judge appointed to resolve Parsi Punchayet dispute

Justice (retired) BN Shrikrishna was appointed by the Bombay high court as mediator for the resolution of a dispute between the Parsi Punchayet Trust and Properties and some members of the community regarding the construction of a 14-storey building in Andheri for poor and needy Parsis.

Published in Hindustan Times

The division bench of justice SA Bobde and justice Mridula Bhatkar has directed the warring factions — Parsi Punchayet and community members Bomy Patrawala and Parvez Firoze — to remain present before justice Shrikrishna on February 6.

The dispute pertains to 43,000 sqm land at Panthaki Baug in Andheri donated to the Punchayet for Merit Rating Scheme under which housing at concessional rates is provided to poor, needy and deserving Zoroastrians.

The Parsi Punchayet had approached the high court challenging an order by the Charity Commissioner on November 5, 2008, acting on a complaint by Patrawala and Firoze. The trust had contended that the Charity Commissioner had unnecessarily interfered in the implementation of the scheme.

On October 15, 2009, the parties to the petition, however, filed consent terms on the basis of which the court allowed the Punchayet to dispose of the remaining constructed flats to deserving Parsis. The Punchayet had given an undertaking that they would, within two years, construct buildings with at least 300 flats.

The trust has now moved a plea seeking extension.Their counsel Rafiq Dada pointed out procedural and technical hurdles faced by the trust and sought three years more.

Nilima Dutta, counsel for the two community members, opposed the plea contending that the order contemplates entertaining extensions only if substantial progress is made in the construction.