Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Parsi Priests’ Court Battle with BPP Likely To End Amicably

Two priests were banned from fire temples after they were found to have performed ceremonies for Parsis who chose to be cremated and children of non-Parsi fathers

The Bombay Parsi Punchayet’s (BPP) three-year bitter court battle against two “renegade” priests may soon come to an end.

Article by Jyoti Shelar Mumbai Mirror

A recent mediation held by former Supreme Court judge Sujata Manohar is said to have gone well and the ban on the two might soon to be lifted.

The BPP has so far spent over Rs 3 crore of the community fund on this litigation.

The issue dates back to 2009, when BPP banned Framroze Mirza and Khushroo Madon from performing any rituals in Doongerwadi and two other BPP-controlled fire temples, after they were found to have performed religious ceremonies for Parsis who chose to be cremated and navjote ceremonies for children of nonParsi fathers. Eminent Parsis Jamsheed Kanga and Homi Khushrokhan had challenged the ban on behalf of the two priests.

A community member who did not wish to be named confirmed that the SC-directed mediation was held at the BPP office on Tuesday.

“It has been decided that the banned priests can now enter the Doongerwadi premises to do rituals. They will, however, have to give an affidavit stating that they will not carry out conversions,” said the member, adding that another meeting has been scheduled for next Tuesday, wherein both parties will submit their agreements and the mediation will be closed.

While High Court quashed the ban in 2011, BPP challenged the decision in Supreme Court, which appointed a mediator to settle the dispute amicably.

One mediation attempt failed last year after most of the seven BPP trustees opted against it.

Later, the SC suggested the name of ex-CJI Sarosh Kapadia for mediation but he turned down the offer.

BPP chairman Dinshaw Mehra, meanwhile, refused to comment on the matter saying it was confidential. Community members, however, are hopeful to hear positive development in the process as the litigation has cost a huge amount of loss to the BPP.

“These funds could have been utilised for the betterment of the community. It is better to stop this expensive battle and end it now,” said a member.