Parsis: The Zoroastrians of India Pakistan and The World

Calcutta HC division bench requests single judge to consider application of Parsi bodies

A division bench of the Calcutta high court requested a single judge bench to consider an application by The Federation of Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans of India (FPZAI) to be included as a party or intervene in proceedings in a matter regarding the entry of children, whose father is a non-Parsi, to the fire temple.

Article by Jayanta Gupta | TNN

imageKolkata resident Prochy N Mehta moved the high court bench of Justice Soumen Sen in 2017 praying for orders to allow her grandchildren (whose father is a non-Parsi) entry to the fire temple as they have been initiated to the Zoroastrian faith through Navjot ceremonies. After start of proceedings, organisations such as The Parsi Zoroastrian Association of Kolkata and the FPZAI prayed to be added as parties in the matter as their views are important.

On January 18, 2018, Justice Sen directed: “All interested parties in the proceeding shall file their respective notes of argument within three weeks of date.” Aggrieved with this order, the FPZAI moved an appeal in the division bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya through advocate Phiroze Edulji.

“The PFZAI wishes to bring before the court the view of the entire community as it is the umbrella body of the Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans/ Punchayets of India and a judgment on the interpretation of who is a “Parsi Zoroastrian” would affect all the Parsi Zoroastrian Anjumans/ Punchayets of India. Denial of the right to be added as a party and only being allowed to file written notes of arguments would result in violation of the principles of natural justice and finally result in miscarriage of justice. Written notes of arguments can never be a substitute for an affidavit in opposition,” Edulji submitted in the division bench.

The division bench disposed of the appeal by “requesting the interlocutory court to decide on the propriety of impleading the appellant and others who applied in such regard before proceeding to deal with the merits of the matter”.