Expressing sadness at the dispute in the Parsi community over peformance of worship service, the Supreme Court on Monday referred for mediation the priests' right to conduct cermonies in the temples and properties owned by the certain Zorastrian Trust.
"The Parsis are a tiny community in India and they have made an outstanding contribution to the country in various walks of life and the whole nation is proud of them. We are, therefore, sad to notice some dispute between them inter se," a bench of justices Markandeya Katju and Gyan Sudha Mishra said in an order.
The apex court passed the order after senior counsel appearing for the-Parsi Panchayat Funds & Properties and priests Jamesheed Kanga and others agreed to settle their dispute through mediation instead of fighting a protracted legal battle.
Accordingly, the apex court appointed Shriram Panchoo, a senior advocate of Madras High Court, as the mediator for settling the dispute.
The bench passed the order while dealing with a suit challenging a Bombay High Court order which quashed a decision by the Parsi Panchayat(a Trust) restraining the priests from performing ceremonies at the Towers of Silence(the Doongerwadi Complex) and the two Fire Temples (Agiaries) in Maharashtra.
The High Court had held that Trustees are not entitled to preventing any duly ordained Parsi Priest from performing Zoastrian religious rites and ceremonies in the premises of the Towers of Silence and the two Agiaries.
Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Mukul Rohatgi, Fali S Nariman, T R Andhyarujina and Percy Ghandy appeared in the court and agreed to settle the dispute through mediation.