The Bombay high court on Monday asked architect Shashi Prabhu to visit the Ambedkar Bhavan premises in Dadar and assess damages caused to the structure after last month’s demolition done by its trustees.
Prabhu has also designed the proposed Ambedkar memorial.
Justice SJ Kathawalla was hearing a plea by The Peoples Improvement Trust (TPIT) - that manages the Ambedkar Bhavan in Dadar - seeking a stay on the rebuilding of the structure.Justice Kathawalla suggested the trustees and the building’s occupants — Prakash, Anandraj, and Bhim Rao, all grandsons of Dr Ambedkar — work out a way to repair the structure together.
Last week, following TPIT’s plea, the court had stayed the occupants’ plan to conduct a mega rally of Dalits and all supporters of Ambedkar, and a ‘shramdaan’ to repair the demolished part of the Ambedkar Bhavan.
On Monday, however, Prakash and his brothers told the court the demolition that was carried out by the trustees on June 26 this year caused major damage to their printing press and their offices on the ground floor.
He suggested Prabhu’s name when the court asked if someone credible should inspect the premises.
Justice Kathawalla then directed that six representatives of the occupants and three representatives from the trustees’ side accompany Prabhu to the site on Tuesday, after which Prabhu will prepare a report on the damages .
The trustees and non-trustee occupants of the building, who are Dr. BR Ambedkar’s kin, have been at loggerheads since the demolition. The trustees said the demolition was carried out after a notice from the BMC that had declared the structure unsafe for occupation, and asked trustees to carry out the demolition after ensuring all occupants vacated the structure.
While the occupants claim the trustees carried out the demolition without taking them into confidence, the trustees claim despite several notices and warnings, the occupants refused to vacate the premises.