Two Zoroastrian priests, banned by the Parsi Punchayet Funds and properties for performing ceremonies that went against the faith, got relief on Friday when the Bombay High Court set aside the ban.
“Implicit in it [the ban] is a veiled threat to others against the reprisals that may follow, if they were to adopt a course of conduct which the trustees do not countenance,” the high court said, ruling that the trustees of the Parsi Punchayet are not empowered to dictate terms in religious matters.
“We will move the Supreme Court,” Dinshaw Mehta, chairman of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, said.
The Punchayet had on June 9, 2009, passed a resolution prohibiting priests, Framroze Mirza and Khushroo Madon, from praying or performing religious ceremonies at the Doongerwadi Tower of Silence, the Godavara Agiary at Fort and the SF Jokhi Agiary at Godrej Baug.
The priests, the Punchayet claimed, had performed the last rites of Parsis who had opted for cremation, had solemnised inter-faith marriages according to Zoroastrian rites and performed the Navjote of children of Zoroastrians married outside the religion.
Former civic chief Jamshed Kanga challenged the ban in the high court contending that the Punchayet had no power to impose such a ban under the Deed of Trust.