The central government has told the Bombay High Court that it had gained total legal ownership of the historic Jinnah House which is mired in controversy after heirs of the original house-owner Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah staked claim to the property.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in an affidavit filed recently before the High Court, claimed that the government had acquired the Jinnah House in Mumbai as evacuee property and hence all rights of evacuee and others stood extinguished.
The affidavit was filed in response to a petition by Dina Wadia, daughter of Jinnah, laid claim to Jinnah House which stands on a 2.5 acre plot in posh Malabar Hill area of South Mumbai.
Ninety one-year-old Dina, who lives in New York, has contended that she was the sole heir to her father's property.
However, in another twist to the fight over the property, Mohammed Rajabally Ebrahim, grand-nephew of Jinnah, has claimed one-sixth share in the estate.
The pleas of Dina and Abrahim were admitted in August 2009.
Ebrahim has staked his claim on the basis of Jinnah's will dated May 30, 1939, in which he had bequeathed his house to sister Fatima.
Dina, on the other hand, has denied that Jinnah had left behind such a will.
The case will come up for final hearing next week.