The 82-year-old lady from Santacruz who had allegedly gone missing and was suspected to have been kidnapped, was brought before the Bombay High Court on Friday.
The police produced Paulita D’Souza, who allegedly went missing in October, before the division bench of justice AM Khanwilkar and justice VM Kanade. D’Souza’s Goa-based cousin Joseph Nazreth had filed the petition alleging land mafia and police nexus after she went missing since October 1.
Additional public prosecutor KV Saste informed the court that they found the lady residing at St Paul’s Jeevan Darshan Sanstha in Vasai.
While the judges interviewed D’Souza in their chamber, she said that she had willingly gone to stay at the old-age home in Vasai. While disposing of the petition, the judges have asked the old-age people to permit D’Souza’s neighbours to meet her, if she willed.
Joseph Dias, general secretary of the Catholic Secular Forum who was made respondent in the petition, said the petition was motivated and malicious. “The accusations have been found to be baseless after the concerned person [D’Souza] herself said she was staying at the old-age home out of her free will,” said Dias.
Lily D’Souza, D’Souza’s caretaker for the past seven years, said that it appeared that her employer was brain washed.
There is a dispute between some of the tenants over the redevelopment of the Wellingdon Catholic Society in Santacruz by M/s Sumer Associates. Nazreth’s petition alleged that the builder was trying to usurp the property where D‘Souza and her family have been tenants since past 90 years. Nazreth had even made a social activist, Joseph Dias and members of the Church – Father Conrad Saldhana and Serv Ignatius — respondents in the petition.
Residents of Bombay Catholic Co-Operative Housing Society, of which D’Souza is tenant, have also filed a petition against the redevelopment which is pending before the high court.