The future of Café Samovar in Jehangir Art Gallery at Kala Ghoda will now be decided by the Supreme Court (SC).
The café’s proprietors, Usha Khanna and her daughter Devieka Bhojwani, who have been fighting a long battle against its eviction, have now challenged in the apex court a Bombay High Court order that paved the way for the eviction.
“The SC is our last resort to salvage a place that has served the city well. Samovar is valuable to a lot of people and this whole battle has been a gross injustice,” said Bhojwani.
K.G. Menon, secretary of Jehangir Art Gallery refused to comment on the issue. “The matter is now in the hands of the SC, they will decide. I have nothing to say,” Menon said
For 45 years, the art café has served not just lassis and light meals but has also been a refuge for a community of artists, writers, students, filmmakers and intellectuals. The café has been fighting to preserve its tenancy within the Jehangir Art Gallery since March 2005, when the latter, claiming that it needed additional exhibiting spaces sent an eviction notice.
Khanna contested the eviction order issued by the state government’s competent officer in July 2008, in the city civil court. They next went to the Bombay High Court, which in November 2009 dismissed the case.