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Jinnah House is ours, says Centre

The Centre has filed an affidavit in Bombay High Court stating that Jinnah House belongs to the government.

india Updated: Oct 05, 2007 03:16 IST

Mohammad Ali Jinnah's daughter Dina Wadia filed a petition in high court in August, for acquiring possession of Jinnah House, the late leader’s residence in the plush Malbar Hill locality of Mumbai.

The HC then asked the Centre to clarify its stand. Accordingly, an affidavit filed on Thursday by the Additional Solicitor General’s office says the house belongs to the Union government. The case is likely to come up for hearing this week or the next.

Wadia (88), mother of textile magnate Nusli Wadia of the Bombay Dyeing group claims the title of the house be handed over to her as she is the only heir to Jinnah. According to Wadia, the then state of Bombay took over the property, because Jinnah’s sister Fatima, the trustee of his will, had been declared an evacuee (those who migrated to Pakistan post-partition) in 1949.

However, Wadia now says her father’s will was not probated by Bombay High Court and therefore, had no effect on any operation of law. Fatima, therefore, could not be the legal owner and so the house should be handed over to his legal heir.

Also, she is the sole legal heir of Jinnah’s property, both under Hindu Law (applicable to Khoja community to which Jinnah belonged before Independence) or the Shia Muslim law, her petition claims.

First Published: Oct 05, 2007 03:12 IST