Parsi Punchayet trustees fight in court, file assault cases against each other
A Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP) trustee and its former chairman filed criminal complaints against each other after a fight at Ballard Pier magistrate court on Thursday.
Kersi Randeria, the trustee who said he sustained eye and shoulder injuries in the fight, was admitted to a hospital and discharged on Friday morning. Dinshaw Mehta, a former trustee, said Randeria had hit his son Hormuz, who was representing him as a lawyer, causing him to faint.
The magistrate was hearing a criminal complaint filed in January 2014 by Khojeste Mistree, who was then a BPP trustee, against Mehta, the then chairman of the trust, accusing him of collecting Rs25 lakh from a businessman for tenancy rights to a trust-owned property in Fort. The BPP is one of the biggest landlords in Mumbai and manages over 4000 flats in community housing estates across the city, land, and commercial premises. It also manages fire temples and the 50-acre Tower of Silence cemetery in Malabar Hill. The BPP has seven trustees who are elected by the community.
“As we stepped out, Hormuz said unpleasant things. Dinshaw was hitting me with a piece of concrete. My eye went blank and I was lifted and taken to the courtroom. The judge asked us to file a police complaint,” said Randeria.
Randeria was taken to St George Hospital near CST and then shifted to JJ Hospital, Byculla, from where he was discharged after a CT scan and other tests ruled out any serious injury.
Mehta denied he hit Randeria. “I am a 75-year-old man. He [Randeria] is double my size and he is accusing me of hitting him? My finger could have accidentally poked his eye or he could have had an eye infection,” said Mehta. “Why was he in the court? It was a private complaint filed by Mistree.”
Senior police inspector Sukhlal Varpe from MRA Marg police station said, “After the court proceedings on Thursday, the two parties had a fight outside the premises and arrived at the police station. We have only registered cross complaints.”
On Friday, online community forums were filled with comments about the ‘street fighters’ who had brought shame to the BPP. Mistree, who was in court when the incident occurred, said, “It is sad and shocking that community leaders and elders have stooped to this level.”
(With inputs from Sagar Rajput)
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