Final hearing in Jinnah House case to start next month

Dina Wadia, the only child of Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah, moved the High Court in 2007, seeking to reclaim his bungalow, Jinnah House, located in south Mumbai' post Malabar Hill area.

A Division Bench headed by Justice P B Majmudar today said the case should be brought to an end. "Let's put an end to it one way or the other." It asked all parties to submit written statements or affidavits, if any, by first week of December.

Wadia is claiming ownership of the sprawling bungalow on the ground that Jinnah left no valid will, and the central government's notification declaring it as "evacuee property" (property left by those who migrated to Pakistan after the Partition) was illegal.

In a related development, senior lawyer Fali Nariman would not be representing Wadia in the case on the ground of propriety, as his son Rohinton is now the Solicitor General of India.

The Union of India is a party to the case, and is opposed to hand over of the property to anybody. It has told the court it intends to house South-Asian Cultural Centre there. Besides, there are intervention applications of Mohammed Rajabally Ebrahim and Shakir Mohammed Ebrahim, who claim a share in the property, contending that they are the descendants of Fatema Jinnah, Jinnah's sister.

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