Diana Talkies — an ‘enemy property’ on a shaky ground

BMC notice to demolish seventy four-yr-antique shapes has no longer be accomplished with owners hard ‘enemy property’ tag in court; HC asks Centre to report reply in 4 weeks.
A board warns passersby no longer to walk or park close to a crumbling building that has “Diana” written throughout it in ambitious letters. Once a bustling cinema corridor in Tardeo, the discolored building is propped up by means of bamboo sticks and looks even more fragile because it starts to rain. According to individuals who very own stores across the building, the cinema corridor closes down more than 30 years ago. The best seen vestiges of the corridor are the field office and a supervisor’s cabin that may be visible from the broken the front of the shape, which has flora growing out of it and tarpaulin to unfold inside. Poddar Infraventures Limited, proprietors of the decrepit shape, at the moment are torn among the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that has issued a demolition note to the dilapidated structure and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that had in advance declared it an enemy belongings.
The petitioners have, hence, approached the Bombay High Court in search of intervention. Sunil Shah, who owns Diamond Sales Corporation next to the talkies, says the unmarried screen cinema, which becomes one of the affordable ones inside the area, turned into originally owned by means of a Parsi circle of relatives, which also owned different cinemas across the region. “Diana Talkies was later bought by a Gujarati person, I assume. The building has been lying unused for years. Parts of it have crumbled but nobody cares,” he added. On April 10, 2017, the BMC had issued a demolition word to the existing proprietors, Poddar Infraventures Limited, thanks to the dilapidated situation of the seventy four-yr-old building, which will be a “threat to life and belongings inside the surrounding location”. The demolition has now not been carried out because of an ongoing case referring to Diana Talkies over a 2013 show purpose be aware issued via the Ministry of Home Affairs to the existing assets proprietors under the Enemy Property Act asking why the transfer of rent of the assets from a consideration to them should now not be termed “void”. According to the Centre, a fourth of the belongings belong to “an enemy”, a Pakistani beneficiary of the trust from whom the petitioner had bought it.

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The present owners have challenged the terming of the shape as an “enemy property”. They have argued that the assets belonged to the agreement with and the beneficiary had best a proper to the profits. While the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act may mean more trouble for the belongings, in line with the petition filed by Poddar Infraventures Limited, “the provisions of Enemy Property Act and the Amendment Act do not apply to the present case”. Recently, hearing the problem, a bench headed by using Chief Justice Manjula Chellur took observer of the truth that the Joint Secretary Home Affairs became alleged to have passed an order figuring out the destiny of the cinema hall after hearing the petition in 2015. But it is yet to be done. “The gift trouble appears to have arisen resulting from a word issued by means of BMC.

Though the Union of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, the Custodian were directed to file a reply, they’re looking for time. It is apparent by using an order of May four, 2017, that the BMC can continue in accordance with a law based on the attention issued with the aid of them,” the court docket stated.
The court similarly held that the petitioner could now not be accountable for non-compliance of the attention “because the petitioners can not take the similar route of motion on its own because of the pendency of the litigation”. It has granted the Union of India four weeks to report a reply on this matter. According to the petition filed by using Poddar Infraventures Limited, which seeks to quash of the display cause be aware issued with the aid of the ministry: “One Eileen Jamshedji Petit and others have been at first owners of Diana Talkies assets. Sometime in 1942, the Diana Talkies building changed into constructed.” By a registered statement of the accept as true with dated May 20, 1943, made by Jehangir Shapoorji Bhavani, Animal Jehangirji Bhavani, and Shapoorji Jehangirji Bhavani, the Diana Talkies Trust become installation as a personal belief with Bai Freni, Bai Dinabai, and Bai Dhunabai as beneficiaries. Bai Dhunabai who got married after Independence went to Pakistan.
Under provisions of the Enemy Property Act, the trustees of Diana Talkies Trust had been required to deposit the income coming of the proportion of Dhunabai with the custodian, who turned into entitled to at least one-fourth percentage inside the belongings. The cinema residence needed to be shut down inside the Nineteen Eighties due to the loss it becomes making. Unable to maintain the constructing, the agreement with began exploring the opportunity of promoting the building. In February 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding was achieved between the petitioner and the trustees in which the trustees agreed to assign the premises to the petitioner. The trustees informed the custodian about the equal. According to the petition, the custodian then sought the prison opinion of the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice, and was knowledgeable that “the Custodian is best entitled to the profits thing of the corpus”.
The petitioner changed into then given a no-objection certificate by the custodian and the continuation of the only fourth percentage of the premises was frequently deposited with the custodian. After Bai Dhunabai exceeded away in October 2007, the complete corpus belonging to her turned into passed over to the custodian. In 2013, the Ministry of Home Affairs, but, issued a notice to the petitioners underneath provisions of the Enemy Property Act. The petitioners then approached the High Court, which ordered for reputation-quo to be maintained and asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to take a selection within the depend in 2015.
Thereafter, several reminders had been sent to the ministry to take a decision inside the remember. In April this 12 months, the BMC notice added to the issues surrounding the assets. The petitioners claim that they knew the ministry about the BMC word thereafter searching for the authority to decide on the show cause notice. “The Diana Talkies building is an antique dilapidated structure constructed within the yr 1942. The dilapidated and ruinous condition of Diana Talkies building poses threat to lifestyles and assets,” the notice issued by the BMC stated. With its destiny but to be determined, the decrepit Diana Talkies gets geared up to courageous but every other onslaught of monsoon in Mumbai.

 

 

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