File affidavits in Parsi case: HC

KOLKATA: The Calcutta high court on Tuesday directed city resident Prochy N Mehta to file an affidavit in two weeks on a suit she filed complaining that late EDB Mehta’s Zoroastrian Anjuman Atash Adaran Trust wasn’t allowing her grandchildren (from her daughter’s side) to enter Atash Adaran, Kolkata’s only active fire temple, though they were initiated to the Zoroastrian faith by performance of the Navjote ceremony, as their father isn’t Parsi.

The matter came up for hearing before Justice Soumen Sen during the day but none of her lawyers were present in court. Justice Sen also directed the Parsi Zoroastrian Association of Kolkata to file its affidavit within four weeks. The matter will come up for hearing again after six weeks.

After Mehta moved court, the association filed an application pleading to be added as a party in the matter. The president of the association, Darayas Jamshed Bapooji, stated in his application that he should be a part of the hearing as the association “represents the interests of a majority of members of the Zoroastrian community who are beneficiaries of the trust. In court, the lawyer representing the association submitted the organisation is a necessary party in the matter as whatever decision the court takes will affect Parsis across the country.

There were no submissions on Mehta’s behalf as no lawyer was present to represent her.

According to Mehta, her grandchildren had been visiting Atash Adaran since 2006 without any hassle. However, with the change of the head priest (Dastur), the rights of admission to the children of Parsi women (professing the Zoroastrian faith but married to a non-Parsi), even if such children were duly initiated, were revoked.

Published on Times of India