In our Issue No. 142 of 7th August 2022 we informed the community of the Misc. Petition No. 23225 of 2022 filed in July 2022 by 9 Petitioners viz. Kaikhushru Irani, Arzan Ghadially, Sharukh Billimoria, Vispi Irani, Farrokh Kolah, Neville Zaveri, Aspi Tantra, Yasmin Mistry and Noshir Dadrawala, against 27 Respondents who are:
1) Bombay Parsi Punchayet,
2) the Chief Election Commissioner Commodore Aspi Marker, and the 9 Election Commissioners, viz.
3) Counsel Cyrus Bharucha,
4) Squadron Leader Minoo Wadia,
5) Advocate Berjis Desai,
6) Banker Hoshang Sinor,
7) Advocate Sanaya Dadachanji,
8) Counsel Minoo Siodia,
9) Advocate Kainaz Irani,
10) Advocate Malcolm Siganporia,
11) Activist Zenobia Unwalla, the 14 Candidates who contested the 29th May 2022 elections (excluding Kaikhushru Irani who came last among 15 candidates), including the 7 elected Trustees viz.,
12) Mrs. Armaity Tirandaz, Chairman of BPP,
13) Anahita Desai,
14) Adil Malia,
15) Hoshang Jal,
16) Maharukh Noble,
17) Viraf Mehta,
18) Xerxes Dastur,
19) Dara Patel,
20) Farhad Hozdar,
21) Farhanaz Irani,
22) Kersi Randeria,
23) Rumi Zarir,
24) Tehmtan Dumasia,
25) Zuleika Homavazir, and the two EVM Operators viz.
26) Salbro Engineers and
27) Delloite Touch Tohmatsu India LLP, to set aside 29th May 2022 Elections and hold fresh Elections

The main complaint of the Petitioners is that the malfunctioning of some EVMs was not attended and rectified by the Election Commissioners which led to votes not being recorded correctly and hence seek re-election.

The BPP and Trustees representing the community will have to pay legal costs of crores if the matter is admitted and argued aside from further Rs. 50 lakhs as cost of holding another election if the Petition succeeds.

It is ironic that though the Petition of Kaikhushru Irani and others is basically filed against the 10 Election Commissioners so proudly appointed by the Division Bench of the High Court, their legal cost will be nil as several Parsi counsels and Advocates have come forward to represent them free of all legal charges i.e. pro bono and the biggest financial loss will be to BPP and BPP alone.

None of the Petitioners will also have to bear any legal costs as Kaikhushru Irani makes lakhs of rupees by hiring out the Parsi Lying-in Hospital premises for film and advt. shooting from which a large part is taken in cash from the film shooters as per a written confession given to us by one of the film shooter.

Coming back to the Election Petition, the first date of hearing of this Election Petition was 2nd August 2022 before His Honor Judge Colabawalla which was adjourned to 11th August as the Judge was on sick leave. On 11th August the matter did not reach hearing and was adjourned to 18th August but again the matter did not reach hearing and was adjourned to 23rd August when due to paucity of time the matter did not reach and was adjourned to 25th August when once again the matter did not reach and was adjourned to 30th August. However, it seems that the matter was mentioned before HH Judge Colabawalla by the Advocate for the Petitioners on 29th August without intimation to any of the Respondents for seeking circulation but the same was not granted as the Hon’ble Justice B.P. Colabawalla recused himself from hearing the matter by passing Orders “Not before me”. Subsequently, the Advocate of the Petitioners sent a Notice that the matter is listed for hearing on 13th September before His Honor Judge N.J. Jamadar.
On 13th September, Trustees Counsel sought time to file a reply to the Misc. Petition and matter was adjourned to 20th September with orders to serve the Trustees reply to the Petitioners by 17th September. On 14th Sept. advocate of the Trustees received notice from the advocate of the Petitioners to serve the Trustees reply on or before 17th Sept. Trustees reply was forwarded to the Petitioners advocate on 17th Sept. On 20th Sept, Petitioner advocate sought time to file Rejoinder and the matter was adjourned to 27th Sept. Respondent No. 26 also filed his reply that day, the matter was adjourned to 27th Sept. On 27th Sept. the advocate for the Petitioners filed his Rejoinder and the matter was adjourned to 6th October 2022. On 6th October the matter was listed for hearing before HH Judge Jamadar and when the matter reached hearing the Judge informed all the parties that his assignment had changed and hence he would not be hearing the Petition.
On 7th October, the Petitioners Advocate mentioned the matter before His Honor Judge Manish Pitale for seeking circulation and the Court has listed the matter for hearing on 14th October. Mrs. Armaity Tirandaz has filed a reply to the Election Petition on behalf of the Trust and the 7 Trustees being Respondent Nos. 1, 12,13,14,18,20,23 and 24.

Source: Parsi Junction