Eviction case against BPP dismissed

Small Causes Court Judge Govind Masand today dismissed the eviction case filed by the Sir J J Parsee Benevolent Institute Trust against their tenant the Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP). Rent act lawyer Kersasp (Kersi) Bhot vociferously fought the case for the BPP from inception, even though the BPP refrained from paying him his fees or even expenses over several years. He had reportedly even been assaulted by the opposition lawyer during a commission hearing in the Court Library.

The J J trust had filed the case in 2002 stating they required the premises on 209 Dr Dadabhai Naoroji Road for bonafide purposes, for their Sir J J Fort Boys' and Girls' High School. The School is housed on the lower floors of the building. The BPP occupies most of the third floor along with the J J trust office.

Former BPP trustee and later chairman Dinshaw Mehta had fought against accepting a compromise offer made initially by the J J trust that the BPP could stay for 10 years and then vacate the premises. Mehta believed the BPP had a strong case as the J J trust was formed for Parsi Zoroastrian students of which the school has less than a handful. He convinced his co-trustees they would win. Mehta was cross examined for around two months and his testimony went on to several hundred pages

When the plaintiffs’ trustee Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy was asked if the trust would appeal, he replied, "Let’s first wait and see the contents of the Order. We shall decide thereafter.”