Diana Talkies — an ‘enemy assets’ on a shaky floor

A board warns passersby now not to walk or park close to a crumbling building that has “Diana” written across it in ambitious letters. Once a bustling cinema hall in Tardeo, the discolored building is propped up by way of bamboo sticks and appears even greater fragile because it starts of evolved to rain. According to folks that personal shops across the building, the cinema corridor shut down more than 30 years in the past. The most effective seen vestiges of the corridor is the field office and a manager’s cabin that may be seen from the damaged front of the structure, which has vegetation developing out of it and tarpaulin unfold inside. Poddar Infraventures Limited, proprietors of the decrepit shape, at the moment are torn between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that has issued a demolition word to the dilapidated shape and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) that had earlier declared it an enemy belongings.

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The petitioners have, consequently, approached the Bombay High Court in search of intervention. Sunil Shah, who owns Diamond Sales Corporation subsequent to the talkies, says the single display cinema, which was one of the less expensive ones within the location, become firstly owned by using a Parsi own family, which additionally owned other cinemas across the place. “Diana Talkies become later sold to a Gujarati man or woman, I assume. The constructing has been mendacity unused for years. Parts of it have crumbled however no one cares,” he delivered. On April 10, 2017, the BMC had issued a demolition observe to the existing proprietors, Poddar Infraventures Limited, due to the dilapidated circumstance of the 74-12 months-vintage building, which may be a “danger to lifestyles and assets inside the surrounding place”. The demolition has not been achieved due to an ongoing case relating to Diana Talkies over a 2013 display cause word issued by using the Ministry of Home Affairs to the prevailing assets owners beneath the Enemy Property Act asking why the switch of hire of the property from a consideration to them ought to now not be termed “void”. According to the Centre, a fourth of the property belongs to “an enemy”, a Pakistani beneficiary of the consider from whom the petitioner had bought it.


The gift proprietors have challenged the terming of the shape as an “enemy assets”. They have argued that the assets belonged to the consideration and the beneficiary had best a right to the income. While the Enemy Property (Amendment and Validation) Act may suggest more problem for the property, consistent with the petition filed by Poddar Infraventures Limited, “the provisions of Enemy Property Act and the Amendment Act do not apply to the prevailing case”. Recently, listening to the matter, a bench headed by using Chief Justice Manjula Chellur took observe of the reality that the Joint Secretary Home Affairs become alleged to have passed an order finding out the destiny of the cinema corridor after listening to the petition in 2015. But it’s far yet to be completed. “The gift problem appears to have arisen on account of a be aware issued by BMC. Though the Union of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, the Custodian have been directed to document a respond, they are seeking time. It is clear via an order of May four, 2017, that the BMC can proceed in accordance with the law based on the attention issued by using them,” the court stated.

The court further held that the petitioner could now not be responsible for non-compliance of the notice “since the petitioners cannot take a similar path of motion on its very own because of the pendency of the litigation”. It has granted the Union of India 4 weeks to report a reply on this be counted. According to the petition filed by using Poddar Infraventures Limited, which seeks to quash of the show reason note issued by means of the ministry: “One Eileen Jamshedji Petit and others had been at the beginning proprietors of Diana Talkies belongings. Sometime in 1942 the Diana Talkies constructing changed into constructed.” By a registered declaration of the accept as true with dated May 20, 1943, made by using Jehangir Shapoorji Bhavani, Animal Jehangirji Bhavani and Shapoorji Jehangirji Bhavani, the Diana Talkies Trust changed into installation as a private agreement with Bai Freni, Bai Dinabai, and Bai Dhunabai as beneficiaries. Bai Dhunabai who were given 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 profits coming of the proportion of Dhunabai with the custodian, who turned into entitled to one-fourth percentage in the property. The cinema residence needed to be close down inside the Eighties owing to the loss it changed into making. Unable to keep the constructing, the trust started exploring the opportunity of promoting the constructing. In February 2007, a Memorandum of Understanding was carried out between the petitioner and the trustees in which the trustees agreed to assign the premises to the petitioner. The trustees informed the custodian approximately the identical. According to the petition, the custodian then sought the felony opinion of the Joint Secretary, Ministry of Law and Justice, and was knowledgeable that “the Custodian is handiest entitled to the income thing of the corpus”.

The petitioner was then given a no-objection certificate by using the custodian and the continue of the one-fourth share of the premises had been often deposited with the custodian. After Bai Dhunabai exceeded away in October 2007, the entire corpus belonging to her was surpassed over to the custodian. In 2013, the Ministry of Home Affairs, however, issued a notice to the petitioners below provisions of the Enemy Property Act. The petitioners then approached the High Court, which ordered for fame-quo to be maintained and asked the Ministry of Home Affairs to take a selection in the rely on 2015.

Thereafter, several reminders had been despatched to the ministry to take a selection within the depend. In April this yr, the BMC be aware added to the issues surrounding the belongings. The petitioners claim that they knew the ministry about the BMC observes thereafter looking for for the authority to determine at the showcase be aware. “The Diana Talkies constructing is a vintage dilapidated structure constructed in the 12 months 1942. The dilapidated and ruinous circumstance of Diana Talkies building poses a hazard to existence and assets,” the awareness issued by means of the BMC stated. With its destiny but to be decided, the decrepit Diana Talkies receives ready to brave yet any other onslaught of monsoon in Mumbai.

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