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

A board warns passersby now not to walk or park close to a crumbling building with “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 more fragile because it starts to rain. According to folks that personal shops across the building, the cinema corridor shut down more than 30 years ago. The most effective seen vestiges of the corridor are 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 enemy belonging.

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The petitioners have, consequently, approached the Bombay High Court in search of intervention. Sunil Shah, who owns Diamond Sales Corporation after the talkies, says the single display cinema, which was one of the less expensive ones within the location, became firstly owned by using a Parsi own family, which also owned other cinemas across the street 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 owners of the prevailing assets beneath the Enemy Property Act asking why the switch of hire of the property from consideration to them ought to be now not 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 asset.” 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 problems 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 observed the reality that the Joint Secretary of Home Affairs has 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 response, they seek time. It is clear via an order of May four, 2017, that the BMC can proceed by 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 to be counted. According to the petition filed using Poddar Infraventures Limited, which seeks to quash the show reason note issued using 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 acceptance as true dated May 20, 1943, made by using Jehangir Shapoorji Bhavani, Animal Jehangirji Bhavani, and Shapoorji Jehangirji Bhavani, the Diana Talkies Trust changed into the 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 construction, the trust started exploring the opportunity of promoting the construction. 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.”

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

Thereafter, several reminders had been despatched to the ministry to make 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 the authority to determine at the showcase. “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 using 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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