Woman gets HC relief, can contest Bombay Parsi Panchayat polls

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Mumbai, Mar 12 (PTI) The Bombay High Court on Friday permitted a city based Parsi woman, who was denied a chance to contest the community's panchayat polls on the ground that the person who nominated her for the polls was not a Parsi, to stand for the upcoming Bombay Parsi Panchayat elections.

A bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and Vinay Joshi set aside a judgement of a single bench of HC and permitted Zuleika Homavazir to contest the polls scheduled for March 14 this year.

Homavazir's nomination was rejected by the Panchayat Trustees on the ground that her proposer, Rustom Jeejeebhoy, had renounced the Parsi faith and converted to Christianity.

A single bench of HC had upheld the Trustees' decision earlier this year, following which Homavazir appealed before the division bench led by Justice Kathawalla.

In her plea, she said Jeejeebhoy was a well known philanthropist and one of the founding members of the Bombay Parsi Panchayat.

She also said he was very much a Parsi as his name was still in the Panchayat's general register and its voters' list.

She said news of his conversion to Christianity was actually a rumour circulated on social media.

The division bench took note of the above submissions and said the single bench erred in denying Homavazir relief.

'Until the name of Shri RN Jeejeebhoy appears on the General Register and is not struck off, the Appellant (Homavazir) was fully justified in submitting her nomination form proposed by Shri RN Jeejeebhoy, and the Trustees have incorrectly rejected the same,' HC said. PTI AYA BNM BNM