Jinnah House Is Indian Government’s Property: MEA Dismisses Pakistan’s Claims
Mumbai: Dismissing Pakistan’s claim over Jinnah House in Mumbai, the Indian Government on Friday said that Pakistan can claim no locus standi vis-à-vis the property. MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said,”Pakistan has no locus standi as far as this property is concerned. It is a government of India property and we are in the process of renovating it and using it the way we use Hyderabad House in Delhi.”
Both the countries have entered into a fresh tussle over the ownership of South Court building in Mumbai’s Malabar Hills area, known as Jinnah House as it served as the residence of the Muslim League leader before the partition of India in 1947.
Kumar added that Pakistan wasn’t in the picture in the matter and that India’s stand on the building was unequivocal. The government is currently working to renovate Jinnah House, despite protests by Pakistan that the building should be under its control.
On the other hand, Pakistan wants the building to be handed over to it so that the building can be used to accommodate dignitaries of the Pakistani Consulate.
“We have a claim over it (Jinnah House) and we do not accept that anyone tries to take custody of it. They (Indians) have already accepted that it belongs to Pakistan. We have record of it. They (Indians) have accepted that it belongs to Pakistan,” Pakistan foreign office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal said.
In August 2007, Jinnah’s daughter Dina Wadia had approached the Bombay High Court, claiming that being the legal heir of her father, she should be granted the possession of the bungalow. After her death, her son Ness Wadia is carrying on the litigation.
Notably, Mohammed Ali Jinnah had built the house in 1936 on a 2.5-acre plot. The sea-facing building was designed by architect Claude Batley and stands opposite the Maharashtra Chief Minister’s official residence. The protected heritage structure was the venue of a crucial meeting between Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jinnah before Partition. The entire structure is built of white marble and wood and exudes a colonial charm.