Central Govt to maintain status quo on Jinnah House

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Mumbai, Dec 10 (UNI) The Central Goverment today assured the Bombay High Court that it will maintain status quo with respect to ''Jinnah House'' -- Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah's property in Mumbai.

Counsel for the Union of India today informed the Bombay High Court status quo would be maintained till the next date of hearing on February 13, 2008.

At present, the ''Jinnah House'' lies vacant with the Central Government having taken its possession in 1955.

Dina Wadia, wife of textile entrepreneur Neville Wadia and sole daughter of Jinnah, had moved the High Court seeking ownership rights over the property.

The 88-year-old Dina Wadia, who at present is residing in the US with her three daughters, had said emotional ties were attached with the house and she wanted to spend her last days there.

The Central Government had opposed the petition saying that the Jinnah had bequethed ''Jinnah House'' to his sister Fatima Jinnah who migrated to Pakistan after Partition and became an evacuee.

Dina Wadia, according to the government was neither an evacuee nor legal heir of the late Fatima Jinnah and, therefore, has no claim over ''Jinnah House''.

The three-storeyed ''Jinnah House'', situated in the posh Malabar Hills, was built in 1935 by a British architect. In 1939, Jinnah occupied the bungalow after he returned from England and led the Muslim League in India. The meetings regarding the Independence movement and later the Partition movement took place in this historical place. Running into crores of rupees, the bungalow was also claimed by the Pakistan government as they wanted to convert it into a museum.

UNI

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