KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday ruled that the Qasr-e-Fatima, commonly known as Mohatta Palace, will be used for setting up a medical and dental college for girls.
The order comes in the wake of a long-running dispute over the legacy property of the late Fatima Jinnah in Clifton.
A single-judge bench of the SHC headed by Justice Zulfiqar Ahmed Khan ordered that the college would also have a hostel as both the plaintiff and the respondent agreed to settle the dispute amicably and gave their consent for the establishment of a medical and dental college .
The matter was adjourned till November 1 as both the sides also recommended the names of some retired judges and prominent doctors and relatives of the late Miss Jinnah to run the proposed medical college.
However, the future of the government-funded Mohatta Palace Museum is unclear.
Hussain Waliji, a relative of Miss Jinnah, filed a suit in 1971 regarding the administration of her movable and immovable properties, including the Qasr-e-Fatima.
After the death of Mr. Valiji, his son Amir Ali became the plaintiff, but he also died during the pendency of the trial and then his legal heirs became part of the proceedings.
The trial was initiated after the award of succession certificates of such properties to Shireen Jinnah, her only surviving sister, after Fatima Jinnah’s death on July 10, 1967. Shirin Jinnah Charitable Trust was made one of the defendants in the lawsuit.
In the previous hearing, the lawyers of both the sides – relatives of Fatima Jinnah (Plaintiff) and Shireen Jinnah Charitable Trust (Respondent) had informed the bench that they have considered the matter and resolved the long-standing dispute amicably. have proceeded to. The property was left by Miss Jinnah, and some offers were exchanged.
A provincial law officer also submitted that both sides were now moving towards the implementation of the wishes of the late Miss Jinnah, as translated through the trust deed, where it was desired that the premises of Qasr-e-Fatima will be used to establish a modern medicine. College exclusively for girls and an attached hospital for free treatment of underprivileged persons/patients.
Thereafter, the Bench asked the Provincial Law Officer to go through the various orders of the court and record a statement as to what assistance was provided to achieve the objectives of using the property as per the wishes of its owners Fatima Jinnah. May go and Shireen Jinnah.
Earlier, a lawyer had drawn the attention of the bench to an order of the SHC passed in 1996 to dig up other properties left by Miss Jinnah, which were allegedly handed over to the trustees through a declaration on which A report was filed by the officer. Listing some of the personal properties of Quaid-e-Azam and Miss Jinnah in the same year.
He sought an updated report from the official assignee in this regard, thus the bench directed the official assignee to provide an updated list to arrive at a proper conclusion in the matter.
A lawyer had also cited an earlier order of the SHC issued in 1993, which ordered that the provincial government shall deposit an amount of Rs 61,188,000 with the official assignment as the provisional sale price of Qasr-e-Fatima. and insisted that the property was handed over to him only for repair and maintenance at the request of the Sindh government.
The counsel, citing various earlier orders, said that an initial amount of Rs 61 million by way of a check was deposited by the provincial government with Adalat Nazeer in 1994, which sought to deposit the balance amount of Rs 188,000 within a week. was pioneered, but this balance was deposited in 1996. Using this amount, Nazir bought Defense Savings Certificates (DSC) and Special Savings Certificates (SSC) which were still lying with him.
Nazir had informed the court that the original profit earned on DSC as on November 2, 2004 was Rs 608,500, and that of SSC as on January 16, 2013 was Rs 399,959,500.
He further said in a report filed in September 2015 that DSC was owed benefits for a period of 10 years and SSC for a period of two and a half years.
It may be recalled that on the previous order, the bench had allowed the plea of the plaintiff’s counsel regarding calling the property as Qasr-e-Fatima instead of Mohatta Palace in the official documents.
It ordered the provincial government and other defendants to ensure that the name, tag, label and description of the said property continued only as Qasr-e-Fatima and all documents containing any other name to describe the said property. was used, should be corrected. .
Published in Dawn, October 14, 2021