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Parsi Punchayet to go back to court on 'renegade' Parsi priests matter

Wednesday, 16 April 2014 - 10:25am IST | Agency: dna

The Bombay Parsi Punchayet (BPP), the apex body of the Parsis in the city, on Tuesday decided to take the 'renegade' priest matter back to the Supreme Court. The decision was taken a day before the Punchayet was to give its explanation to the court on the matter.

The BPP, in two previous hearings before the court had stated that despite the mediation process through court-appointed mediator, Sriram Panchoo, it wanted time to sort out the matter amicably. But on Tuesday, the trustees of the Punchayet decided by a majority vote (5-2) to fight the case in court.

dna had in on February 21, 2014, reported about the mediation efforts between the BPP and the two petitioners who took up the matter on behalf of two Parsi priests had failed. The priests had been banned from entering Doongerwadi and other fire temples for alleged "irreligious activities".

The activities included after-death prayers for Parsis who were cremated, religious ceremonies like navjot for children whose father was not a Parsi and conducting mixed marriages. The two priests, Khushro Madon and Framroze Mirza, were banned in 2009.

Following the ban, two petitioners, former municipal commissioner Jamshed Kanga and a prominent Parsi Homi Khusrokhan, approached the high court. The court quashed the ban on the priests in 2011. The high court's decision was challenged by the BPP in the Supreme Court, which then appointed a mediator to try and settle the dispute amicably.

"They seem to have decided to go by the court," said Khusrokhan.

"On Wednesday, we will tell the court that we will take the case forward by fighting it out. We decided by a 5-2 majority that we will fight the case," said Dinshaw Mehta, chairman, BPP.

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