Dina Wadia fought a long legal battle for Jinnah House

Mumbai, Nov 3: The seafront bungalow on Malabar Hill built by Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah was at the centre of a prolonged battle between his daughter Dina Wadia and the Indian government. 

Wadia died in New York yesterday at the age of 98. Her petition to regain control of her childhood home is still pending for a final hearing the before a division bench of the Bombay High Court. 

The palatial 'Jinnah House', originally known as South Court, was witness to meetings of the Muslim League and a crucial meeting between Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Jinnah before partition.

Wadia, born to Jinnah's Parsi wife, Rattanbai Petit, in London in August 1919, had insisted that the stately house, designed in European-style architecture, be called South Court.

In 2007, Pakistan's then president Pervez Musharraf had expressed his desire to acquire the house as Pakistan's property to convert it into a consulate. 

The same year (in August 2007), Wadia (then 88), knocked the doors of the Bombay High Court with a petition claiming that the title of the mansion be handed over to her as she was the only heir to Jinnah. 

 Wadia spent many years in Mumbai but had been living in the US for the past few decades. In her petition, she said she wished to spend her remaining years in the house in Mumbai where she had spent her childhood years.

Wadia, in the petition, had claimed that the bungalow could not be classified as "evacuee property" as her father had died without leaving behind a will.

The petition last came up for hearing before a division bench of Justices S V Gangapurwala and A M Badar on July 28 this year which adjourned it simply to September 7. It has not come up for hearing since then.

PTI