Homi Bhabha's bungalow: HC seeks govt affidavits

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday, directed the Centre and Maharashtra government to file their affidavits in reply to a petition seeking declaration of nuclear scientist Homi Bhabha's bungalow 'Meherangir' as a national monument.

A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawala has also asked the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), the custodian of the bungalow at Malabar Hill in south Mumbai, to file its affidavit by August 4.

In his petition, Raam Dhuri, president of National Forum for Aided Institutions Employees (Department of Atomic Energy), has also sought a direction to the auction purchasers of the sprawling bungalow against carrying out any demolition or repair work pending a decision from the Centre in this regard.

The bench today queried if any demolition work has been carried out. It was informed in the negative. The petition claims that the high court, while hearing another petition on the same issue in September 2014, had directed the petitioners to approach the Centre.

"The Union government has till date not taken any decision. The auction purchasers of the bungalow had in September 2014 assured the court that they do not propose to demolish the building nor do they propose to make any changes in the bungalow for a period of six months, by when the Union government can take a decision," the petition said.

It stated that in its letter in March, the state government requested the Centre to take appropriate steps to declare the bungalow as a national monument.

The sprawling sea-facing bungalow was auctioned for over Rs 300 crore by NCPA.

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