Mumbai: 2 Church Bodies Belonging To Church Of North India Ordered To Evict Headquarters At Bombay Gymkhana

Mumbai: 2 Church Bodies Belonging To Church Of North India Ordered To Evict Headquarters At Bombay Gymkhana

The property was leased to the trust in the 1950s, but in April 2022, the Defence Estate Office, Colaba, passed an order evicting the trust which challenged the decision.

Manoj RamakrishnanUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2024, 09:52 AM IST
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Mumbai: The city civil court has dismissed an appeal filed by the administrative body of the Church of North India (CNI), a Protestant denomination, challenging the eviction from its headquarters across Bombay Gymkhana by the owners, the Defence Ministry.

About The Building

The building on Hazarimal Somani Marg houses the Bombay Diocesan Council and the Bombay Diocesan Trust Association (BDTA), the governing bodies of the CNI, formerly a part of the Anglican Church. The property was leased to the trust in the 1950s, but in April 2022, the Defence Estate Office, Colaba, passed an order evicting the trust which challenged the decision.

Eviction Order Upheld

Principal Judge A Subramanian, in the order dated May 7, upheld the eviction order and ordered the BDTA to vacate the property on or before July 8. It could not be verified whether the BDTA is appealing against the order.

Allegations Against The Church

The land, measuring 4,266 sq yards (3,566.92 sq mt) is meant for religious purposes, but there are accusations that the lease terms were violated by renting it out for non-religious use. There are also allegations that unauthorised constructions were added without the permission of the defence authorities. There are several parallel bodies, each claiming to be the authorised BDTA.

The trust was asked to demolish illegal structures and evict unauthorised occupants from the building. The BDTA appealed against the eviction order. After the judgment, CNI community groups alleged that corruption in the church administration has led to the loss of properties. This includes properties like the Wilson College Gymkhana and schools.

“The Christian community and all the members need to come together and take charge of the properties,” said the Christian Reform United People Association (CRUPA).

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