Mumbai: ‘Not Keen On Selling Hotel Marine Plaza To Shoreline At All’, Clarifies Javed Shroff, Chairman Of Habib Trust

Mumbai: ‘Not Keen On Selling Hotel Marine Plaza To Shoreline At All’, Clarifies Javed Shroff, Chairman Of Habib Trust

mThe Habib Trust was set up in 1934 for the welfare of the Khoja Ishnashari community of Shia Muslims. The hotel is owned by the Habib Trust. In the 1980’s it was known as “Sea Face”.

S BalakrishnanUpdated: Wednesday, October 18, 2023, 12:33 PM IST
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‘Not Keen On Selling Hotel Marine Plaza To Shoreline At All’: Javed Shroff, Chairman Of Habib Trust |

Javed Shroff, 51, is the Chairman of the Habib Trust, which is fighting a brave battle to retain possession and save its Rs500 crore worth Hotel Marine Plaza on Marine Drive. Since complaints to the Mumbai Police fell on deaf ears, the Trust has moved the Bombay High Court for justice. In this regard, S Balakrishnan spoke to Mr Shroff. Excerpts from an interview:

What is the controversy regarding Hotel Marine Plaza?

The Habib Trust was set up in 1934 for the welfare of the Khoja Ishnashari community of Shia Muslims. The hotel is owned by the Habib Trust. In the 1980’s it was known as “Sea Face”. Then it was known as Hotel Bombay International and now as Hotel Marine Plaza. The Trust had entered into a conducting agreement with Shoreline Pvt Ltd to manage the hotel. The agreement lapsed on February 28 2022.

However, Shoreline is illegally continuing to conduct the operations and is insisting that we renew the agreement. They have demanded a renewal for 16 years and thereafter for 24 years for a pittance of Rs8 lakh a month. We are simply not agreeable to this.

Is the dispute over the sale price?

No. We are not interested in selling the hotel to anyone and certainly not to Shoreline. In any case, the property cannot be sold without the charity commissioner's permission.

Then why did you attend a meeting to discuss the sale?

I attended the meeting purely at the insistence of Congress MLA Amin Patel. He put tremendous pressure on me to attend the meeting with Rahim Maredia, director of Shoreline. Both Mr Patel and I are in the Congress party. The demand was for the renewal of the conducting agreement. The offer being made was Rs8 lakh per month for running the entire hotel. The meeting was called and coordinated by Mr Patel.

When and where did the meeting take place and who were all present?

At Hotel Sahara Star opposite Santa Cruz airport. Present at the meeting were Amin Patel, myself and the directors of Shoreline Rahim Maredia and Muneer Mohamed Bharwani.

What happened at the meeting?

We received an offer to renew the agreement for Rs8 lakh per month. We rejected the offer outright. We were also told that 50% of the hotel will be made sharia compliant. The names of Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel were dropped. But we did not give in.

Why did you not complain to the cops?

We did. However, we were shocked when we found that they were not even willing to record our statements for the FIR. It appears that due to tremendous pressure from interested parties, the police stopped answering our calls. We felt like aliens in our own Mumbai. Interestingly, the Trust is not even in the constituency of Mr Patel. As a public representative, he should have supported a charitable organisation like the Habib Trust. We have now moved to the Bombay High Court and are hopeful of getting justice. As for me, I have sought police protection since my life is in danger.

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