When Can Lawyers Expect To Resume Their Patronage Of Dwarka Vegetarian Restaurant? Bombay HC Asks BMC To Give Status Report

When Can Lawyers Expect To Resume Their Patronage Of Dwarka Vegetarian Restaurant? Bombay HC Asks BMC To Give Status Report

Dwarka, renowned for its vegetarian delights, was popular with the legal fraternity due to its proximity to the high court and the city civil and sessions court

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, March 21, 2024, 02:28 PM IST
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Bombay HC | File

Known for his not so subtle satire and word play, the Bombay High Court bench led by Justice Gautam Patel has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to submit a report on progress made and timelines for completion of the essential repair work of the 100-year-old DG Chambers in Fort Bombay which houses Dwarka Hotel. Dwarka, renowned for its vegetarian delights, was popular with the legal fraternity due to its proximity to the high court and the city civil and sessions court. 

The Free Press Journal had reported on January 28 the HC order which directed Kamath Brothers, which run Dwarka, and 21 other tenants, to vacate the premises by January 29 so that the owners, Irishman Developers Pvt Ltd can undertake the repairs of the building. Kamath Brothers moved the high court recently, through their advocate Simil Purohit, claiming that despite them having vacated the premises, there has been no progress on the repair work of the building. 

The judges' remarks

“Mr (Simil) Purohit seems to be personally peeved. He says that he was until recently, like many of us were, some of us a long time ago, a regular at the Dwarka Hotel at the western end of Dalal Street,” noted a bench of Justices Patel and Kamal Khata on Tuesday. “As a result — and Mr Purohit only hints at this — large sections of the legal community have suffered, especially in the High Court and the City Civil Court. He does not go quite so far as to suggest that there is therefore now a compelling public interest; but indeed well he might at some stage,” the court said, adding: “After all, who are we to come in the way of the much needed sustenance and refuelling of advocates at our Bar?”

The judges remarked that there is “undeniable urgency”, since the matter has been going on since October 2023. Dwarka shifted out in February 2024. “Since then, Mr Purohit and his fraternity have been without the benefits of Dwarka’s menu. This is the cause of Mr Purohit’s post-prandial ire,” the judges said. Purohit said that if the owners, represented by advocate Yashodeep Deshmukh, will not restore the building, then “Dwarka will exercise its rights to restore”. This attempt “to deprive Dwarka and through Dwarka the legal community” will not succeed, Purohit added.

The judges remarked that Deshmukh was “somewhat conflicted”. “We see where his personal sympathies lie. But his instructions are otherwise, and he is bound by those. Delicately treading this tightrope, he submits that indeed repairs or re-development must progress, but the situation at the site does not allow for an instant solution. His clients have indeed made progress, but other factors have intervened,” the bench added. Deskhmukh showed some repair work papers and some loose documents to support his submission. However, the court said that these need to be properly organised. 

The judges said they expect a status report from the BMC, “which was once upon a time the Bombay Municipal Corporation or BMC, then the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai or MCGM and now, old wine in an older bottle, is the BMC again” on the progress on repairs and timeline for completion of repair work. “And when our lawyers can expect to resume their patronage of the Dwarka vegetarian restaurant,” the court said while keeping the matter for hearing on March 22, 2024.

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