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Plea in HC alleges Saifee hospital encroached on graveyard

The Bombay High Court has recently disposed of a petition filed by Ali Akbar Adamjee Peerbhoy, the scion of philanthropist Peerbhoy family, which alleged that the multi-storyed Saifee Hospital here had encroached upon a graveyard where his ancestors lay buried.

The Peerbhoy family had donated their land to set up the state-of-the-art Saifee Hospital. Later, they learnt that the hospital had allegedly encroached upon the graveyard where their kith and kin lay buried, the petition alleged.

Ali Akbar Peerbhoy filed a plea in the Bombay High Court, demanding that FIR be lodged against the guilty officials of the hospital trust.

The petition was disposed of by Justice Ranjit More and Dr. Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi, who asked the police to record a supplementary statement of Peerbhoy and take appropriate action within seven days.

Earlier, his statement had been recorded but police wanted to record his supplementary statement.

Peerbhoy told that the authorities are yet to take action though police recorded his supplementary statement on January 30 as per directives of the high court.

He demanded action against those responsible for encroaching the graveyard, saying that they had hurt the sentiments of the Peerbhoy family.

Peerbhoy alleged that the graveyard was allegedly encroached in 2012 after more than 1,000 graves were exhumed.

Peerbhoy said his great grandfather had bought land at Charni Road in South Mumbai in 1884 in erstwhile Bombay to set up a mosque, sanatorium, a charitable hospital and a graveyard for the Bohra community.

After his death in 1913, a trust was created in 1931, called Sir Adamjee Peerbhoy Sanatorium Trust. In 1973, Saifee Hospital trust was created and after 32 years the new Saifee Hospital started functioning, said Peerbhoy.

The Supreme Court, in 2000, had directed the Trust to ensure that the new construction should not affect the mosque and the graveyard. While the mosque still remains, the graveyard was allegedly taken over to accommodate a canteen for the hospital, alleged Peerbhoy.

Sir Adamji Peerbhoy, who had donated land for Saifee Hospital trust, was conferred knighthood by the British during its rule in India in 1907. He also set up Matheran Hill Railway. He was the first Indian Sheriff of Mumbai in 1897. Later, he was appointed Justice of Peace. He was also social reformer of Dawoodi Bohra Community.

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