The Bombay High Court today dismissed a petition seeking direction to the Union government to expeditiously take a decision on declaring nuclear scientist Homi Bhabha’s bungalow ‘Meherangir’ at Malabar Hill here as a national monument.
Raam Dhuri, president of National Forum for Aided Institutions Employees (Department of Atomic Energy), in his petition had also sought direction to the purchasers (through auction) of the sprawling bungalow not to carry out any demolition or repair work pending decision from the Centre.
A division bench of justices S C Dharmadhikari and B P Colabawalla while dismissing the petition took into consideration an order passed by another bench of the high court in a similar petition. The high court had then directed the petitioners to approach the Centre.
Dhuri approached the high court in July after the Centre failed to take any decision.
Recently, the Charity Commissioner allowed National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA), to whom the property was bequeathed, to go ahead with the sale of the bungalow.
Senior counsel Rajiv Chavan, appearing for the petitioner, had argued that the bungalow has historical significance as regards to the person who visited it, including the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and it should be preserved.
The sprawling sea-facing Malabar Hill bungalow was recently auctioned for over Rs 300 crore by the NCPA, its custodian.