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SHC orders to convert historic Mohatta Palace into medical college

SHC orders to convert historic Mohatta Palace into medical college. Source: Wikipedia.

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court ordered on Wednesday to convert the heritage site Mohatta Palace referred to as the Qasar-e-Fatima to be converted into a medical and dental college for girls.

The order came on a long-standing dispute over the heritage property of late Fatima Jinnah in Clifton. The court said that the college should include a hostel as both the plaintiffs and defendants agreed to amicably settle the dispute and establish the medical college.

The court said a plaque should be installed with the names of legal heirs. It added that a trust should be established to look after the affairs of the medical college and the hospital.

Some names suggested to run the trust include Dr Abdul Bari of Indus Hospital and SIUT’s Dr Adib Rizvi. The court has ordered the authorities to contact these people and acquire their consent to include them on the trust.

The development came during the hearing of the case of the distribution of Fatima Jinnah’s residence. The court also asked for a record of all the activities and income generated from Qasar-e-Fatima in the last 30 years.

The matter was adjourned till November 1 as both sides recommended the names of retired judges, doctors and relatives of late Ms Jinnah to be part of a trust to run the affairs of the proposed medical college.

READ MORE: Fatima Jinnah – Mother of the nation  

During a previous hearing, the bench had granted a request with regard to calling the property as Qasr-e-Fatima instead of Mohatta Palace in government documents.

The court had ordered the provincial government and other defendants to ensure that the property continued to be named as Qasr-e-Fatima only and all the documents where any other name was used to describe the property should be amended.

A suit was filed in 1971 by Hussain Waliji, a relative of Miss Jinnah about ownership of her properties including Qasr-e-Fatima. After the death of Waliji, his son Amir Ali became the plaintiff, but he has also passed away and ultimately his legal heirs become part of the proceedings.

The case was initiated after the award of a succession certificate of such properties to Shireen Jinnah, the only surviving sister of Fatima Jinnah after her death on July 10, 1967. The Shireen Jinnah Charitable Trust was made as one of the defendants in the lawsuit.

During the last hearing, lawyers for both sides — relatives of Fatima Jinnah (plaintiffs) and the Shireen Jinnah Charitable Trust (defendants) — had informed the bench that they amicably settled the long-standing dispute with regard to the property left by Ms Jinnah.