KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Saturday directed to stop using ‘Mohatta Palace’ for ‘Qasr e Fatima’ – Fatima Jinnah’s Karachi property where she breathed her last in 1967.
The significant development took place during a hearing of a case about the distribution of Quaid-e-Azam and Fatima Jinnah’s residence after more than 51 years.
A lawsuit was reportedly initiated by Hussain Ali Gangji Walji, a grandson of Fatima Jinnah’s paternal uncle, in 1970.
“Fatima Jinnah was a Sunni. Therefore, her sister Shireen Jinnah was entitled to only half the inheritance under Sunni law, and the other half should go to him. ” said the lawsuit.
In 1971, Shireen Jinnah had applied for a succession certificate.
“Mohatta Palace should be called and written Qasr-e-Fatima,” said the SHC while hearing the petition for ownership of Fatima Jinnah’s inheritance. The court queried that why Qasr-e-Fatima was not converted into a medical college as per the will of ‘the mother of the nation’.
Fatima Jinnah had ordered to convert Qasr-e-Fatima into a modern medical college for girls where education was free, the court remarked.
The SHC also directed the contesting parties to make recommendations for converting Qasr-e-Fatima into a medical college. It also sought a reply from the Sindh government in this regard on the next hearing.
Located at the heart of Karachi in Clifton, Mohatta Palace has been the main attraction for anyone who comes to visit the port city. A wealthy businessman of Karachi, Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta had constructed the palace, which is also a centre for all the cultural activities in the city.