HC tells Adnan to vacate duplex flat, allows ex-wife to enter

Last Updated 16 December 2013, 15:45 IST

In a setback to singer Adnan Sami, the Bombay High Court today asked him and his relatives to vacate the duplex flats in a multi-tower building in posh Lokhandwala complex area of suburban Andheri within two months to facilitate the entry of his divorced wife Sabah Galadari.

Adnan currently stays with his new wife Roya Farabi in five flats combined into duplex flats on the 13th and 14th floor at Oberoi Sky Garden. It is these flats which the Court has asked him and his relatives to vacate in favour of Sabah.

Besides these flats, Adnan also has three more flats on the 12th floor in the same building in which no one resides at present. He can now move into these flats, sources said.

A division bench of the High Court, allowing Sabah's appeal against the order of a single bench, today said it was not going into the merits of the matrimonial dispute between the couple but was directing the singer to remove himself and his relatives from the duplex houses which Sabah claimed was her matrimonial home and gifted to her by Adnan.

The division bench partly restored the June 2010 family court order which had allowed Sabah's entry into the duplex flats saying these houses were her matrimonial home.
The family court had also allowed Adnan and his new wife to stay in the duplex flats along with Sabah.

Sabah had filed an appeal before a division bench seeking access to the flats in Oberoi Garden on the 13th and 14 floor.

Her appeal was against the order of a single bench which modified the family court order allowing her to stay in the five-in-one flat at Oberoi Sky Garden.

The single bench of the High Court, in October 2010, had directed that Sabah could reside in another flat in the same building (on the 12th floor) or in their older home at Versova.

Sabah said she was shocked as the High Court single judge by an order "altogether removed her from the house to which she had all the rights, and instead directed Sami to grant her alternative accommodation".

Sami, arguing in person, told the court that he could not move out from the duplex flats as he had no other place to live in. He also could not move into the flats on the 12th floor as he had no money to renovate the house.

Sami said he could not allow Sabah to stay in his house, as the flats had been confiscated by Enforcement Directorate under the provisions of Foreign Exchange Maintenance Act earlier, and his appeal was now pending before Ministry of External Affairs.

ED had confiscated the flats alleging that Adnan was a citizen of Pakistan and had purchased properties in India without the permission of Reserve Bank of India, which it said, was against the laws of the country.

Sabah had filed a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act before the Family Court alleging that Adnan had driven her out of the matrimonial house. Her lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said that Sabah had given money to Adnan to buy the flats, and he had given her the flats as a gift to her.

Adnan, however, claimed that he had cancelled the gift deed and hence Sabah cannot gain entry into these flats. He argued that these houses were not Sabah's matrimonial home because he married some one else and was staying with her.

"I do not have funds and I cannot move into a house which is inhabitable. Moreover it (the house) is disputed and what is the point in spending money on re-decoration if the flat is not going to be in my possession," Adnan argued.

The singer pleaded that he should not be removed from his house as he had no other place to go. Sabah was a "tycoon" and had properties around the world, he further said.

(Published 16 December 2013, 15:28 IST)

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