'Raja' may get all fortunes back

Last Updated : 22 October 2010, 17:02 IST

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Though the Union Cabinet has given its nod to the Bill, it faces many hurdles before it becomes an act, finally paving the way for the handing over of properties to Raja Ameer Mohammad Khan who has been waging a legal battle to regain their possession from hundreds of tenants.

The BJP has already made it clear that it would oppose the Bill with all its might. The hundreds of Raja’s tenants have also decided to resort to “every possible measure” to prevent their eviction. “We will meet the members of Parliament to apprise of them the reality of the Enemy Property Bill,” said Sandeep Kohli who runs a shop at the posh Hazratganj market.

“The hundreds of tenants and their families will take to the streets if they are evicted... we have been tenants for the past several decades,” said a traders’ union official.
Khan, however, is relaxed. “The opposition parties may oppose the bill but there are others also, who will support it,” he said.

Khan, whose properties include several palatial bungalows and shops in Lucknow and other towns in Uttar Pradesh, has tenants at almost all the properties and many of them housed the district magistrates and district chiefs of police.

Khan’s father, Raja Ameer Ahmed Khan, had left India to settle in Pakistan in 1957 but his wife Begum Kaneez Abidi and son Ameer Mohammad Khan preferred to stay back. After his migration to Pakistan, the government declared all his properties as “Enemy Property” and seized them. Khan is seeking to regain possession of the properties on the ground that he was the legal heir of Ameer Ahmed Khan and that he had chosen to stay back in India.

The Supreme Court in 2005 gave its verdict by which it entitled him to all the properties that were seized by the government after his father’s migration to Pakistan.

The government, apparently fearing that the courts would be flooded with petitions seeking back possession of such properties, amended the Enemy Properties Act, 1962 through an ordinance providing that the courts cannot alter the status of any property that was once declared enemy property.

Published 22 October 2010, 17:02 IST

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