HC relieves Muslim who bought bungalow in Hindu colony

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A Muslim businessman and his wife who are struggling to use a bungalow they recently bought from a Hindu businesswoman in Vadodara city on Monday got relief from Gujarat High Court which ordered the state government to stop all proceedings against his property dealing.

The court has also issued notice to state government and other parties.

The businessman Faisal Y Fazlani and his wife Zeenat have moved the high court seeking stay on proceeding initiated by Special Secretary Revenue Department (SSRD). The single bench of justice Bhargav D Karia ordered the SSRD to stay its proceedings against the petitioners till further notice. This order means that the couple would be able to use their bungalow that has become a bone of contention and is being communalised.

Fazalani had bought the property located at Kesarbaug Society on Tandalja Vasna Road in Vadodara from a businesswoman Geeta Garoda for a whopping Rs 6 crore.

Before buying the property, according to the petitioners, they had sought the permission from Deputy Collector, delegated authority, under section 5 (2) of the Disturb Areas Act.

This act provides declaration of a particular area of a city as “disturbed area” where for transfer of immovable properties require prior sanction from the collector.

This act prohibits sale of properties between Hindus and Muslims and even among the two communities without permission of the collector.

In the case of Fazlani, he completed all the formalities by June this year and on August 8, the properties were registered on his name.

However, after execution of sale deed, four neighbours of society— Dr Harshil Shah, Harsh Rana, Ankur Agarwal, Santosh Ramanand and Girish Pathak raised objection on selling the land to Muslims.

Following their complaints, Vadodara collector Shalini Singh directed the city police commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot to inquire again into the matter. It is to be noted that as required under the act such police inquiry had been conducted before the property was finally sold to Fazlani.

"But rather than discarding those representations as being communally motivated, the Respondent No. 2 – Collector, Vadodara completely illegally and unauthorizedly directed the Police Commissioner, Vadodara City to inquire again.  In pursuance to the same, the Police Commissioner, Vadodara City again made an inquiry and vide letter dated 21/09/2019 submitted a report that since the petitioners are the only Muslim family residing in the said society, the same can lead to incidences of communal violence in future,” the petition states.

In a similar case in Ahmedabad, the high court on Monday stayed the order of SSRD that had allowed two members of Hindu Jagran Manch who are objecting to regularisation of sale of flats in Varsha apartment in Ahmedabad by Hindu owners to Muslims. The litigation in this case has been going on for several years.

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