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Memons want property back

Memons want property back

Author: Hetal Vyas
Publication: Mumbai Mirror
Date: April 16, 2008
URL: http://www.mumbaimirror.com/net/mmpaper.aspx?page=article&sectid=15&contentid=2008041620080416030134593b2882709

Tiger Memon's mother Hanifa stakes claim on their property in South Mumbai which has been in court commissioner's custody after the family absconded

Tiger Memon may be an outlaw, but his mother Hanifa -- acquitted in the 1993 blasts case about a year ago -- is knocking the doors of the Bombay High Court to reclaim rights over an expensive family property located at Mohammad Ali Road in south Mumbai.

The Memons used to live on the third floor of Mohammadi Manzil building, before shifting to al-Husaini building in Mahim, where the blasts conspiracy was hatched.

Though the building at Mohammad Ali Road belongs to a certain Carrimjee family, the third floor premises was taken up as tenancy by the Memons in 1989. In April 1992, after the family shifted to Mahim, Hanifa Memon rented the premises out to the Memon Co-Operative Bank for a monthly sum of Rs 40,000. "The premises was given on leave-licence basis with consent from the Carrimjee family," says Hanifa in her appeal to the high court.

The appeal claims that after the March 12, 1993 bomb blasts, the entire Memon family - including Hanifa, her husband Abdul Razzak, sons Tiger, Suleiman, Yakub, Yusuf and Eisa, and two daughters-in-law - were declared absconding by the TADA court. "The property was then attached by the special court and a court commissioner appointed to collect rent from the bank. An amount of Rs 23,84,276 has been collected by the court commissioner as rent. The amount has been deposited in the HC and it belongs to me," Hanifa has claimed in her appeal.

The Carrimjee family had issued a notice to Hanifa in April 1994, claiming back the property. "The Carrimjee family was fully aware of the fact that I was out of India and declared absconding. A suit was filed in the small causes court in September 1994 by the Carrimjee family to claim back the property," says Hanifa's appeal . The small causes court in 2000 ruled ex-parte in favour of the Carrimjee family.

Hanifa challenged this order in the appellate bench of the small causes court which was rejected on March 4.

On April 8, Hanifa filed an appeal to challenge the order of the appellate bench.

"When the small causes court ruled in favour of the Carrimjee family (the landlords), I was either out of the country or in police custody.

"The order was ex-parte and the court did not hear my side. As the special court has already attached the property and it is in the possession of the court commissioner, I am still in possession of the property through the court receiver and so my rights on the property cannot be denied," Hanifa has claimed in her appeal filed in the HC.

After the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday, Justice B H Marlapalle adjourned the hearing till April 21.

Hanifa's advocate Imtiaz Raibakkar refused to comment on the issue.

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