Rubbishing media reports that 8 flats and five parking lots owned by him have been confiscated by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Pakistani singer Adnan Sami said, “There is a misunderstanding that my flats have been confiscated physically. If it was so, you wouldn't have been sitting here.”
Sami was addressing the media at his 13th floor flat in Oberoi Sky Gardens building in Andheri.
Sami’s lawyer Vaibhav Krishna stated that the adjudicating authority of the ED had, on December 21, passed an order demanding the confiscation of Sami’s 8 flats and 5 parking lots, of which he has gifted 5 flats and 3 parking lots to his wife Sabah Galadari in 2008. “We have 45 days time to file an appeal,” said Krishna.
The adjudicating authority has also levied a fine of Rs. 20 lakh on Sami which he would be required to deposit within 45 days of the order.
The ED had in 2009 and 2010 questioned Sami on purchase of properties in 2003 without permission from Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under Foreign Exchange Management Act and had issued a show-cause notice.
According to law, a foreign national has to seek the permission of the RBI before acquiring any property in India and has to justify every property purchase.
Though Sami’s application for purchase of flat in Mumbai was rejected by RBI in 2002, he went ahead to purchase flats that had total value of Rs. 2.5 crore then. Sami put the onus of the purchase on Vikas Oberoi of Oberoi Constructions who sold the flats to him.
“As I didn’t know the procedure, Oberoi told me that he would get the formalities done. The documentation was carried out with the help of Oberoi’s team,” said Sami. Sami alleged that Oberoi or his office never informed him about rejection of his application by RBI.
Krishna said Sami had applied for permission under “ex-post facto sanction” with the RBI on December 2. “We had told the adjudicating authority to wait for the RBI's decision, but it passed the order,” said Krishna.