The Delhi high court has turned down the pleas of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's mother and sister against the proposed confiscation of their properties by the Centre.
A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul dismissed the pleas of Dawood's mother Amina Bi and sister Hasina Ibrahim Parker, upholding the single judge order and saying that they were duly served the notices for seizure of their properties in Mumbai under the Smugglers And Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture Of Property) Act (SAFEMA).
The Act provides for forfeiture of "illegally acquired properties" of smugglers and foreign exchange manipulators and their kith and kin.
Referring to the SAFEMA provisions, the court said, "We are not even required to look into your plea as to whether the forfeiture notices were served on you or your lawyer...as the Appellate Tribunal (constituted for forfeited properties under the Act) has no power to review its order under the Act."
The court rejected the two women pleas that they were not duly served the forfeiture notices and so the subsequent proceedings to attach their properties were illegal and they should be given a fresh chance to challenge the forfeiture notices.
"They (documents) establish that you were duly served with the notices and did not challenge it within the prescribed period of 45 days (which can be extended by 15 more days under the Act)," the bench said.
Amina Bi and Hasina had challenged the forfeiture notices saying the same were not duly served to them and so, the subsequent proceedings to attach their properties at Nagpada in south Mumbai be stayed. The plea, however, was rejected.
One of the forfeiture notices were issued under the SAFEMA on July 14, 1998.
Earlier, the court had refused to stay its single-judge bench order upholding the Centre's decision to forfeit their properties.
The two women have a total of seven residential properties in their names. Of this, two are in the mother's name and five are in the name of sister. The properties worth crores of rupees are allegedly acquired with Dawood's ill-gotten wealth.