The Raja of Mehmudabad’s legal battle to reclaim his ancestral properties seems to have become one long soap opera with no ending. And to add yet another episode to this royal saga of regaining the family's fortune, the Custodian of Enemy Property would be coming to the city from Mumbai on Monday.
According to administration officials here, the purpose of his visit is to verify the assertions of post-65 occupants of the Mahmudabad properties claiming themselves to be pre-65 tenants of the erstwhile Raja.
Of the total 57 occupants in the five properties of Mahmudabad Estate in the State capital, initial figures provided by the authorities here had put the number of pre and post tenants at 35 and 22 respectively. Subsequently two more inhabitants of the property furnished documentary proof to establish that they were tenants of the erstwhile Raja much before their management was taken over by the Custodian.
Latest statistics, however, tell a different story. The remaining 20 post 65 tenants too are now claiming the pre-65 status for themselves! This includes 13 shopkeepers of Janpath Market, who would lose a major portion of their shops that spreads out on property belonging to Lawrie Building and seven occupants of Mahmudabad Mansion in Hazratganj. According to administration officials, the Custodian has refused to entertain the claim of Premier Motors Private Limited, whose owner Peush Tandon had claimed pre-65 status for the present occupant of the premises GD Baluja of Fairdeal Agencies on the ground that he was his business associate.
“These people have submitted affidavits to this effect. The Custodian has asked me to accept copies of the same in triplicate and he would be verifying the claims,” said managnig officer of the property Manoj Rai. The advance party comprising two officials has already arrived in the State capital.
Besides, Lucknow, the Custodian would also visit Mahmudabad and Sitapur to take stock of the progress in the matter. Here it is pertinent to mention that the Custodian had earlier refused to entertain the claims of these 20 people urging that they be treated on par with the pre-65 tenants' as they were business associates of the original leaseholder of the Raja.