TRADERS OF Hazratganj and Janpath Market took to street on Thursday in quest of justice for 57 tenants of the erstwhile Raja of Mehmudabad, who face eviction in the wake of Supreme Court order for restoration of these properties back to him.
The shopkeepers put up shutters and took out a silent procession through Hazratganj. After passing through Parivartan Chowk, the traders reached the Raja Mohd Amir Mohd Khan’s palace at Qaiserbagh and handed over a memorandum to his kin seeking clemency for the 57 occupants. On the other hand, some two-dozen to-be-evicted tenants petitioned SDM Manoj Rai, also the managing officer of Enemy Property here, with the request that they be given time till August 25 to vacate their premises.
They included the owner of Modern Book Stall in Janpath, Anu Advertisers, Manocha Furnishers, Keshav House, UP Asbestos Limited and Ganga Corporation etc. In contrast, two other inhabitants, namely Ashraf Agha, advocate and Shabbir Raza, voluntarily handed over the possession of their respective premises to the SDM here on Thursday.
The ripples of the Raja regaining his family fortune saga have also reached the ears of the Chief Minister, who, according to informed sources, has sought a report in the matter from the administration. “The Supreme Court in its order on August 7 has given us four weeks time to comply with its order. The deadline for which is August 31,” revealed an administration official. The authorities, he said, were willing to grant a week’s more time to the tenants on humanitarian grounds.
Here it is pertinent to mention that SDM Rai had earlier served notices to all the 57 tenants of Mehmudabad asking them to vacate their premises by August 16.
Meanwhile, in a missive to the administration, Raja’s legal counsel, Anjali K Verma has written that, “The various occupants of the buildings in Lucknow belonging to our client are seeking to create a situation to avoid compliance.” On the issue of granting recognition to some tenants, she said, that it has been repeatedly made abundantly clear that the judgment of the Supreme Court should be fully complied with. According to sources, a delegation of shopkeepers had met the Raja in New Delhi to come to a negotiated settlement recently but the talks failed.