BUY THE property or leave it. This seems to be the only option before the 57-odd tenants of the erstwhile Raja of Mehmudabad Mohd Amir Mohd Khan just 48 hours before the administration’s deadline to vacate these property is set to expire.
In a last ditch effort, some of the occupants of these prime properties, handed over a representation to the district administration as well as the Raja seeking amnesty stating that they were legal tenants as the property in question was leased out to them by Khan’s father. The administration authorities, however, say that it is too little and too late.
Moreover, pleaded these inhabitants, we were leased/rented out this property much before it was declared as enemy property, that is after 1965. Hence, any action in the matter can be taken only after following the due process of law, they said. But their argument has failed to cut ice with the administration.
“The question of pre or post 1965 vesting of the property does not arise. We have clear-cut instructions from the Custodian of Enemy Property in Mumbai in this connection. Barring those recognized by the Raja, all other tenants are to be evicted,” said SDM (Sadar) Manoj Rai, the managing officer of enemy properties. Where the tenants have any grievances, the only other legal remedy available to them is the Supreme Court, he pointed out. He said the Custodian has sought an Action Taken Report (ATR) in the matter at the earliest.
Sources on the other hand revealed that the Raja was no longer interested in keeping the proprietary rights of the property and was willing to sell it off at present market if the tenants wished to purchase it.
The SDM said that a letter was sent to the scion of the Mehmudabad asking him whether he had recognized any of the 57 occupants.
“His legal counsel has replied that all tenants are to be evicted,” informed Rai adding that the administration had no choice but to move in and get the property vacated after the expiry of the deadline on August 16.
None of the tenants contacted by HT Lucknow Live, however, were willing to go on record when asked what their next move, if any, would be on the issue. Here it is pertinent to mention that Khan had filed a contempt of court petition in the Supreme Court for non-compliance of its order by the Custodian of Enemy Property in Mumbai. In its hearing in the matter on August 7, the apex court pulled up the Custodian for not complying the order passed by it in the matter on October 21, 2005.
It was following the SC reprimand that the Custodian wrote to the District Magistrate here stating that the possession of all properties was to be handed over to the Raja irrespective of the fact whether those occupying it were post or pre September 10, 1965 tenants.
Among the prominent post 1965 tenants are the Capoor Hotel, Kohli Brothers and the Royal Café restaurant in Hazratganj.