The fate of 476 flat owners in Dindoshi, rests on what the suburban collector finds about the caste of Anandibai Gadak, who died in October 1984.
The case concerns a nearly 6-acre plot on Filmcity Road at Dindoshi, once owned by Warli tribesman Budhiya Gadak. In January 1971, Gadak’s widow Anandibai sold the plot to Dadar resident Vasant Tikekar.
Tikekar granted development rights on the plot to a developer, who then constructed 10 multi-storey buildings comprising these 476 residential flats, said advocate Sanjeev Sawant, who represented Anandibai’s legal heirs in the HC. While Gadak and Anandibai died without having children, his brother Dharma’s family approached the sub-divisional officer in October 2003, seeking restoration of the land, saying it was covered by the Maharashtra Restoration of Lands to Scheduled Tribes Act, 1974.
On Monday, the Bombay High Court directed the suburban collector to verify Anandibai’s caste. If she is found to have been a tribal, revenue authorities will have to return the land to her heirs, as tribal land cannot be sold to non-tribals.
Justice Roshan Dalvi gave the Collector 12 weeks to decide if Anandibai was born into a Scheduled Tribe family, and ordered that if she had, the property be restored to her heirs.