Pakistani singer Adnan Sami is planning to make the bank, registration office and builder who sold flats to him, party in the appeal against the confiscation order of the adjudicating authority of the Enforcement Directorate (ED). Sami's lawyer Vibhav Krishna confirmed to HT that these would be included in the appeal.
On Monday, Krishna and Sami said the bank gave the latter the loan and his properties in Oberoi Sky Gardens building at Lokhandwala Complex in Andheri, bought in 2003, were registered by the registration office, knowing his nationality. They said that from 2003 to 2009 nobody raised any objection and all of a sudden the controversy cropped up.
Meanwhile, Vikas Oberoi of Oberoi Constructions refuted Sami’s allegations that he was responsible for the singer’s problems over the properties. Sami had alleged that Oberoi had promised to take care of all formalities required to enable him to purchase property in India. The singer had also alleged that Oberoi and his office did not inform him about RBI’s rejection of his application to purchase flats here.
In a text statement, Oberoi said, “Why would we knowingly want to sell a flat to a Pakistani. One flat sale does not move the needle for us. We obviously did not know. And, he told us that his mother was an Indian and that he was of Indian origin and had a Canadian passport.”
Krishna said Oberoi’s version was contradictory to documents on record. He said in September 2002, Oberoi’s lawyer had written to RBI clearly stating that Sami was a Pakistani passport-holder and had applied for Indian citizenship. Krishna said the letter (by Oberoi’s lawyer) also requested RBI to grant Sami permission as he is a Pakistani national. He added that despite RBI rejecting Sami’s application and Oberoi and his lawyer knowing about it, Oberoi went ahead and sold eight flats to the singer in December 2003. “My client will pursue his remedy,” Krishna said. He added that the Canadian passport angle was humbug.
Legal experts said it could easily be one to two years before ED could physically confiscate the flats, as the appeal in the appellate forum of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) and other higher courts, if required, would easily take that much time.