The Bombay high court on Friday directed the CBI to conduct an inquiry into the suspected destruction of the records of a 43-year-old suit involving four prime properties in Mumbai and a plot admeasuring 500 acres in Thane from its registry and submit its report in three months.
The current estimated worth of the property is in excess of Rs1,000 crore. In September 1925, the Mathuradas Gokuldas family, the owner, mortgaged the lands to the then princely state of Gwalior. In 1969, Hemlata Vijaysingh Ved, the legal heir of the family, filed a suit seeking redemption of the properties. In August 2008, Ved moved the court seeking the search of documents pertaining to her suit. The Prothonotory and Senior Master of the court had, on January 14, 2009, ordered the registry to reconstruct the record.
Provident Investment Company, an undertaking of the Madhya Pradesh government, which is in possession of the properties, moved a plea before a single judge challenging the order. After their plea got dismissed, the company moved the HC.
A division bench of justice DY Chandrachud and justice Amjad Sayed said: “The inquiry [conducted by an officer of the court] has prima facie established that the record of the court was unauthorisedly destroyed to obliterate the proceedings of the suit.”