Misbah Qadri case: Probe, don’t rely on media reports, lawyer tells panel

  • Swati Goel Sharma, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 30, 2015 00:34 IST

Lawyer Shehzad Poonawalla on Friday petitioned the National Commission for Minorities again, asking it to “independently verify the facts” into the alleged discrimination against Misbah Qadri on the basis of religion, and not rely on media reports.

Qadri had alleged that her broker had evicted her from his flat because she was a Muslim. HT had on Friday reported that Qadri’s broker had filed an application with the police, claiming he had taken action against Qadri because she did not have the documents required for tenancy.

Attaching a copy of the HT report, Poonawalla, in the fresh petition, said, “In the past two days, media reports with additional sets of facts in Misbah’s case have appeared... I implore you to direct the NCM to hold an independent probe.”

The petition also quoted a text exchange between Qadri and Poonawalla, in which Qadri allegedly said, “I had met the two Hindu girls who had been living in the flat since October 2014 through a Facebook page. I paid them the token in March, after which they informed the broker that a woman flatmate was moving in on

April 6. I was the one hounding the broker to get me an agreement. When the broker refused to let me stay because of my religious background, my roommates requested him to let me stay as a guest till I found alternative accommodation.”

Qadri had then said that Rajesh Nasnolkar, supervisor of the apartment, had told her that “the builder does not allow Muslim tenants” and “the Muslim families currently staying in the building have come through a major influence.”

Nasnolkar has denied the allegation and said the building never had a no-Muslim clause.

The broker, identified only as Bansal, shared a copy of the letter that the roommates had sent to the flat owner on April 18 with HT. “This is our 30-day notice. We will be vacating the premises on the 18th of May, 2015,” it reads.

“This shows they terminated the agreement and left on their own. There was no harassment,” said Bansal.

One of the roommates, who did not wish to be named, admitted they “were never thrown out”. “We knew about the application filed against Qadri [over the documents]. Fearing eviction, we decided to vacate the flat,” she said.

Poonawalla had earlier petitioned the minority body on May 28.

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