Damages sought for property confiscated during Emergency
The Delhi high court on Monday sought to know the Centre’s stand on a plea which has claimed damages from the government related to a property on Central Delhi’s Kasturba Gandhi Marg that was confiscated during the national emergency in 1975.
Justice Manoj Ohri issued summons on the plea filed by the children of 94-year-old Veera Sarin, who had recently moved the Supreme Court seeking to declare the national emergency “unconstitutional”.
The court issued summons to the directorate of estate (DoE), ministry of labour and employment, and the competent authority under Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of property) Act (SAFEMA) in the suit asking them to file their statements.
In their plea, Sarin’s three children — Rajiv, Deepak and Radhika — have said they are the owners of the property of Ansal Bhawan on KG Marg that was forfeited from their father by the authorities under the SAFEMA Act in 1998 and it was leased out to DoE prior to its confiscation. The DoE stopped paying rent to them from May 1, 1999.
The suit said in July 1975, a preventive detention order was passed by the Delhi government against plaintiffs’ father under the provisions of Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act and show cause notices were also issued to him.
The suit has sought damages of ₹2.20 crore, ₹9.89 lakh, ₹43.5 lakh as loss of market rent, outstanding maintenance charges and outstanding property tax from May 1999 to July 2020.