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Court to ascertain existence of Mafatlal Bungalow

The HC has asked Protonotary to appoint a court commissioner to visit the site and submit a report, reports Urvi Jappi .

india Updated: Dec 21, 2006 22:58 IST
Urvi Jappi

The legal row in the Mafatlal family over a bungalow in Ahmedabad has taken a new Turn with the Bombay High Court appointing a court commissioner to ascertain whether the bungalow has been razed or not by M/s Dharmadev Infrastructure which had purchased it in September to construct a five-star hotel.

The commissioner is expected to submit his report to the court on Friday.

Madhuri Mafatlal, widow of industrialist Yogindra Mafatlal, who had challenged the sale of bungalow by her son Atulya and Ajay without her consent at lower rate, approached the HC stating that the bungalow has not been completely demolished and hence a stay should be granted till the matter is pending in the Company Law Board (CLB). However, the stay has not been granted.

VA Thorat, counsel for M/s Dharmadev Infrastructure had made a statement in the HC on December 18 that the developer had razed the structure completely.

However, Madhuri's counsel Harish Jagtiani told the court on Wednesday that the entire structure had not been demolished as claimed earlier by the developer. He produced some photographs to prove his point.

"Part of the heritage bungalow on the 60,000 square feet plot still stands. And it having heritage importance needs to be protected," argued Jagtiani. The bungalow, situated on the bank of river Sabarmati, is approximately 150 years old, said Jagtiani.

The HC had asked Protonotary to appoint a court commissioner to visit the site and submit a report on Thursday. As the report was not received, the court has kept the matter on Friday.

Matriarch Madhuri had approached the HC seeking stay on the demolition of their bungalow at Shahi Baug in Ahmedabad alleging that the property was sold without her consent and allegedly by one Peter Vaz, who is not a director of the company. She also alleged that the property was sold at lower rate. The property which was worth RS 35 crore has been sold for RS 5 crore.

The bungalow which is spread over 31 acres is in the name of Mangalya Trading and Investment Company and Madhuri holds approximately 48 per cent equity share in it. The bungalow was sold to M/s Dharmadev Infrastructure which is to develop a five-star hotel.

The HC, while dismissing her application on December 18, had restrained M/S Dharmadev from further selling the property of part of it till December 27 as the matter is pending before the Company Law Board (CLB). As CLB did not grant any relief, Madhuri had approached the HC on December 15.

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First Published: Dec 21, 2006 22:58 IST