Can assets of 1993 Mumbai blasts accused’s family be returned? Bombay high court asks Centre

Mumbai city news: The police attached the properties of Mohammed Ahmed Umar Dossa’s relatives between 2000 and 2001.

mumbai Updated: Jul 08, 2017 00:40 IST
Ayesha Arvind
Ayesha Arvind
Hindustan Times
Mumbai city news,1993 Mumbai blasts,Dossa
On March 12, 1993, a series of 13 explosions took place in Mumbai, killing 257 people.(PTI)

The Bombay high court on Friday asked the Union government to file an affidavit on whether attached properties of Mohammed Ahmed Umar Dossa’s relatives could be given back to them.

Dossa, one of the absconding accused in the 1993 Mumbai blasts, is the younger brother of convict Mustafa, who died of a heart attack last month.

The properties, including bank accounts, several shops and flats in the city, were attached by the police during the probe.

Dossa’s relatives had moved the high court after an appellate authority upheld an order of the Competent Authority and Administrator on January 3, 2011.

Under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act (SAFEMA), 1976, the Competent Authority started the process of forfeiting the family’s properties after the police failed to locate Dossa. Later, the state home department directed the police to detain him. Between 2000 and 2001, the Competent Authority issued two notices to forfeit the properties belonging to Dossa’s wife Abida, brothers Haroon and Mustafa, sisters Yasmin and Sabira, parents — Ahmed and Amina — sisters-in-law Rehmat Merchant and Safia, and his brother’s mother-in-law Mehrunnisa Kadar on the ground that they were acquired illegally.

However, the petitioners’ counsel, PK Dhakephalkar, on Friday argued that the property was acquired years before Dossa began his alleged smuggling activities.

On the other hand, appearing for the Competent Authority, advocate Hiten Venegaonkar argued that the burden to prove that there was no connection between the property and Dossa’s activities lay with the petitioners who had failed to do so.

The court directed Venegaonkar to record his arguments in the affidavit and file it in the high court within two weeks.

First Published: Jul 08, 2017 00:40 IST