Salman Rushdie’s ancestral house in the posh Civil Lines area here, which the globally renowned writer’s father had agreed to sell to a Congress leader in 1970 but the deal stalled due to dispute between the two sides, has been valued at Rs 130 crore by the Delhi High Court. The dispute had gone all the way to the Supreme Court, which on December 3, 2012 ruled in favour of the former Congress leader Bhiku Ram Jain’s side, directing the Rushdies to hand over the house to the Jains for the market price as on date of the order. The apex court, however, left it to the Delhi High Court to determine the market value of the property.
The high court has now determined the market value of the property, as on December 3, 2012, to be Rs 130 crore, since the Rushdies said they had a buyer to purchase the house at that price. Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said however that if the Jains are unable to purchase at that price, the Rushdies will have to sell the house for Rs 130 crore within six months to some other buyer.
Further, if the Rushdies are unable to sell it for minimum Rs 130 crore within the given time, 60 days from then, the Jains would be entitled to purchase the property for Rs 75 crore which was the circle rate prevailing on December 4, 2012, the high court said. It said that if the Jains cannot purchase the property for Rs 75 crore, the Rushdies would stand relieved of the agreement entered into by both sides in 1970 with regard to the house.
The Booker prize winner’s father Anis Ahmed Rushdie had entered into an agreement with Bhiku Ram Jain to sell the house Rs 3.75 lakh. Jain had paid Rs 50,000 to Anis Rushdie and given assurance to pay the rest of the amount after the owner got tax clearance certificates from income tax authorities.
The two families then got into a dispute after they accused each other of not respecting the terms of the agreement. The Jains filed a suit in 1977 requesting the trial court to direct Rushdie for the execution of the December 1970 agreement.
On October 5, 1983, the trial court had ruled in their favour, saying the Jains could get the property after paying the rest of the Rs 3.25 lakh to Rushdies. The Rushdies then appealed in the Delhi High Court which on October 31, 2011 ruled that the Jains could not ask for the transfer of the bungalow to them and had asked the Rushdies to return the amount of Rs 50,000 with 12 per cent annual interest.
The Jains had then approached the apex court which after hearing all sides came to the conclusion that the high court erred in giving an order in favour of the Rushdies and quashed the order. It had held that a sale deed would have to be executed by the Rushdies in favour of the Jains for the market price of the suit property as on the date of the order — December 3, 2012.
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Source: Financial Express