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Dilip Kumar Bandra property ‘lessee’ for 999 yrs: Trust 

Mumbai, January 6

Effectively debunking the claims of a Mumbai builder on Bollywood thespian Dilip Kumar’s prime plot in suburban Bandra here, the original owners of the property on Sunday reiterated that he is its “perpetual lessee” for a period of 999 years. Since the lease was signed in 1953, it expires in 2952.

The 96-year old Dilip Kumar and his 74-year old wife Saira Banu got a major boost in their ongoing property battle with Mumbai realtor Samir N. Bhojwani when the Seth Mulraj Khatau Trust (SMKT) issued public notices in the media on Saturday-Sunday through their lawyer Altamesh Shaikh. The public notice categorically stated that Dilip Kumar is the “perpetual lessee” and not a tenant, as alleged, of the property “for the period of 999 years”. Besides, the rent on the property has already been commuted and the “lease is still valid and subsisting”.

The public notice has been issued on behalf of the legal heirs of the late Sunit C. Khatau, beneficiary of the SMKT settlement and the late Chandrakant M. Khatau, one of the Trustees, said a trustee, Panna S. Khatua, the widow of Sunit C. Khatau.

The latest development in the high-profile controversy came soon after the aged actor-couple, in their first pro-active offensive – hit out at builder Samir N. Bhojwani with a Rs 200-crore defamation suit and it was first highlighted by IANS on January 4, 2019. The public notice also alleged that Bhojwani and others have “created and manufactured” illegal back-dated documents of several properties of the SMKT, for which it has also lodged police complaints.

Bhojwani was arrested in connection with the police complaints and is currently out on conditional bail, and the bail cancellation matter is likely to come up before the Bombay High Court on January 7. Referring to a public notice issued by Bhojwani around a fortnight ago, the SMKT said: “Samir Bhojwani claimed ownership of the property belonging to Dilip Kumar. Please note that Bhojwani is not the owner of the property. The property card shows the name of Chandrakant M. Khatau as one of the owners and Dilip Kumar as ‘lessee’ by the sale deed dated September 25, 1953.” The public notice warned the members of the public against entering into any kind of deal with anybody for the property belonging to the SMKT as it would not be binding on the trust.

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