Court Ruling: DEO Pune Directed to Reopen Rs 100 Crore Bungalow Amid Ownership Dispute

In a recent development, the 11th Joint Civil Judge Senior Division, Yashdeep L Meshram, has issued an order directing the Defence Estates Office (DEO), Pune, to reopen the locks and seals of Old Grant Bungalow (OGB) No. 22 on Napier Road. The decision comes after an application filed by the Holder of Occupancy Right (HOR) Mujeeb Abdur Rahman Khan seeking a mandatory interim injunction against the sealing of the property.

The DEO, Pune Circle, had sealed the Rs 100 crore bungalow on January 12, citing a fraudulent sale of the defense property to current unauthorized occupiers and the subsequent seeking of building permission from Pune Cantonment Board in the name of the former HOR.

Former HOR Khan, through his advocate, presented the argument that the property falls under the category of old grant Class B 3 land, and he holds acquired rights through a registered sale deed dated June 14, 1955. According to DEO, Pune records, the HOR category lists six names, including Siraj Abdur Rahman Khan, Saifullah Javed Khan, Nazia Asad Barelvi (represented by Saifullah Javed Khan through power of attorney), Sarfaraz Javed Khan, Mujeeb Abdur Rahman Khan, and Zakia Mushir Alam Barelvi.

The DEO alleged that the property was sold to new occupiers Rupesh Suhas Banthia and Vaishali Rupesh Banthia on January 27, 2023, for Rs 7.50 crores. However, the HOR denied executing any sale deed or transferring occupancy rights to any person.

Advocate S K Jain, representing the HOR, argued that the court has the power to exercise its jurisdiction and issue an interim mandatory injunction. He emphasized that the HOR had not suppressed any facts and labeled the DEO’s act of sealing and halting reconstruction work as illegal.

In his order, Judge Meshram noted the prior communication from the HOR to the DEO regarding the desire to transfer occupancy rights to the new occupants. The court deemed this information as not being suppressed and ordered the DEO to reopen the lock and seal on the property.

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