Court rejects Godrej Properties’ plea in Rs 227 crore land deal case, ET RealEstate

September 1, 2023

NAGPUR: The joint civil judge at Nagpur has rejected application by Godrej Properties and one Agrawal family from city questioning maintainability of a suit which challenges Rs227 crore land deal between the two on the basis provisions of Muslim Law.

The very deal between Godrej and Agrawal involving 58 acres of land at Ghogli village near Besa has been challenged on the grounds which include that the mother cannot be a natural guardian of children under the Muslim Law.

After that, both Godrej and Agrawals had challenged maintainability of the case against land deal on grounds that it was beyond limitation.

The court which turned down their plea has observed under the Muslim Law that estate of the deceased devolves on his heirs at the moment of his death. The heirs continue to hold the estate as tenants in common without dividing it. One of them can file suit for recovery of his share. The period of limitation does not run from the time of the death but date of express ouster or denial of title.

Godrej Properties had purchased land from Agrawal Family in 2022 for Rs 227 crore. The land originally belonged to Abdul family from whom the Agrawals had purchased it in 1988. As Godrej began advertising for plots, the entire land deal between Godrej and Agrawal itself was challenged by one of the member of Abdul family– Abdul Bashir.

After family patriarch Abdul Wahab died, his wife Khairunisa executed the deal with Agrawals in 1988. This included the eight children’s share too. “The mother cannot be the legal guardian of the children under Muslim Law,” said his plea. It also contended that an individual Madhukar Purohit was shown as the guardian of the minor children. He signed on behalf of minor children. The plea by Bashir contends there is no document to show that Purohit was appointed as a legal guardian.

The 1988 deal has been challenged on the grounds that under the Muslim personal law, mother cannot be the natural guardian of the children. The children can be represented by the father or a person appointed by the father. In absence of it, the mother has to get an endorsal of the court to act as natural guardian.

The court has noted that it is of the views that the plaint cannot be thrown away a threshold. It requires adjudication to decide the right of parties. The plea challenging the land deal also says that two children who had attained majority at that time were shown as minors while executing the land deal by the mother. This amount to fraud. One of them was Bashir. The case will now be further heard.

  • Published On Sep 1, 2023 at 08:46 AM IST

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