Bengaluru: Under constant media glare for his alleged links with Iqbal Mirchi, underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s close aide, senior NCP leader Praful Patel held a presser this evening (October 15).

Speaking on the land under litigation, he said, “Initially, the land was bought on 4th November 1963, it was sold to 65 people which included 21 people of my family. Behind the building, there were some illegal occupants.”

The dispute here is about the occupant of the third floor of a particular building [Ceejay House] and the occupant there was Dawood aide Iqbal Mirchi and his wife.
In relation to the deed, the NCP leader said that the deed was signed as per a court order and no money had exchanged hands in the process.

Later in 1970, a building called Sriniketan was constructed at the land. The ownership was sub-divided between 21 members of the Patel family in 1974.

After the death of his father, Praful Patel said that the property went into litigation. The Bombay High Court which was hearing the matter appointed a receiver, who initiated action against an illegal occupant, MK Mohammed, on a part of the land.

In 1998, the HC found that since MK Mohammed had uninterrupted access to the land over the past 25 years, he could not be evicted. MK Mohammed was allowed to remain on the property and was asked to pay Rs 7 lakhs to the court.

Subsequently, MK Mohammed transferred his right to the land to Hazra Iqbal Memon in 1990. The deal was signed and approved by the sub registrar's office, Praful Patel added.
In 1996, when a building in the area collapsed, the BMC marked Sriniketan unfit for occupation.

The Patel Family then set up a private limited firm - Millenial Developers - to build a new building in its place called Ceejay House.
At this time, one of the 21 members of the Patel family filed a case against Hazra Iqbal's right to occupy a part of the property. The high court, in its verdict, directed Hazra to pay a rent of Rs 10,000 per month and directed the family to transfer 14,000 sq ft of space in the new building to Hazra Iqbal as an alternative accommodation.

All previous occupants of Sriniketan were to be given alternative accommodation in Ceejay House by the court order, Praful Patel told media.

The deed for alternative accommodation to Hazra Iqbal was prepared by us in 2004 and was finally signed in 2007 due to a delay on their part, he said, adding that the deed of confirmation, which is being discussed in media had to be signed by all members of the Patel family who were part owner of Ceejay House.

"At the time of the deed, there was no reason to believe that Hazra Iqbal was an undesired person," Praful Patel said.