In response to a Public Notice published in the Mumbai media through Bhojwani’s lawyer, Digvijay Singh, Bollywood celebrity couple Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Banu have slapped a legal notice on Mumbai builder Sameer N Bhojwani, having said earlier that “they fear for their lives.” The recent allegations against the builder are of “continuous harassment and a well-planned conspiracy to take over the only property that belongs to the couple in Mumbai.
In an interview with IANS on Friday, a distraught Saira Banu said, “It is disheartening to go through such a tumultuous phase at this age. They property rightfully belongs to Yusuf Khan saheb (Dilip Kumar). We neither have the support nor the strength to go through this continuous harassment by Sameer Bhojwani, whose only focus seems to usurping our land.”
The couple was in news last month for having approached Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, in order to seek help but having received none, they filed the case. “The CM saab has been repeatedly saying he will help us and after the builder comes out of jail, he would do the needful. But it is three months now since the builder is out and nothing has moved from the CM’s side. There is no reaction even from the PM’s side. We hope they do something soon,” Saira Banu told.
The subject matter of the controversy for several years now has been that Bhojwani had allegedly got a Deed of Confirmation registered, claiming his father, who died in 2002, had bought the property from Dilip Kumar in 1980 for a mere Rs. 25000. Dilip Kumar had shifted in 2003 to his wife’s bungalow No. 34, ever since his iconic bungalow, No. 16, on a 1,600 square metres plot, was in a dilapidated state, in the same area. However, a doting Saira Banu has already announced that she will build a museum in honour of her husband, at the No. 16 site.
The couple’s lawyer, Chirag Shah, has pointed out that the builder had been arrested last year by the Mumbai police regarding the same matter for which he even made false documents. A police report to this effect was submitted to a city court. Shah told IANS, “The builder wants to throw out the couple claiming that his father purchased the property in 1980 for a mere Rs 25,000. However, the Property Card of the plot clearly mentions the sale deed agreement of the plot dated Sep 25, 1953, for Rs 140,000, in the name of Dilip Kumarji. The property still stands in his name as per the Property Card.”
Shah accused Bhojwani of taking advantage of the couple’s old age (96/74) and of hatching a “well-planned conspiracy” with the intention of “grabbing” the prime property- a dilapidated two-storey bungalow in the posh Pali Hill neighbourhood of suburban Bandra, in order to construct a multi-storied building there.
Expressing her sadness on the state of affairs that a globally renowned celebrity like Dilip Kumar, who was once the Sheriff of Mumbai (1980) and its First Citizen, has to undergo, Saira Banu said, “If this is the fate a person like Yusuf saheb, awarded the Padma Vibhushan and who is synonymous with acting in India, and has to undergo all this, imagine the plight of a commoner. We are hoping and praying that PM sa’b and CM sa’b will do something on priority.”