The Delhi High Court has asked a division Bench to determine afresh the value of the ancestral property of noted author Salman Rushdie at Civil Lines here, which his father had agreed to sell to a Congress leader in 1970 but the deal stalled due to a dispute between the two sides In December 2019, the single-judge Bench had estimated the property, measuring 5,373 square yards, to be worth ₹130 crore. On Tuesday, a Bench of Justices Vibhu Bakhru and Amit Mahajan quashed this order and remanded the case back to the single-judge bench to reevaluate the value of the property afresh in terms of a Supreme Court direction. Earlier, the dispute had reached the Supreme Court, which had ruled in favour of late former Congress leader Bhiku Ram Jain and directed the Rushdies to hand over the house to the Jains for the market price as on date of the order.
Also read: Author Salman Rushdie awarded prestigious German prize for his literary work and resolve In its December 12, 2012 order, the apex court directed that the sale of the property will be made as per market price prevailing on that date and sent the matter back to the High Court to determine the market value of the property. 1970 agreement In December 1970, an Agreement to Sell was drafted between Anis Ahmed Rushdie, Salman Rushdie’s late father, and Mr. Jain for the property at Flagstaff Road, Civil Lines for a total sale consideration of ₹3.
75 lakh. Of this amount, Mr. Jain had paid a sum of ₹50,000 as ‘earnest money’ to confirm the deal.
However, due to various reasons, the sale was not performed and the dispute went into litigation. Mr. Jain filed a suit in 1977, requesting the trial court to direct Mr.
Rushdie to execute the agreement. During the pendency of the litigation, the two men died and were subsequently substituted by their respective legal heirs. Also read: Salman Rushdie may lose an eye, on ventilator after being stabbed at New York event In 2019, the single-judge Bench of the High Court pegged the market value of the property, as on December 3, 2012, at ₹130 crore, after the Rushdies said they had a prospective buyer who was ready to purchase the house at that price.
However, it put a rider that if the Jains fail to pay ₹130 crore for the property, the Rushdies could sell it at same price or greater. It also stipulated that if the Rushdies fail to sell the property at the ₹130 within sixty days, the Jains would be entitled to purchase at ₹75 crore. While quashing the single judge bench order, the high court on Tuesday said, “Clearly, there cannot be two market values of the same property for specific performance of the agreement to sell”.
“The approach of putting in place two separate sale considerations for the suit property, one determined at ₹130 crores with the further recourse to perform the Agreement at ₹75 crores. . .
is wholly alien to the scope of determination of the market value of the suit property as on 03. 12. 2012,” the High Court said.
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