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How Balwa Bought Orphans Property at Peanut Price?

Afroz Alam Sahil, BeyondHeadlines

Shahid Balwa is one of the Youngest Indian Billionaires, was on the Forbes list of richest 50 Indians in 2010 and owns an empire worth more than 4 thousand crores.

His father, Usman Balwa, known as Usman Bhai in the Mumbai central locality also has a reputation of a charitable person who helps people of his community. (Later you will read how his company buy property of charitable organisation at peanut price)

The question is what is the secret of Balwa’s riches? And the answer is he can buy a property worth several hundred crores for just one crore and can create his realty empire on it despite all illegalities and irregularities. He can buy the property even if it is a Wakf property. Balwa can do this because he knows the secret, the secret of greasing every palm that holds the papers related to the property.

As for his reputation, he is an accused in 2G scam case and is currently out of jail on Bail. CBI investigation in the matter is currently under way.

Meanwhile, BeyondHeadlines brings to you a classic example of Balwas bribing Skills. Before we proceed further. Let us ask you a simple question? How much does a property in vicinity of Mumbai Central Railway station, measuring 13837.06 Sq. Meter worth? A crore, a few hundred Crore or nearly a thousand crore? Any rough estimate will worth property at several hundred crores. But if the Buyer is Shahid Balwa’s company and seller is a trust for orphans then the worth is just Rs. 31,80,240 and Purchase price is just One crore rupees or Around Rupees 722 per Sq. Meter.

Here we are talking about the property of Haji Zakaria Haji Ahmed Patel Trust (Mohammedan Orphans and Asylum Fund) with C.S no 243, Tardeo Division sold to Neelkamal Realtors and Developers, company of DB realty Group. The property measuring 13837 sq. meter was sold to Balwa’s Neelkamal Realtors in 2004 for just 1 crore.

Interestingly, According to documents the said property is a wakf property. According to Wakf Property Act 1995 a property once declared wakf is wakf for always and can not be sold or put to any other use.

But for Balwa buying a wakf property is no big task. He not only bought the property worth several hundred crores for Just one crore but also constructed a sprawling mall and shopping centre on it. The Orchid City Centre Mall, which by now is a commercial symbol, stands on the property that once belong to orphans.

Now You might be thinking How Balwa bought this property and nobody questioned him? Let us have a look at this fact-Sheet, meanwhile you can also think how a man who buys orphans property for peanuts can be called a man of charity?

Fact-Sheet

1. In year 1907 A suit was placed before the Bombay High Court for management of property and Fund of Haji Zakaria Haji Ahmed Patel (Mohammedan Orphanage and Asylum Fund) The Bombay High Court by its order on 12.02.1907 in suit number 882/1900 approved scheme for management of property with C.S. No 243 of Tardeo Division by Mohammedan Orphanage and Asylum Fund. The property was meant for orphans whose parents belong to Muslim religion. And according to the High Court ruling the trust was not at all secular in Nature.

2. The Plot with C.S no 243 was leased to Mr. Hormasji Sorabji in on 14 March 1935 by the Haji Zakaria Haji Ahmed Patel Trust. He created Tenancies on the said plot and was collecting rent from the occupants. He was collecting the rent throughout his life time and after his death his son Mr. Soli J Sorabji started collecting rent from the occupants and was issuing rent slips.

3. On 10.12.1952 the Haji Zakaria Haji Ahmed Patel (Mohammedan Orphanage and Asylum Fund) was registered as a trust under the provisions of the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950. 

4. The trust decided to sell the property and got evaluation of the property by Kanti Karamsey and Company. On 19 July 2004 The evaluation firm valued the property net worth at 31,80,240 rupees. Interestingly, the trust members accepted this peanut price which was around 229 rupees per square meter.

5. The trust on 21 August 2004 Published Advertisement in Two local Newspapers namely ‘The Financial Express’ and ‘Vartahar’ for inviting offers from the prospective purchasers on ‘As is where’ and ‘as it is’ Condition. Interestingly, the trust got only one offer, that is from Neelkamal Realtors and Builders Pvt. Ltd. Shahid Balwa’s company had offered One crore for the property, the trust bargained the price and finally settled only at the initial offer price.

6. On 6th September 2004 the trust passed a resolution to sell the said property to Neelkamal Realtors and Builders Private Limited.

7. The trust filed for the sale of the property before Charity Commissioner, Mumbai. In his Judgement dated 16 Nov 2004, Charity Commissioner Mr. S.B. Dhumal ruled that the property in question belongs to a trust which is secular in nature and allowed sale of the property. The charity commissioner gave this ruling on base of an affidavit presented before him by Trustee Mr. Rasheed Omar, saying that original documents related to trust are misplaced and the trust is secular in Nature. The property was finally sold to Neelkamal Realtors and Builders on 15th Dec 2004 for a price of one crore rupees.

8. The Maharashtra Government Gazette published on 13th November 2003 included a notification by Chief Executive Officer of  Maharashtra State Board of Wakf, Aurangabad. The Notification included list of wakf Properties including Haji Zakaria Haji Ahmed patel Mohammedan Orphanage as a Wakf Property. But the Wakf Board of Maharashtra vide its notification published in official Gazette dated 05.05.2005  published list of wakf properties in which the Name of Haji Zakaria trust was excluded. Although the wakf board published another notification dated 07.10.2008 cancelling the 05.05.2005. The notification also said that the original notification of list of wakf properties published on 13 November 2003 remains as it is. This notification declared Haji Zakaria Ahmed Patel Mohammedan Orphanage a wakf property. In its judgement the charity commissioner ruled that The Haji Zakaria Trust is secular in Nature, But Maharashtra Wakf Board says that the trust properties are wakf Properties. 

9. At Present Balwa’s Company Neelkamal Realtors and Builders is fighting a case about the said property in Bombay High Court. 

The above facts prove that the sale of the orphanage property to Balwa’s company was pre planned. In fact Balwa has an eye on the property for long. It is beyond understanding that how a trust can sell property worth several hundred crores for just Rupees One crore without trust members being offered some wrongful gains. The saddest part of the story is that the full government machinery helped Balwa buy this property, which belongs to orphans trust. Although a question regarding the property was raised in Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha, but nothing much has been done in this regards.

At present Balwa’s Orchid City Centre Mall sparks at the land that once belong to orphans and was sold to realtors by conspiracy of the trust members and other government officials involved.

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