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Delhi HC seeks Centre response on suit seeking Rs 2.21 crore damages for property forfeited during the Emergency

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The Delhi High Court on Monday has sought the response of the Central government in a suit seeking damages of Rs 2.21 crore for a property forfeited in 1975 during the Emergency. (Rajiv Sarin vs Directorate of Estates & Ors).

A single-judge bench headed by Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri sought the response on the petition filed by Rajiv Sarin, Deepak Sarin and Radhika Sarin with regards to a property at Ansal Bhawan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg which has been taken over by the Central government in 1975 when placing H.K. Sarin, the petitioners’ father, in preventive detention.

Earlier, the High Court had directed the Directorate of Estates to pay arrears of rent to the plaintiffs at Rs 20,500 per month i.e. the last paid rent for the period of possession from 01.05.1999 to 02.07.2020.

The Delhi Government had issued preventive detention orders against late HK Sarin under the provisions of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling  Activities Act, 1974. 

Afterwards, during the proceedings the defendant, Directorate of Estate allegedly stopped paying rent. Whereas in 1999, the possession of the property was taken over by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Government of India.

The plea stated another notice was issued after the detention order which was set aside later in 2016 by the High Court. The petition has been filed as the High Court had directed the Directorate of Estate to pay Rs 20,500 per month rent arrears from 1999 to 2020 the bench further reserved the liberty of the Plaintiffs to claim compensation, mesne profits and interest.

The petitioners have sought payment of Rs 2,20,70,954 as damages for mesne profits and loss of market rent due to the illegal use and occupation. They sought Rs 9,89,077 as damages arising out of outstanding maintenance charges (including water charges) in relation to illegal use and occupation. 

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Then, Rs 43,53,912 as damages arising out of outstanding Property Tax in relation to illegal use and occupation. And a pre-suit, pendente lite and future interest at the rate of 12% per annum.

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