At a time when the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) government took steps to preserve Bollywood legend and tragedy icon Dilip Kumar’s ancestral home in Mohallah Khudadad area of the historical Qissa Khawni Bazaar, a number of claimants have stepped forward to claim its ownership.
Ikramullah, who currently occupies the house, told a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club on Monday that Dilip’s father Ghulam Sarwar bought the house when its previous owner Gul Jee put it up for sale in 1943, adding that Sarwar later sold it to one Yaqoob Qureshi in 1944. He argued that Dilip had no right to claim it as his inheritance because his father had sold it.
Ikramullah said that Yaqoob died in 1981 and his death certificate is also available. He said that Yaqoob’s son Muhammad Badshah put it up for sale in 2005, and this time it was Haji Lal Muhammad, a partner of Ikramullah who purchased the property by paying Rs5.5million to Badshah.
Ikramullah mentioned that after Badshah received a sum of money in advance, he resorted to delaying the registration of the house in Haji Lal’s name, upon which Ikramullah moved the civil court to seek possession and the certificate of ownership of the house.
Badshah received the remaining amount in front of a civil judge and gave Haji Lal the registration and ownership papers. However, the provincial government recently announced that it wanted to purchase it and declare it a national asset.
In yet another twist, Ikramullah reiterated that following the K-P government’s offer of Rs30 million to purchase the house and declare it a national heritage, one Fawad Ishaq claimed its ownership.
Ikramullah said that a jirga was convened where all the documents were produced, but Fawad failed to produce a single piece of paper to prove his ownership of the property. He also warned that they had a right to file a damages suit in court against the claimants for wrongly claiming his property.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 10th, 2012.