Pakistani singer-composer Adnan Sami Khan has been issued a notice by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for owning eight flats and five car parking spaces in Mumbai, reports IANS.
A fine of INRs2 million has also been slapped on the singer.
Confirming the news, Khan said, “I have received an order from the ED which says my properties will be confiscated if I do not file an appeal in the next 45 days.”
He rubbished media reports claiming that his flats have been confiscated.
“The order was received on December 21 and we have 45 days from then to file an appeal, which we will move at the earliest. But the properties have not been confiscated yet,” said Khan’s lawyer Vibhav Krishna.
The ED order mentions that Khan’s application for buying property in Mumbai was rejected by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in 2003 owing to his Pakistani nationality. Khan, however, denies any knowledge of the rejection.
Khan owns eight flats and five car parking spaces in Oberoi Sky Garden in suburban Andheri. According to Indian law, a foreign national cannot acquire immovable property in India (other than on lease not exceeding five years).
Shifting the onus on the builder, Khan said, “I was friends with Vikas Oberoi, the builder of Oberoi Sky Garden. In 2003, I had told him I want to buy a property in Mumbai. He had told me about his upcoming project and that his legal team will take care of all the formalities if I want to buy property.”
“In fact my bank loan was also cleared and the property was registered in my name. I had no idea that the RBI has rejected my application. The rejection wasn’t communicated to me or else I would’ve definitely taken the necessary steps to have the property properly registered. It’s because I wasn’t kept in the loop that I am facing this problem now. I wasn’t aware of the RBI’s approval as part of the formalities that required to be completed. Of course, I’ll have to be more sensible and thorough in my future dealings,” Times of India quoted him saying.
Khan had purchased the flats in 2003 at the cost of INRs25,300,000 and had taken a loan of INRs15,000,000 for the purchase.
Challenging the legal notice, Khan said. “After six whole years that the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) has an objection. I had got the property officially registered and the Government had even approved it knowing my nationality.”
Krishna said, “We have also made a fresh application to the RBI, and if the RBI sanctions expose facto, then hopefully the issue will be cleared soon.”
Khan has been trying to get Indian nationality for the last twelve years now, but the state has denied his repeated requests. The artist is staying in India on a business visa.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 29th, 2010.