Nagpur: In a recent development, the Joint Civil Judge in Nagpur has dismissed an application filed by Godrej Properties and an Agrawal family from Nagpur, challenging the maintainability of a lawsuit that questions a Rs 227 crore land deal between the two parties. The basis of this legal dispute revolves around provisions of Muslim Law.
The contentious land deal, which involves 58 acres of land in Ghogli village near Besa, has faced challenges on multiple grounds. One of the primary arguments put forth by the party opposing the deal is that, under Muslim Law, a mother cannot serve as the natural guardian of children.
Following this, both Godrej Properties and the Agrawal family jointly contested the maintainability of the case against the land deal, asserting that it had exceeded the applicable limitation period. However, the court has rejected their plea, making a significant observation under Muslim Law.
According to the court’s ruling, under Muslim Law, the estate of a deceased individual devolves upon their heirs immediately upon their death. The heirs are considered as tenants in common and do not divide the estate at the time of inheritance. This means that any heir can file a suit to recover their share of the estate. Importantly, the period of limitation for such suits does not begin from the date of the individual’s death but rather from the date of an express ouster or denial of title.
Godrej Properties had acquired the land in question from the Agrawal family in the year 2022, for a substantial sum of Rs 227 crore. Notably, the land had originally belonged to the Abdul family, from whom the Agrawals had purchased it in 1988. However, as Godrej Properties began advertising the sale of plots on the land, the entire land deal between Godrej and the Agrawals came under challenge, initiated by a member of the Abdul family, Abdul Bashir.
The legal dispute can be traced back to the time when Abdul Wahab, the patriarch of the Abdul family, passed away. Following his demise, his wife Khairunisa executed the land deal with the Agrawals in 1988. This deal included the share of the eight children as well. The primary argument against the deal was that, under Muslim Law, the mother cannot act as the legal guardian of the children. Additionally, it was contended that Madhukar Purohit, an individual, was shown as the guardian of the minor children and signed on their behalf.
The court’s ruling rejecting the maintainability challenge has added another layer of complexity to this ongoing legal battle over the high-value land deal. The case will likely continue to be closely watched as it proceeds through the legal system.