Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Competent Authority to file its affidavit clarifying its stand on the plea of gangster Mustafa Dossa’s family, wherein they have challenged the attachment of their properties. The HC has also stayed the proceedings in the Tribunal wherein the Dossa family has sought de-sealing of their properties.
A Division Bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Sarang Kotwal heard the writ petitions filed by Dossa’s family. The family has challenged the show cause notices for the confiscation of 76 their properties across the country.
Senior counsel Prasad Dhakephalkar, appearing for the Dossa family, apprised the Bench that the Competent Authority under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) Act (SAFEMA) had issued three notices. He told the judges the SAFEMA authority had issued these notices as it claimed that there was a nexus between the acquirement of these properties and the offence of 1993 blasts.
“The family and the relatives had challenged the notices and the same were rejected by the Appellate authority twice. The Appellate authority had asked us to maintain the status quo and so we are still in the possession of the respective properties,” Dhakephalkar said.
He also informed the judges that the confiscators have failed to prove any nexus between the criminal offence of 1993 blasts and the acquirement of these properties. On the contrary, Hiten Venegoankar, the special counsel for the Competent Authority, informed the judges that as per the provisions under SAFEMA, the burden is on the owners of the properties to prove that there is no nexus. Having heard the submissions, Justice More directed the Competent authority to file a detailed affidavit clarifying its stand.