Author set to get a huge sum even after losing court battle over his ancestral 4, Flagstaff Road bungalow
Salman Rushdie’s ancestors owned three plots adjacent to the disputed bungalow — 4, Flagstaff Road in upscale Civil Lines — which the author’s family lost after a protracted three-decade legal battle.
Neighbours of the bungalow revealed this on Sunday after the Supreme Court directed Rushdie and his family to honour a deed between his father Anis Ahmed Rushdie and then Congress leader Bhiku Ram Jain in December 1970.
Rushdie’s father had entered into an agreement with Jain to sell the bungalow in North Delhi for Rs 3.75 lakh. Jain had paid
Rs 50,000 to Rushdie and given an assurance to pay the rest of the amount after the owner got tax clearance certificates from income tax authorities.
Later, the two families fought over agreement and accused each other of not respecting the terms. Jain filed a suit in 1977 requesting the trial court to direct Rushdie to honour the sales deed.
Finally, the Supreme Court ended the dispute by ruling in favour of the Jains.
The court also ruled that ends of justice would meet if a quietus is given to the dispute by directing the buyers to pay the current market price of the property instead of the initial sum agreed upon.
This means, Rushdie will get a huge sum of money, even after losing the case.
The Flagstaff Road neighbours said the Rushdie family owned a “huge plot”. It was split and sold to four different parties in the 1960s and 70s.
The Kuckrejas own one of the plots — a part of which serves as a bed and breakfast facility. The second plot — 4B — changed hands several times before Bhiku Ram Jain’s family bought it.
“The Lal family owns one portion, while Arvind Jain (son of Bhikhu Ram Jain) is the owner of the other,” Vanita Kuckreja, wife of playwright and film director Arun Kuckreja, said. The Kuckreja’s live in 4A, Flagstaff Road.
“Before shifting here, Bhiku Ram Jain’s family lived on Rajpur Road, Civil Lines. As far as the other three plots are concerned, they were sold in 1960 and changed ownership several times. My mother-in-law bought one of the plots. People living here hardly know or remember Rushdie’s family,” Kuckreja said.
She said she has not seen anyone from Rushdie’s family visit the place. “This locality is very peaceful and we had heard that Rushdie wanted to turn the bungalow into a resort for writers and artists,” she said.