Ratnagiri (Maharashtra): The Centre has ordered an auction of four plots of land, said to be the ‘benami’ farm-lands allegedly belonging to absconding mafia don-cum-terrorist Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar in his native place in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district , official sources said on Friday.
The seized properties, measuring a total 21,275 square metres are situated in Mumbake village of Khed, the birthplace of Dawood, 67, where he spent his early childhood before coming to Mumbai in the late 1970s.
The e-auction will be conducted on January 5, 2024, as per a Nov. 21 notice issued by Ministry of Finance under various laws, including the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulator (Forfeiture of Property) Act,1976, the NDPS Act, 1985, and the Prohibition of Benami Property Transaction Act, 1998.
The government has kept a total reserve price of around Rs 19 lakh for all the properties as they are categorised as ‘agricultural land’, currently abandoned and overgrown, with a dilapidated structure standing on one of the plots.
The e-auction conditions stipulate that the properties will be sold on ‘as is where is’ and ‘as is what is’ basis, and it would be the responsibility of the successful bidder to get the property/properties transferred/registered in his/her name.
As per available information on government records, the properties are free of any encumbrances, but the government has advised the prospective bidders to make their own independent inquiries pertaining to any encumbrances, the title, approved plans, etc.
The bidder/buyer would also be responsible for any outstanding or pending dues, taxes, fees, etc that may be applicable on the properties, which according to local villagers have been deserted for several decades.
As per the notice, the Competent Authority, Surabhi Sharma’s office shall not be responsible in any manner for any third-party claims/rights to these properties, and said that any bids should be made only after inspection and due diligence on all matters before bidding for them.
Meanwhile, as news spread about the proposed auction, many locals were seen going around the property, one of them surrounded by a boundary with the symbol of a Crescent Moon and Star engraved on the concrete wall, and thick overgrowth inside the plot.
This is the second major auction of the Kaskar family’s real assets, standing in the names of various siblings, in the past four years.
In November 2020, Dawood’s childhood home along with five other properties in Mumbake village were auctioned, but another plot in Lote village remained unsold owing to certain technical issues. Prior to that, in November 2017, three other prime properties in south Mumbai, comprising rooms, a guest house and a hotel, were sold to various parties.
Currently holed up in Karachi, Dawood – most wanted in India for several crime and terror attacks, including the March 12, 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case – was in the news earlier this week after local reports surfaced claiming he was allegedly poisoned and battling for life in hospital. However, members of the dreaded D-Company denied these outright as ‘fake’ and said Dawood was absolutely fit and fine.