A review petition calling for the recall of a decision approving the sale of a shop in a mostly Hindu neighbourhood of Vadodara to a Muslim man was denied by the Gujarat high court.
Approximately 10 petitioners who were witnesses to the sale transaction were also fined with Rs 25,000 by the court, which rejected their claims that they had been “coerced to sign the sale agreements”.
In his 42-page order, dated February 9, Justice Biren Vaishnav said, “it is a disturbing factor that a successful purchaser of property in a disturbed area is being hounded and thwarting his attempt to enjoy the fruits of the property which he successfully purchased.”
The decision was just posted on the court’s website. The shop owner had filed a petition challenging the district collector’s decision to deny permission for sale on the grounds that “such sale was likely to affect the balance in the majority Hindu/minority Muslim and could develop into a law-and-order problem,” and the high court responded with an order on March 9, 2020.
The deputy collector’s aforementioned challenges were rejected by the high court in March 2020. It stated that the key question is whether the sale was made with free and fair consent and for a fair payment.
When the sub-registrar was supposed to register the sale, the problem reappeared. The petitioners claimed they were forced to sign the selling paperwork under duress.
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