HC turns down British citizen’s land ownership appeal

Staff Correspondent | Published at 03:03am on July 27, 2018

The High Court Division on Thursday rejected Burmese origin British citizen Md Ashraf Yeahia’s writ petition to restore his ownership of a two-storied house at Nayatola in the capital.
In the writ petition he submitted that his house on a 12-bigha plot at 357 and 357/A-2 Nayatola, Moghbazar was made an ‘abandoned property’ in 1972.
Ashraf submitted that on January 10, 1969, his father Yeasin Ahmed Bawani gave him the property as a marriage gift .
He also submitted that his father, a businessman, now lives in Pakistan.
In 2002 Ashraf filed the writ petition challenging a decree given by First Court of Settlement in Dhaka in 2001 dismissing his application to restore his ownership on this property.
The HC said in the verdict that the government rightly made it an abandoned properties through a gazette notification issued on March 18, 1972 as his Pakistani father, the original owner, worked against the Independence of Bangladesh and fled the then East Pakistan before Bangladesh clinched its independence.
The HC ruling said that Ashraf submitted only a photocopy of an unregistered gift deed in support of his claim.
It said that a photo copy of gift deed does not prove his claim to the property.
The court also said that a forged document submitted by Ashraf was not acceptable in the eyes of the law.
A bench of Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal gave the verdict rejecting the writ petition.
Ashraf said that his father purchased the land on January 23, 1957 and constructed the two-storied building with quarter for the guards.
In 1969, submitted Ashraf that he left for London after appointing Kalu Khan as the caretaker.
The papers he submitted says that a police outpost , a madrassah and a school had been set up on the plot and many individuals grabbed parts of the plot.
In 1997 Ashraf in a deposition in the court of settlement in Dhaka submitted that he was 47 and that he has been living in London since 1969.
He mentioned his London address as 22, Dunston Golden Green Road, London, NW 11, 8AA .
He submitted that in Bangladesh he owns industrial enterprises, Bella, Artifitex Industries at Demra in the capital .
He submitted that his forefathers were from Gujrat, India and went to Rangoon, Burma.
He submitted that his father migrated to East Pakistan and invested there.
Lawyer MI Farooqui appeared for Ashraf and assistant attorney general Sukumar Biswas for the state.