P D Zilla and the case of the Unappropriated Land

Deceased textile magnate’s niece unearths documents of sale of about 2,300 sq m of his land in Andheri (East) twice — once for a throwaway price, and another time for Rs 18 crore — after he died in 2005

Yet another of what seems to be a land grabbing scam cracks open in the city, in which 2,286.91 sq m of land in Andheri (East) has been shown to have been sold by a man almost a year after his death, and subsequently sold to another company five years later for around Rs 18 crore.

PD Zilla, a leading textile owner, had acquired a lot of property in the city in his time, and in 2003, had given Skyline Trading and Export Pvt Ltd a piece of land in Gundavali village in Andheri (East) for redevelopment. The firm took over the land after Zilla’s death in 2005 by allegedly forging documents. Five years later, it sold the plot to Videocon Realty and Infrastructure Ltd for almost Rs 18 crore, said Zilla’s niece, Khushboo Tampal, one of the beneficiaries named in Zilla’s will.

Tampal filed an FIR against Skyline, Videocon, and Bombay Paxwel Pvt Ltd — the firm Zilla had mortgaged the land to for Rs 10 lakh — for forging and fabricating documents, cheating and depriving her of her rights on November 2 with the MIDC police station.

On July 27, she had filed a criminal writ petition against the companies in the Bombay High Court, which had directed them to settle the matter. Advocate Om Prakash Pandey said on behalf of Tampal, "Neither of the companies came forward to solve the issue. So the police recorded Tampal’s statement, and on November 2, filed an FIR against the companies under Sections 406, 409, 420 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code. It’s just another scam wherein they had forged the documents for their benefit."

After assigning Skyline Trading the redevelopment of land, Zilla wrote to them in 2004 to terminate the contract, but on November 9, 2005 he died at the Parsi General Hospital. "But the land was sold by Skyline’s owner to his own son for a mere Rs 3,51,000. The firm also paid off the mortgage amount of Rs 10 lakh to Bombay Paxwel, thereby establishing ownership over it. On paper, the transaction occurred in 2006, and the documents name Zilla as the seller. But he died in 2005. How is this possible?" said Pandey.

He further said that the land — worth Rs 100 crore today — was sold to Videocon in 2010 for Rs 17,66,89,000 for which there wasn’t any title certificate given. "A title certificate is necessary when a disputed land or property is sold. It is given by a lawyer; when there wasn’t any exchange of the same, it became clear that no lawyer wanted to put his hand in this fraud," said Pandey.

MiD DAY has copies of all the documents, including Zilla’s death certificate, the deed of conveyance, letter to the commissioner of police by Tampal, FIR copy from MIDC police station, development agreement, Zilla’s executive will for eight beneficiaries, and the agreement letter of sale to Videocon realty and infrastructure.

Tampal who is a resident of Pune has been travelling to and fro for some time now to get justice and put the perpetrators behind bars. "But the police isn’t doing anything. We had filed a complaint on November 2 and since then no action has been taken. Obviously the criminals are getting time to prepare the anticipatory bail."

Tampal came to know about the discrepancy on June 28 earlier this year, when her younger sister Gazal Shiraz Zilla, obtained a certified copy of the Property Card and other records from the office of Registrar of Assurances.

About Zilla

P D Zilla was a businessman who was initially the owner of Bharat Cotton Textile Mills. According to his niece Khushboo Tampal, he acquired a lot of property in the city which could be easily worth Rs 1,000 crore. He also owned many acres of land in Lonavala. He died in 2005 when he was 80. He was unmarried and the eldest brother of his family.

The other side

None of the officials from Videocon Realty and Infrastructure Ltd, Bombay Paxwel PVt Ltd, or Skyline Trading and Export Pvt Ltd were available for comment on the matter.

  • gb

    This is a one sided story, totally half and incomplete. It needs to be completely investigated minutely in detail because it will open a pandoras box. I know them very well and even mr. dinshaw mehta knows them very well. you continue your journalistic abilities to find out the truth.

  • gb

    This is a one sided story, totally half and incomplete. It needs to be completely investigated minutely in detail because it will open a pandoras box. I know them very well and even mr. dinshaw mehta knows them very well. you continue your journalistic abilities to find out the truth.

  • hi

    Midday has one sided story and now completely taken and published here. Wait for the updates from Rinkita.gurav the lady who published the same with the other side of the story. when the truth is unvieled it will be more of a shock than the present. With Regards to the Advocate- nothing more can be said about someone who contradicts his own statements in various court cases in the same manner.  truth prevails and will be out very soon. The story is so intriguing that if sold to Ram Gopal Verma it can be the best selling movis of all times.

    Regards

  • hi

    Midday has one sided story and now completely taken and published here. Wait for the updates from Rinkita.gurav the lady who published the same with the other side of the story. when the truth is unvieled it will be more of a shock than the present. With Regards to the Advocate- nothing more can be said about someone who contradicts his own statements in various court cases in the same manner.  truth prevails and will be out very soon. The story is so intriguing that if sold to Ram Gopal Verma it can be the best selling movis of all times.

    Regards

  • arzan mullaphiroze

    why don’t you contact mid-day and find out the other half of this story. she is also investigating. police is also investigating, cbi is also investigating. mr. dinshaw mehta is fully aware of this story because he fought for 28 years with them till supreme court as confirmed by him in samast anjuman meeting.

  • xyz

    Will Mr. Dinshaw Mehta please clarify to the community in detail why it took Bpp to fight for 28 years till Supreme Court till 2010 for a person who died in the year 2005. Don’t you think you are wasting Community precious funds for your stubbornness to fight in the court and waste money which can be utilised for poor and needy for food, education, employment, housing etc. welfare schemes. What a waste of money. really shameful.

  • xyz

    Will Mr. Dinshaw Mehta please clarify to the community in detail why it took Bpp to fight for 28 years till Supreme Court till 2010 for a person who died in the year 2005. Don’t you think you are wasting Community precious funds for your stubbornness to fight in the court and waste money which can be utilised for poor and needy for food, education, employment, housing etc. welfare schemes. What a waste of money. really shameful.

  • gb

    I understand that rinkita gurav of mid-day newspaper is still investigating munutely the other side of this story. She will write another article very shortly opening the pandora’s box of BPP also.

  • gb

    I understand that rinkita gurav of mid-day newspaper is still investigating munutely the other side of this story. She will write another article very shortly opening the pandora’s box of BPP also.

  • Arnavaz havewala

    wow!!!
    just one more example of a parsee’s property being eaten up…illegally..by some outsider.
    its so v sad that so many land holdings in mumbai and around, are being neglected.we are not even aware of who owns what.
    i have been travelling to bhavnagar and rajkot over a long period as professor of oral pathology at a dental college.
    i make it a point to look for and explore aparsi properties and institutions wherever i go.
    i have observed   the poor condition of most properties in small towns—at least those run by trusts.
    it really hurts me.. and now this is happening in our bombay itself.
    i am very hopeful that the bombay parsee panchayet will do sumthing.
    it can appoint a committee to obtain land records  of each and every parsee holdings in mumbai and in gujrat.
    i am sure the local residents of every town/city will help.
    then it should do its best to protect and salvage uall these properties.
    we have enough prominent lawyers and judges all over to advise us on this, and help in initiating litigation if and wherever its required.

  • Arnavaz havewala

    wow!!!
    just one more example of a parsee’s property being eaten up…illegally..by some outsider.
    its so v sad that so many land holdings in mumbai and around, are being neglected.we are not even aware of who owns what.
    i have been travelling to bhavnagar and rajkot over a long period as professor of oral pathology at a dental college.
    i make it a point to look for and explore aparsi properties and institutions wherever i go.
    i have observed   the poor condition of most properties in small towns—at least those run by trusts.
    it really hurts me.. and now this is happening in our bombay itself.
    i am very hopeful that the bombay parsee panchayet will do sumthing.
    it can appoint a committee to obtain land records  of each and every parsee holdings in mumbai and in gujrat.
    i am sure the local residents of every town/city will help.
    then it should do its best to protect and salvage uall these properties.
    we have enough prominent lawyers and judges all over to advise us on this, and help in initiating litigation if and wherever its required.

  • Phiroze

    Any furthrer progress on the investigation ?????????

  • Phiroze

    Any furthrer progress on the investigation ?????????

  • Byram.Sidhwa

    Phiroze,
    Just to enlighten you that once Parsee population in Mumbai comes down to say 16,000 the  Fire Temple properties for which you call mine not of freeloaders will fall in hands of total parjats. hat is the destiny.

  • Zerxes Dordi

    Persons like Phiroze can go on talking about “MAARUU MAARUU  and show the ‘wisdom; of selfishness. Ultimately all Parsee properties  will fall in hands of non Parsees and nobody will remember likes of the tribe of Phiroze

  • gb

    Will Bpp Chairman Mr. Dinshaw Mehta please clarify in detail about this family’s court case to the community. Bpp has fought for 23 years till Honourable Supreme Court of India. Then what is the result ??? Recently, their family members have trespassed in a BPP Flat ?? Is this true ??

  • gb

    Will Bpp Chairman Mr. Dinshaw Mehta please clarify in detail about this family’s court case to the community. Bpp has fought for 23 years till Honourable Supreme Court of India. Then what is the result ??? Recently, their family members have trespassed in a BPP Flat ?? Is this true ??

  • gb

    This same family has attacked their opponents by unleashing DOBBERMAN dogs to attack. This case is still going on in the Honourable High Court.

  • gb

    This same family has attacked their opponents by unleashing DOBBERMAN dogs to attack. This case is still going on in the Honourable High Court.

  • FTW

    Guys just an update on this issue… NOTHING!! has been done, and the main reason behind it is that the Zilla family itself is in such broken shambles; brothers and sisters fighting like hungry dogs within the family and ultimately outsiders have taken undue advantage. All this in the name of justice is a hoax!! The living siblings and beneficiaries have received more than their worth in settlement amounts from various builders, most recently being the Irani family (Irani, PD Zilla’s youngest sister) admitted to a false complaint filed against a builder in the Hon. High Court, which later asked them to pay a fine for wasting the courts precious time. They received hefty cash rewards along with commercial property to the tune of crores. It is a shame how they cry for justice in the courts with huge dollar $ signs in their eyes.