The blows never seem to end for singer-composer Adnan Sami. After being hounded by his former wife to every court in town Adnan’s property has been confiscated by the Enforcement Directorate apparently because he is a Pakistani national.
Spirited and undefeated, as always Adnan spoke exclusively to Mirror.
“I woke up on December 24 and was very casually going through the newspapers when I saw the news. I didn’t have the heart to wake up my wife Roya. Sometimes I wonder what I’d do without the blows. So God, bring them on…How long will I continue to be considered a non-Indian when I’ve made India my home? Seedhi si baat hai. Whatever I’ve earned, I’ve earned in India and through hard work.”
The confiscation notice has come as the latest blow. “It isn’t as if I’ve 20 properties and therefore losing one would be okay. No! The property that’s been taken away is the only one I have, not just in Mumbai or India. It’s the only property I own in the world! I swear to God, the rest of the property in other parts of the world is ancestral. I didn’t take any money from my parents. Today the only property I have is being confiscated. On what grounds? I approached and bought it legitimately! How was I to know about the irregularities? Isn’t it the builder’s responsibility to make sure everything is in order?”
Concealing his agony Adnan says, “They’ve taken away my entire property! I wonder why I am not devastated. But I think I know. After losing my father, losing property is nothing. This order has come from a tribunal asking the property be confiscated in favour of the government of India. The execution has not taken place. They’ve given me a 45-day reprieve.”
Sighs Adnan, “I came to Mumbai in 1999. I’ve been here for 12 years now. I’m a tax payer. I’ve done everything according to the rules. I’ve a got a PAN card. In 2003 I decided to buy this property in Oberoi Towers. I knew the builder Vikas Oberoi and he said to me, ‘I’ve just completed a building and I’ve got some apartments in it, why don’t you check it out?’ He got his office and legal team to take care of the formalities. My job, I thought, was done once I paid the money. Obviously when you buy property there are a thousand papers and legal documents. How was I to know what the formalities were, wasn’t this his (Vikas Oberoi’s) line of work? Anyhow he asked me to furnish documents like passport, PAN card, etc. They took care of the formalities.That I was a Pakistani national was never hidden. It was all there on paper. Then I needed a part loan. Vikas Oberoi arranged a loan of 1.5 crore rupees.The whole property was worth 2.3 crores.”
Adnan is insistent on his earnings being Indian. “The money that I paid from my pocket was money that I had made in India after paying my taxes. Then the property was registered with the government of India. Now , it was the registering authorities responsibility to say I wasn’t a citizen of India and therefore not allow me to register property. If at that point of time they had told me I wasn’t eligible to buy property in India I’d have backed out. But they happily registered and stamped my property.”
Now begins Adnan’s fight to get the confiscation order revoked. “The only ray of hope is my wife’s smile.When she said to me, ‘Jaan, We have each other, We will see this through too’ I knew we’d sail through. Worse come to worse I’ll move with my cars into Joggers Park and sleep there with my wife.”
--Subhash K Jha / Sampurn Wire