Pakistani High Court asked the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtukhwa to clarify its stand on declaring the ancestral home of actor Dilip Kumar as national heritage after a man claimed the property belonged to him
Peshawar: A Pakistani court in Peshawar yesterday rejected a writ petition against declaring the ancestral house of legendary Indian actor Dilip Kumar as national heritage.
Dilip Kumar (left) was conferred Pakistan’s highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) in 1998 by the President of Pakistan Rafiq Tarrar. PIC/AFP
The house is located in Mohallah Khudadad area in Peshawar, where the 92-year-old actor was born and spent his early formative years.
The Peshawar High Court on Tuesday summoned the secretary of the culture and archaeology department of Khyber Pakhtukhwa (KP) to appear before it and explain if the government was still interested in acquiring the house.
The house is located in Mohallah Khudadad area in Peshawar, where the 92-year-old actor was born and spent his early years. File pic
The bench comprising Justice Nisar Hussain and Justice Rohul Amin was hearing the writ petition filed by local trader Lal Muhammad through his counsel Shahnawaz Khan. The trader claimed that the property belonged to him.
A representative of the KP culture department appeared in the court yesterday and informed that the provincial archives department has already taken the custody of the house of Kumar in Mohallah Khudadad on the back of historic Qissa Khwani bazar and proper notification has already been issued by the KP Government.
The notification of the KP Government stated that no one is allowed to make any alteration in the said house nor could sell it out to anyone.
After hearing the arguments, the court disposed of the petition and directed the petitioner to approach the concerned department to this effect. The petitioner in his writ argued the house, being affiliated with Kumar, in Chowk Nasir Khan was his property. He claimed that the property was purchased by his father.
‘It’s my property’
His lawyer had said the house in question could not be called Kumar’s ancestral property as his father had sold it out within three days of purchase.
The petitioner had requested the court to direct the government to cancel the acquisition and release the property to the petitioner for his use, sale, transfer, reconstruction and development.
The then provincial government in 2012, on the 89th birthday of Kumar, issued a notification under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act 1894 regarding the house.
It initially agreed to pay Rs 3 crore to the petitioner for the house but after meetings with the attorney of the petitioner, the government then made an offer of Rs 1.12 crore, which was then raised to Rs 1.42 crore.
The actor, who was born as Yousuf Khan in Peshawar in 1922, is loved in both India and Pakistan and for years there have been requests in Pakistan for salvaging his ancestral home. Kumar, also known as ‘Tragedy King’ was conferred Pak's highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz (Order of Excellence) in 1998.
Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had last year declared Kumar’s house a ‘national heritage,’ that can promote close cultural relations between India and Pakistan.
The year in which Pak government issued a notification regarding the acquisition of the house on Kumar’s 89th birthday