Despite a deed of conveyance transferring two-thirds of Veer Sawarkar’s house to Vijay Kambe, the majority property holder says that the building will still bear the freedom fighter’s name
As a signifier of the changing times, Sawarkar Sadan, home to freedom fighter Veer Sawarkar, is not owned by the Sawarkar family any more, but another man called Vijay Kambe, who owns two-thirds of the building.
The building, however, will preserve its title despite a change in the title deed. Situated in Shivaji Park, the building was home to Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar, popularly known as Veer Sawarkar, who stayed here till he died in February 1966.
Sundartai Sawarkar (81), in her house at Sawarkar Sadan in Shivaji Park; she said she had no issues with a change in the title deed so long as the building’s name remained the same
The property lease between him and the BMC is dated February 1943. Then a ground-plus-one-storey structure, the house now has additional floors. But, of its total area of 436.46 square metres, only a third remains with the Sawarkar family, making it a minority title holder in its own building.
The share belonging to Sawarkar’s daughter has been sold to Kambe by her husband, making Kambe the bigger holder in the share of the property. Kambe applied to the BMC for changing the land records to say he is the holder of two-thirds of Sawarkar Sadan, and the BMC issued a notice last week in this regard.
Post Sawarkar’s death, as per his will, a third of the property went to his son Vishwas, whereas the remaining two-thirds to his married daughter Prabhavati Chiplunkar. Prabhavati died intestate in May 1971, and after her death, her son Prafulla, daughter Madhuri and Madhuri’s husband Madhav Chiplunkar inherited her share.
Vishwas Sawarkar and Madhav Chiplunkar had then informed the BMC and asked that Prabhavati’s share be transferred in the latter’s name; the same was registered with the Sub-Registrar of Assurances in Mumbai. Years later, in July 1994, a deed of conveyance was executed between Chiplunkar and Kambe, with Prafulla, Madhuri and Vishwas, as first, second and third confirming parties for the property’s purchase.
In June earlier this year, Kambe made an application to the BMC, asking for deletion of Chiplunkar’s name from the deed, and the addition of his own. Accordingly, the BMC has called for objections from the general public over the alteration in the records.
After Vishwas Sawarkar’s death nearly four years ago, his wife Sundartai Sawakar, daughter-in-law of Veer Sawarkar, is the only one who resides on the first floor, which has a one-room-kitchen apartment. The 81-year-old owns a similar-size space on the ground floor. Her daughter, who stays in Thane, visits her often. Her immediate neighbour is Kambe.
Sundartai, said, “Whatever has happened is legal. We have no objection to the transfer of the other part of the property in the name of Kambe, as it belonged to Chiplunkar and he sold it to Kambe.
My only issue is that the name Sawarkar Sadan always be retained for the property, and written a bit more prominently.” As per Sundartai, it was Sawarkar’s will that gave a larger part of the property to the daughter, leaving them with a smaller portion in the building.
Name to stay
Kambe, meanwhile, said that the BMC is going through the legal procedure of verifying the title of the property, and hence has issued the public notice. He said, “We have been staying here for 33 years, and it’s given that, immaterial of who owns it, the name of the property would never change to anything else. This building will always be known as Sawakar Sadan.”