Rani Mukherjee loses out in Shirdi land case


Pune : Bollywood star Rani Mukherjee’s dream of owning a house in the temple town of Shirdi in Maharashtra was dashed Thursday with a court refusing to give her the title of the land she had been duped into buying.

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Sub-Divisional Magistrate Nandakumar Suryanvanshi, passing the final order, said: “The land was taken back by the government. Rani Mukherjee’s application to register her name on the form 7/12 (land revenue record) is rejected.”

“And all the other names registered before the transaction are also cleared from the record. And an order has been passed to register the government’s name on the record,” the magistrate said.

The actress, who wanted to build a house in Shirdi where the revered shrine of Sai Baba is located, had purchased 11,000 sq ft land in 2005 from one Sampat More. But Rani was unaware that it was non-transferable farmland and hence could not be sold.

Though the actress paid Rs.132,000 for registration of the land, she was told that the ownership could not be transferred in her name as it was government land leased out to a farmer.

The land, labelled as tenure land, can be bought only with the permission of a competent authority of the district, a procedural point which Rani had overlooked.

The original owner of the land was a farmer who with the permission of the government had started a brick kiln in 1981. However, property prices of the area appreciated tremendously since then, so the original owner started to sell the land in bits and pieces.

Sampat More was also one of the buyers but he did not have his name registered in the documents and sold the land to the actress, who purchased it without verifying the document.