NEW DELHI: The row over the ownership of a multi-crore-rupee house in Delhi’s plush Golf Links between the families of a close aide to Indira Gandhi and a confidant of Jawaharlal Nehru has taken a fresh turn, with the Land and Development Office (LDO) giving its report on the dispute.
The office said the leasehold right of the two-storey house was mutated in the name of Jayashree Singh, daughter of former Punjab and Uttar Pradesh governor CPN Singh, on March 24, 1971. The LDO prepared the report after the Prime Minister’s Office forwarded a complaint to it from Jayashree Singh.
ET in December reported that Singh had also moved a local court seeking possession of the house, which is occupied by Achala Dhawan, widow of late Congress leader RK Dhawan.
According to the LDO report, accessed by ET, Singh applied for conversion of the leasehold status of the property into freehold through an application dated October 18, 2015. It was converted into freehold in her name on June 30, 2016.
A perusal of Singh’s representation shows that Achala Dhawan has been residing in the property for a long time owing to mutual understanding between their families, the report said, adding: “Now Achala Mohan (Dhawan) is denying access to Jayashree Singh on her property and also refusing to vacate it.”
The LDO office described the dispute as a “civil breach of trust” between the two parties and opined that Singh “may seek restoration of her right on the property” through a civil suit.
Meanwhile, Achala Dhawan, in her reply given to the complaint filed in the local court, denied the charges levelled against her by Singh.
She claimed that her husband was in “settled possession” of the property from 1978 till date and that she had been residing in the property since 2007.
Achala Dhawan claimed that Singh’s family never executed the deed to transfer the property in favour of her late husband. She also denied the claim that Singh was the owner of the property and alleged that Singh threatened her with court cases and muscle power to get possession of the property. According to her, Singh was trying to illegally take possession of the property by making false allegations.
Achala Dhawan claimed that she had a “legal right to remain in occupation of the property by virtue of adverse possession of the property”. She had lodged a police complaint against Singh on charges of forgery and cheating, accusing Singh of submitting forged affidavits of RK Dhawan.
According to the ET report in December, Singh claimed that her late father had “very good relations with the Nehru family” and was “very close to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi”.
RK Dhawan was residing along with his family at Atul Grove Road prior to 1978, according to Singh’s petition. After a change in the government in 1977, when Indira Gandhi was voted out, Dhawan was in need of an accommodation.
Singh’s father, upon a request from Indira Gandhi, allowed Dhawan to reside on the ground floor of the house, it said. Owing to close relationships with the Nehru family, Singh said in her petition, Dhawan was allowed to occupy it without the payment of any rent or charge.
To support her point, Singh submitted that she had been paying all municipal dues and other government levies on the house. Dhawan’s affidavits given to income tax and other authorities acknowledging the arrangement were also annexed with the petition.
The petitioner said she allowed Dhawan’s request to live in the house till he breathed his last — he died in August last year. However, after his death, the house has not been vacated and is in the “illegal possession” of Achala Dhawan, she alleged.