A three-party legal battle continues centering on the house at Gulshan Avenue, which was recently recovered by Rajuk through the eviction of BNP Standing Committee Member Barrister Moudud Ahmed.
Just after Rajuk turned Moudud out from the property on June 7 following a lengthy legal battle, the case was further complicated when an Austrian citizen named Karim Franz Solaiman claimed the land’s ownership 15 days later.
Solaiman submitted an application to Rajuk with documents supporting his claim as the only child of Inge Mariah Flatz, the original owner of the Gulshan property.
However, soon after the claim was made on June 21, Solaiman was detained by the immigration police minutes before his 10pm Flydubai flight on June 22.
Earlier in the day, after an interrogation by Detective Branch (DB) of the police, he was escorted to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport for his flight.
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Later, Solaiman’s lawyer Jenifer Ashraf informed Dhaka Tribune that he had returned to Austria safely last Monday.
A day earlier, Rajuk demolished all structures of the house.
When contacted, senior Rajuk officials refused to speak about the matter while Moudud's phone was switched off.
However, Rajuk Executive Magistrate Khandker Oliur Rahman, who had conducted the eviction drive on June 7, said the establishment was demolished because the government wanted to recover the land following the final verdict of the apex court.
Earlier, during his eviction, Moudud commented that this move was illegal and politically motivated, as well as an example of political vengeance.
Last Saturday, in reply to a query by reporters, he said he did not know that Karim Franz Solaiman had made a visit to Bangladesh.
Also Read- Now Austrian citizen claims ownership of Moudud’s House
The legal issues surrounding the Gulshan house started many years back, after the original owners of the property, Pakistani Md Ehsan and Austrian Inge Flatz abandoned the house in 1971. Ehsan had previously received the rights to the house from Dacca Improvement Trust (DIT), now Rajuk, in 1960.
Since the couple did not return after the Liberation War ended in 1971, a year later the government listed the house as an abandoned property.
From 1973 till his eviction on June 7 this year, Moudud Ahmed had resided on the property.
Also Read- Rajuk evicts Moudud from Gulshan house
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court asked Moudud to vacate the residence, scrapping his plea to review an Appellate Division verdict to depart from the house.
On August 2 last year, the apex court scrapped a High Court judgment that ordered the house’s mutation against his brother’s, Manjur Ahmed’s, name.
In 2005, the High Court ordered the mutation after Manjur had moved the court in 2001. The court in 2010 accepted a petition to mutate the property against Manjur’s name. The Appellate Division, however, rejected the High Court order after Rajuk challenged it.
The apex court also scrapped proceedings of a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission on December 17, 2013 against Moudud and Manjur. The case was filed as an allegation surfaced that they had attempted to grab the land by forging documents when Manjur was serving as a civil servant from 1978 to 2006.
The dockets belonging to Manjur and Moudud show that they had signed an agreement with Inge Flatz on August 10, 1985. However, dockets of the house say Inge Flatz had died on March 30 of that year.
As the deed was not implemented, they filed a case that was quashed in 1993.
Also Read- Rajuk demolishing Gulshan house previously occupied by Moudud
Despite the apex court order to vacate the house, Moudud vowed not to leave it, saying: “The court did not say that the house belongs to the government. The government did not give us any condition to leave it. We will speak to the house owner since this is a matter between us and not the government.”
However, terming Moudud’s comments audacious, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the government now has the authority to evict any occupant of the land after the verdict.