Actor Saif Ali Khan is caught in legal battle to save his ancestral properties in Bhopal from being confiscated by the Government.
The Union home ministry has initiated a process to vest control of properties of the former princely state under the Enemy Property Act, 1968. The actor’s grandmother Sajida Sultan had inherited the properties of Bhopal’s last ruler, Nawab Hamidullah Khan in 1961. As her elder sister and the heir to the property had migrated to Pakistan in 1950, Sajida Sultan got hold of the property. A source told Mid-Day, “As Sajida was married to Iftikhar Ali Khan, the eighth Nawab of Pataudi, the properties came into the Pataudis’ possession. The royal assets include palaces, cottages and farms spread across Bhopal, as well as Raisen and Sehore in Madhya Pradesh.”
Now, Sajida’s inheritance is challenged in an Indian court by her mother and siblings as they staked claim to the Bhopal State properties and assets, now worth thousands of crores. After the death of Saif ‘s father, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the Office of the Custodian of Enemy Property (OCEP), a division of home ministry, initiated an investigation which suggested that since Sajida’s elder sister, Abida, was supposed to be the successor, all her assets will be treated as enemy property.
The certificate was issued in February last week. A source close to the actor said, “Saif has been busy proving that the Pataudis are successors to the erstwhile Bhopal State since last December. He was also asked to submit a copy of the missing merger agreement between the last ruling Nawab and Indian Union.” The actor was however not available for any comment.