Former SC judge Justice P. Venkatarama Reddy appointed as arbitrator to settle dispute between actor Dilip Kumar & developer

Supreme Court: In the dispute between 95-year-old veteran actor Dilip Kumar and the developer of his Pali Hill Porperty, the bench of J Chelameswar and S. Abdul Nazeer, JJ referred the matter for resolution by arbitration and directed both the parties to submit their dispute for arbitration by the Former Supreme Court judge, Justice P. Venkatarama Reddy.

As per the development agreement entered into in June 2006, Dilip Kumar was entitled to 50% of the “Development potential” and the developers were jointly entitled to the balance 50% of the “development potential”. The development was to be completed within 24 months, however, till date no development worth mentioning has taken place. Respondent developer PRAJITA was not the original party to the agreement but stepped into the shoes of one of the developers on 20.04.2010 under a deed of assignment. It was alleged that PRAJITA has posted armed guards around the property in question preventing the appellant from entering the property. Appellant actor had contended that he was willing to pay an amount of Rs. 20 crores to PRAJITA in order to have an undisturbed possession and peaceful enjoyment of the property.

Apart from referring the matter to arbitration, the Court gave the below mentioned directions:

  • The appellant shall deposit an amount of Rs. 20 crores by demand draft to the Registry of this Court within a period of four weeks from today and intimate the same to PRAJITA.
  • Upon the receipt of such intimation, PRAJITA shall withdraw all the security personnel deployed by it and hand over possession of the property in question within a period of seven days from the date of the receipt of the above-mentioned intimation to the appellant in the presence of the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai or any other senior police officer subordinate to the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai to be nominated by the Commissioner of Police.
  • The Commissioner of Police or his nominee shall draw a Panchnama of the fact of the handing over of the property by PRAJITA to the appellant and file the same in the Registry of this Court within a week from the date of the handing over of the possession.
  • Upon the filing of the Panchnama with the Registry of this Court, PRAJITA shall be at liberty to withdraw the amount of Rs. 20 crores deposited by the appellant pursuant to this order

The Court said that, the question as to whether PRAJITA would be entitled for any damages apart from receiving the above-mentioned amount of Rs. 20 crores from the appellant will be decided by the arbitrator appointed by the Court. [Yusuf Khan v. Prajita Developers Pvt. Ltd., 2017 SCC OnLine SC 1016, decided on 30.08.2017]

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