Brothers win Sh100m land case as court stops scheme

Thursday, August 12th, 2021 00:00 |
President Uhuru issues title deeds.

Two brothers have won a Sh100 million land dispute case against a company owned by former Igembe North Member of Parliament Joseph Muturia and businessman Knatilal Maganbhai Patel.

Environment and Lands Court Judge Samson Okong’o ruled that the property situated in Westlands belonged to two brothers Rajendra Sanghani and Jayant Rach.

The Judge ruled that Fairmile Investment Company, associated with the former MP had obtained the land illegally from Patel.

This after Bhupesh Rana and Bhogilal Ganatra facilitated an illegal deed of transfer to Fairmile Investment Ltd, a company owned by the former MP, hence criminal charges filed in Kiambu law court.

Rana had claimed that he held power of attorney donated by Patel who was the son of the original owner and sold the property in October 2008 to Fairmile Investments for Sh12 million having obtained the letter of allotment illegally.

Justice Okong’o in his Judgment noted that the Commissioner of Lands was well aware of H.P. Youtan who were the original buyers yet he still issued a letter of allotment to Rana.

The dispute of the said property began in 1963 when one MJ Patel who was the original owner of the land sold it to a company known as HP Youtan and Company Limited but he died before transferring the property to the said company.

On February 17 1964, HP Youtan lodged a caveat against the title of the property, claiming purchaser’s interest.

After the death of the original owner, grants of letters of Administration in respect to his estate were issued to Knatilal Maganbhai Patel who was his son.

On 31st day of July 1973 Patel made an agreement for the sale of the said property with the late R.G. Sanghani who was the father of the two brothers at Sh100,000.

However in 1985, Youtan, the company that had purchased the property from the original owner, sued the son and obtained an order vesting the property to it.

In 1994, the company and the son made a consent whereby the said property was to be transferred in favour of the son in fulfillment with the order that the son would pay the company Sh450,000.

However, instead of paying the Sh450,000, the son, nominated the two brothers’ father Sanghani and his wife to pay the said money to the company.

An assignment agreement between the late Sanghani and his wife and the company was executed whose understanding was that the company had relinquished all its rights in the said property to the late Sanghani and his late wife.

Original seller

It was, however, noted that the property was leased to the original seller MJ Patel by the government for a term of 99 years with effect from July 16, 1903.

The term of lease was to expire on July 16, 2002 barely a year after he was declared the rightful owner of the property.

On July 20, 2006, HP Youtan applied for the extension of the lease which was granted.

The parents of the two siblings were to register the instrument of the assignment but they passed away before doing so.

As the estate of the late Sanghani through the brothers waited for the title to be processed in his name, they learned in October 2008, that the son of the original seller purportedly obtained a title to the suit property, and then fraudulently sold it to the former MP’s company for a sum of Sh12 million on or about November 17, 2008. This was done through Rana who claimed to have power of Attorney.

In his ruling, Justice Samson Okong’o of Environment and Lands Court ruled that he was satisfied from the evidence on record that the land was obtained illegally by Patel and Fairmile Investments Ltd.

“The 2nd defendant (Maganbhai) ceased to be the owner of the property on August 9, 1985 when the property was vested on H.P Youtan through a high court order.

The Commissioner of Lands having approved H.P Youtan’s application for extension of the lease in respect of the suit property, had enforceable reasonable legitimate expectation that it would be granted extension of the said lease,” noted the Judge.

“There is no doubt the 2nd defendant obtained renewal of the lease in respect of the suit property through misrepresentation, fraud and deceit.

The suit property was also not available for allocation to the 2nd defendant,” ruled the Judge.

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