Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan is better known these days as a man on a mission to fight injustice in Indian society but, it seems, he’s not averse to meting out less-than-fair treatment to those around him.
The actor has allegedly launched a surreptitious campaign to elbow out residents of a housing scheme in an upmarket area of Mumbai in order to construct a mega-mansion for his family, according to a report in the Indian Express.
One 87-year-old resident has reportedly complained to authorities that Khan, 49, has “misleading” members of a housing cooperative in Bandra to sell up their flats and masking the project as a “redevelopment scheme”.
According to the report, Dr Pamela de Sa and her 50-year-old daughter Geneve have written to the deputy registrar of the cooperative that the managing committee of the complex has been “pressured” into selling 60% of all the properties to the actor.
In her letter, Dr de Sa writes: “The Managing Committee is favouring the acceptance of a proposal from Aamir Khan who is trying to purchase 60 per cent of the flats for his own residence by forcibly dis-housing the existing members of the society and compelling them to search new premises”.
A spokesperson for Khan told the Indian Express: “Mr Khan has indeed sent an offer to his society after the society requested him to make an offer. We assume that the society will assess all offers received, and members will then decide on how to proceed, which is the normal process.”
Khan has offered to buy 20,000 sq ft of the 36,207 sq ft (3,364 sq m) property at the rate of Rs 70,000 (£700) per sq ft from society members interested in selling their flats or garages to him.
For members not interested in selling, Khan has offered to build a separate building on the rest of the plot.
According to reports a majority of the society’s members had voted in favour of Khan’s proposal at a meeting in December but only a fraction of those members voted by post in what one official said was a “gross violation of redevelopment rules”.
Geneve de Sa told The Indian Express: “The scheme proposed by Aamir Khan is not for redevelopment and re-accomodation, it is actually for selling the society’s property to Aamir Khan and also de-registering the society.
The appointment of the architect for proposed development is not done, including failing to call tenders for inviting developers for proposed redevelopment.”
Under the stringent property laws in overcrowded Mumbai, the purchase and expansion of property is highly regulated.
Those displaced as a result of a new-build or a bid to expand an existing property must be re-housed in new premises whilst cooperatives must invite tenders from builders to redevelop a plot.