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Meet the woman who claimed ownership of Red fort as 'legal heir'

The plea by Sultana Begum sought direction to the Centre to hand over the Red Fort to her.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: December 28, 2021 17:32 IST
the last mughal, sultana begum, red fort, pratibha patil, bedar bakht, bahadur shah zafar,1857 revol
Image Source : PTI (FILE)

Meet the woman who claimed ownership of Red fort as 'legal heir'

Highlights

  • Petitioner said she was the widow of the great-grandson Bahadur Shah Zafar-II of Delhi
  • Delhi High Court dismissed her plea
  • Court said there was no justification for the delay in approaching court after over 150 years

A woman recently approached the Delhi High Court to sought direction to the Centre to hand over the Red Fort of Delhi to her. The case has been hogging the limelight ever since it was first reported in the media. 

The plea by Sultana Begum sought direction to the Centre to hand over the Red Fort to the petitioner or give adequate compensation to her and also grant her compensation from 1857 to date for alleged illegal possession by the government.

Petitioner Sultana Begum said she was the widow of late Mirza Mohammed Bedar Bakht who died on May 22, 1980. She said she was the widow of the great-grandson Bahadur Shah Zafar-II of Delhi and his rights were taken away by the British East India Company arbitrarily and forcefully. She moved the Court on December 20 seeking that the Red Fort which was illegally taken over be handed over to her on the grounds that she was the legal heir.

The petition, filed through advocate Vivek More, claimed that the family had been deprived of their property by the British following the first war of Independence in 1857, after which the king was exiled from the country and possession of the Red Fort was taken away from the Mughals.

The plea said the woman is the owner of the Red Fort because she inherited this property from her ancestor Bahadur Shah Zafar-II, who died in November 1862 at the age of 82, and alleged that the government of India is illegal occupant of the property.

Dismissing the plea, Justice Rekha Palli said there was no justification for the inordinate delay in approaching the court after over 150 years. The judge said: “My history is very weak but you claim injustice was done to you by the British East India Company in 1857.

Why is there a delay of over 150 years? What were you doing for all these years?” The court said, “Everybody knew about it. Everyone in the court must have read this history that he was trying to exile. It was known to the world. Why was nothing filed in time? If her ancestors did not do it, can she do it now?” The court also rejected the submission made by the petitioner’s counsel that she was an illiterate woman due to which she could not approach earlier.

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