src=https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/photo/15887760.cms

One room in Harshad Mehta’s Worli apartment even has a billiards table (inset)

Eight

luxury flats

belonging to Big Bull Harshad Mehta and his family members at

Madhuli Building

,

Worli

are being auctioned by the government, but up to January 13, not a single bid was received for them.

The reason could be that all the flats - five on the third floor and three on the fourth floor of the 13-storey building next to Samudra Mahal - have been inter-connected to create one huge unit. Therefore, the bidder must either bid for flats on the third and fourth floors as single units or for all the eight flats together. Another flat owned by the Mehtas on the third floor, in the name of Harshad’s mother Rasila Mehta, is not for sale, but it too is connected to the other flats. This could be an inconvenience for bidders.

Another reason could be that the Mehtas owe Madhuli Co-operative Housing Society Limited Rs 1.59 crore as outstanding maintenance charges for the flats.

The court-appointed custodian to deal with cases related to the 1992 securities scam issued

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in newspapers earlier this month inviting bids for the property. The flats, some with sea-views, have a total area of 11,685 sq ft. Apart from the built-up area, there is also an open terrace spread over 8,521 sq ft, half of it overlooking the sea. The entire property is likely to fetch Rs 45 crore, going by the market rate of around Rs 30,000 per sq ft for super built-up spaces in the area. The bids are open till February 4.

The custodian mentioned in the public notice that in case there is no free access to the units as per present plan/status, access will be provided according to orders given by the special court after the sale.

“There is no reserved price for the auction. Buyers can’t bid for a single flat,” said DB Jadhav, advisor at the office of the custodian.

Meanwhile, the building’s managing committee has written to the custodian, claiming dues. In the letter dated January 7, the committee said, “We seek to get the outstanding dues released and paid immediately to the society. The society is under no obligation to deal with the matter until and unless all dues of the society are fully paid.”

According to the building’s managing committee, the Mehtas had made structural changes in the flats much before the society was registered in 2001. “We will not transfer the name and won’t admit anybody in the society unless our dues are cleared,” said Amit Shah, secretary of the society.

“As per court orders, the dues have to be paid by the occupants (Mehtas). Still, we have sought directions for the payment of outstanding dues,” Jadhav said.

Harshad Mehta died in December 2001. The flats are registered under the names of different family members. Only one flat is registered in Harshad Mehta’s name and he is a joint owner of another flat. At present, his wife Jyoti, Rasila Mehta, brothers Ashwin, Sudhir and Dr Hitesh occupy the flats. When contacted, Sudhir Mehta said, “We have no comment.”

The Mehta family had won claim to the flats after arguing that the property was bought in 1990 and not in 1992. However, in November last year, the Supreme Court approved the sale to clear dues of the

tax department

,

banks

and other individuals.

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