MUMBAI: A prominent businessman outbid others at a public auction in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday with his offer of Rs 30.50 crore for a sea-facing Cuffe Parade flat. The 3,000 sq ft apartment in Maker Towers B was put up for auction following insolvency proceedings against a city businessman who owned the flat. The flat was thus sold for Rs 1.01 lakh per sq ft.
Justice Shahrukh Kathawalla declared Arif Fazlani, managing director of Sopariwala Exports, as the highest bidder after he outbid another bidder, who already has another flat in the same building. Fazlani, who has already deposited Rs 10 lakh, was allowed to pay the remaining Rs 30.40 crore in two installments on or before April 1, 2014. “In the event of any default on the part of Fazlani in payment of any installment, the amount paid by him prior to such default shall stand forfeited,” said Justice Kathawalla.
The court said that once the payment is made, the current owner will peacefully hand over the vacant flat to the official assignee who will in turn hand it over to Fazlani.
A property expert said the flat fetched a little more than the market price. “Flats in the building sell for between Rs 28-30 crore,” the source said. “The flat has an unrestricted view of Marine Drive and the Arabian Sea. The building itself is well-maintained and well managed. It is very rare that flats measuring 3,000 sq ft in the building are put up for sale as owners do not want to sell it. It is only because of the insolvency proceedings and the public auction that the flat came into the market,” he added.
The flat with open parking space has nine rooms, including four bedrooms with attached toilets, aliving room, one kitchen, one dining hall, one utility room and a servant’s room with attached toilet.
Fazlani’s Sopariwala Exports was set up in the 1970s. The firm’s website claims it is India’s leading exporter of tobacco and tobacco products to 75 countries across the globe, with factories in Gujarat. The group has other businesses and also runs a school in Mazgaon.
The flat’s original owner had claimed bankruptcy in 2002 after running up debts. The HC gave its go-ahead for the flat’s public auction after the businessman reached an agreement with his creditors.