Iqbal Mirchi’s properties in Mumbai were confiscated after he and wife fled

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MUMBAI: Drug lord Iqbal Mirchi, who left India in 1994 after the state government ordered his detention under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, left behind several properties, some of which were in his wife’s name.

At least two properties came to light when his wife Heena Kauser, who left India with him, unsuccessfully fought all the way to the Supreme Court against a confiscation order.

The two properties were flats 501 and 502 A in Milton Towers, Santacruz (West).

Kauser was served with a show-cause notice in 1995 to furnish proof and declare her source of income for buying a flat, along with stilt parking, on Juhu Tara Road. She was asked to explain why the property should not be considered “illegally acquired” and forfeited by the Union government. The law under which this was done was the NDPS Act.

She challenged the notice and lost before an appellate authority in 1999, and the properties were directed to be confiscated. The law prohibits a person from holding an illegally acquired property either himself or though someone else. But if such property were acquired six years before a case was filed against the person, no forfeiture would stand. She approached the Bombay high court, which upheld the confiscation order. She challenged this in the Supreme Court, but lost again.

The law was amended in 2001. Kauser started a fresh round of litigation, with the apex court ultimately saying the “flats in question stood forfeited to the government. The said proceedings cannot be permitted to be reopened”.

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