The Appellate Tribunal for the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) has imposed a penalty of 50 lakh on singer Adnan Sami for purchasing eight flats and five parking spaces in Mumbai in 2003 without prior permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) when he was a Pakistani national. However, at the same time, a tribunal in New Delhi has set aside the confiscation of the properties saying no foreign exchange was involved in their purchase.
According to a report in the Hindustan Times, authorities had seized the properties saying Sami acquired them in 2003 without Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s permission in violation of the law. Given that Sami was a Pakistani national at that time, he needed special permission to make the purchases. A penalty of Rs 20 lakh had also been imposed on the singer. Foreign nationals are required to seek RBI’s permission to buy property in India.
The court in its order quashing the previous order said, “Admittedly, in the present case, no foreign exchange is involved and concomitantly, there has been no loss of foreign exchange as the entire sale consideration has been paid by way of a loan and income which has not only been generated in India, but the tax which has so accrued on such income has also been paid by the appellant [Sami] herein.”
Sami, who was granted Indian citizenship in January 2016, said that he was not aware of this rule when he made the purchases but was very happy with the ruling of the court. Expressing his joy, Sami is reported to have said he was very emotional as he got this victory on the day of his wife Roya Faryabi’s birthday and that made it even more special.
“It has been a big struggle of nine years. I am ecstatic about the fact that being an Indian justice finally prevailed. Whatever I earned with my blood, sweat, and tears, I have finally got them all back,” Sami said.
As for the fine, Sami will have to pay Rs 40 lakh within 3 months as he had paid Rs 10 lakh earlier.