Singer Adnan Sami has been slapped with a fine of INR5 million for purchasing flats in Mumbai in 2003 while being a Pakistani citizen, The Hindu has reported.
The penalty has been imposed by the Appellate Tribunal for the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).
FEMA had initially cancelled the December 2010 order of the Enforcement Directorate Special Director (Mumbai) which ordered the confiscation of the properties. However, the penalty has been increased from INR2 million to INR5 million.
Sami has been instructed to pay the full amount within three months. He has paid INR 1 million so far.
“The impugned order is set aside as far as exercise of discretion under Section 13(2) of the Act. The finding arrived under Section 13(1) shall remain intact. Mr Sami shall deposit the remaining ₹40 lakh with the respondent [ED] within three months from today. As no case under Section 13(2) (about the confiscation of eight flats and five parking space)…the said findings and part of the order is quashed,” the verdict read.
He paid INR25.3 million Indian rupees for the purchase of flats. He then transferred five of the flats to his former wife, Sabah Galadari, along with some parking spaces.
Sami claims he didn’t know that Pakistani nationals could not purchase immovable property in the country.
The tribunal, after hearing the matter, remarked that the singer bought the flats that were purchased with Indian currency on which income tax has been paid along with amount taken as loan from Indian banks. It was further stated that the loans have been repaid.
It observed that Sami had applied for Indian citizenship after purchasing the flats and was issued a certificate of naturalization on January 1, 2016.