All the top stars who are reportedly planning to purchase Mehboob Studio and use it as the base for their film production activities will have to wait as the landmark on Hill Road at Bandra (W) is in the midst of a legal battle among the grandchildren of its founder, legendary producer-director Mehboob Khan, who died in 1964. Afzal Khan, the younger son of Mehboob Khan's eldest son Ayub Khan, has accused his step-brother Mehboob Ayub Khan, step-sister Yasmin and step-mother Farida of keeping him in the dark about his father's death in March this year. In a suit filed in the Bombay High Court, he alleged the respondents wanted to deny him and his elder brother Aslam a share in their father's estate, which includes shares in Mehboob Studio and Mehboob Productions Private Limited — the banner that gave us blockbuster films like Mother India, Aurat, Andaz and Amar. In the suit, Afzal has claimed a stake for himself and Aslam in the studio premises, which is spread over 4.2 acres, and the film company.
According to the suit, Afzal and Aslam are Ayub Khan's sons from his first wife Rahat. Ayub Khan divorced Rahat in 1966. He got custody of both sons. Ayub Khan then married Farida in 1966 but the marriage was registered under the Special Marriages Act as recently as January 2004, says Afzal's suit. They had two children Mehboob and Yasmin. The couple also adopted Farida's nephew Arafat when he was just 40 days old.Ayub Khan passed away in March this year.
The suit says that Afzal and Aslam were not informed about their father's death.Ayub Khan had a share in his father’s property. After his death, Farida and son Mehboob Ayub Khan sought transfer of his shares in their names. The suit alleges that the duo produced a will to grab the whole property.Afzal moved the HC seeking a share for himself and Aslam. His suit claims, “The shares of the company Mehboob Productions were distributed according to Islamic law.”
Afzal has claimed a share in the company's shares allotted to Ayub Khan by Mehboob Khan as well as those shares which Mehboob’s daughter Mumtaz gifted to her nephews, including Aslam and Afzal.
AYUB KHAN'S SHARES
Mehboob Khan had three sons - Ayub, Ismail, Shaukat — and his daughters, one of which is Mumtaz. Ayub got 1,132 shares.
According to the suit, Ayub Khan had in 1992 created a joint holding of 854 shares out of the 1,132 in his name. The 854 shares were divided among Farida, Mehboob and Yasmin.
“On April 4, 2008, Mehboob and Farida wrote to the company [Mehboob Productions] requesting the directors to delete Ayub’s name in respect of those 854 shares and replace it with the names of Mehboob and Yasmin. They further requested the company to make Farida the beneficiary of the remaining shares in Ayub's name. The requests were made on the basis of the certificate under the Special Marriage Act and a will prepared by Ayub in September 2007,” the suit alleges.
Afzal alleges that the will is not maintainable under the Shariat law. He alleges that the will has not yet been probated [endorsed in court] and that Ayub Khan’s marriage with Farida was registered in 2004 on the basis on false declarations and inaccurate information.
“Despite the knowledge that the plaintiffs (Afzal and Aslam) were sons of the deceased (Ayub), they were neither informed nor invited and are not aware of execution of any such will,” the suit says.
Afzal alleges that the will and marriage certificate were an attempt by Mehboob and Farida to circumvent the Shariat law, which says that a Muslim can bequeath only one-third of his property to his established heirs [The rest goes to charity].
Afzal and Aslam have moved the HC seeking their share in their father’s property as they are his legal heirs.
When contacted, Mehboob Ayub Khan’s lawyer Vijay A Thorat said, “They (Afzal and Aslam) were given their share by their father during his lifetime and they had also filed a legal suit against their father. We have filed our reply in the HC, which will be heard after the Diwali vacation.”
Afzal’s lawyer, Vibhav Krishna, could not be reached for his comments.