Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris is embroiled in a vicious legal tussle to stop her eviction from a Sh300 million palatial house in Kitisuru, Nairobi, where she has been living for the last 13 years.
According to court documents, the widow of the late billionaire Kultar Singh Hanspal, Mrs Alka Roshanlal Hanspal, accuses Ms Passaris of trying to forcefully take over the house.
Ms Alka said she sold the house on two-and-a-half acres to Charles Kanyuga Maina and his wife Grace Wanjiku Kanyuga and wants the court to hear and determine the case so that Passaris can be evicted from the property.
Passaris’ dispute with Mrs Alka dates back to 2014 when she sued Kanyuga and his wife to stop them from evicting her from the property she also lays claim to.
Alka was sued as the administrator of the estate of her late husband.
The case was to resume on July 22 but a letter from Passaris’ lawyer requests for a new date to accommodate the MP.
In the suit, Passaris, who had rented the house from Kultar since 2006, claims an offer was made in 2009 to sell the property to her at Sh35 million, a claim disputed by Alka.
Apparently the lease agreement had a clause giving Passaris the option to purchase the house but Alka claims the lease was not legally binding because it had not been registered.
The lease agreement, she said, was signed between Passaris and Alka when Kultar was unwell and when he recovered he revoked it, alleging his wife had no legal capacity to sign the contract.
Alka has claimed in her reply to the suit that she signed the “option to purchase” addendum to the lease agreement under duress when her husband was gravely ill and the family was facing financial problems.
Kultar recovered, according to his widow, and denounced the lease and demanded Passaris’ eviction but this did not happen for she stayed on until the end of the lease contract.
Kultar died thereafter, according to Alka, who says he gave her the property as a gift in 2009 and she, legally, made it hers in 2013.
According to Passaris, goons hired by Kanyuga and his wife descended on the property on September 19, 2014.
She alleges in her suit that the hirelings informed her that Alka had sold the property to Kanyuga and his wife despite several injunctions barring any such transfer.
Passaris claims on December 28, 2010, she received a letter indicating the house had been sold to Ken Petro Entreprises and requiring her to vacate in 15 days.
Passaris claims the alleged sale or transfer is null and void for it was conducted against court orders and was orchestrated to defeat the a suit she had filed against Alka and her late husband.
According to court documents, Passaris has not paid for the house.
“Kultar Singh entered into a tenancy agreement with the plaintiff (Passaris) commencing October 1, 2007, for two years, by which the plaintiff was in possession of the suit property as tenant of which she has been paying rent to the third defendant (Alka) but not as a purchaser,” states the court documents.
Alka alleges that Passaris coerced her to sign another lease agreement at the time her husband was ailing from stroke to give the legislator a right to buy the house.
“Passaris took advantage of the situation I was facing,” claims Alka.
She said the said lease was not registered or executed by the late Kultar Singh and therefore it was not valid as at the time she signed the agreement she was not an agent or attorney.
Alka said she had no capacity, authority or power to execute the said agreement on the behalf of Kultar Singh.
According to the documents filed at Milimani High Court, the late Kultar Singh allegedly revoked the October 1, 2007, lease agreement on March 16, 2009 and demanded that Passaris vacate the house.
But Passaris obtained a court order to stop her eviction. In the suit papers, Passaris has sued Kanyunga as the first respondent, his wife and Alka as the second and third respondents respectively.
Yesterday, Alka called on the court to quickly determine the case.
“The case was scheduled for hearing on July 22, 2019, but we have received a letter from her (Passaris) lawyer, saying that she will be travelling to Barbados to represent the National Assembly at global convention on the discrimination of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Alka said.