It was none other than King Khan who set the ball rolling with celestial property purchase. Shah Rukh Khan confessed that a fan of his from Australia buys him a small piece of lunar land on his birthday every year. How thrilling that one of the moon’s craters is named Shah Rukh! B-town hottie, Sushant Singh Rajput was next to purchase property on Earth’s natural satellite complete with a legal-looking certificate of ownership!
Owning a few dreamy moon acres does seem an exciting prospect. Yet one must wonder, how legitimate lunar land-owner claims really are.
Wish upon a star and you can even have one named after you. But, if you’re planning to buy a piece of celestial property, hold your horses! ‘Buying’ a piece of land on the moon may not be all that it is cracked up to be.
Reluctant to let go of your lunar homeownership ambitions?
Take a second to glance at the legalities of it. The Outer Space Treaty has been signed by 104 countries (including India) and has been in effect since the year 1967.
It states, ‘Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means.’
Well, there you go! Owning pristine, untouched property on the moon sounds too good to be true. But that’s because it probably is. A lunar land deed is nothing more than an overpriced piece of paper, say experts according to India Today.
Dr Stellina Jolly, assistant professor of Faculty of Legal Studies at South Asian University in New Delhi explains why the authorities haven’t moved against misleading lunar land sellers so far. “Government is not bothered because such deeds have absolutely no legal sanctity. If people are acting foolishly government is not obliged to take action.” Jolly said.
“If a law develops for private ownership of space resources, and technology advances enough for individuals to physically access the Moon, perhaps that is when the problem may arise.”
“Whoever has sold lunar land to Sushant Singh Rajput, they were never the owners. If I don’t have a title to a property, how can I sell it to you?” she says.
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However, B-town celebs aren’t the only ones hoodwinked. A Pune woman was scammed out of Rs 50,000 when she dreamt of owning land on the moon. Radhika Date-Waikar is quite irate. Though she invested in 2005, it is only 13 years later that she realised she had been duped.
“I had seen the advertisement on television and contacted the company. They sent me their bank account details and I transferred Rs 50,000. They sent me a letter stating that I am the owner of one-acre land on the Moon,” said Radhika.
“However, all their helpline numbers have closed and I am unable to contact them,” she said according to Sakal Times. The resident of Kothrud plans to approach the Pune city police Cyber Crime Cell as the officials of the company, whom she had paid the money are now untraceable. Radhika now needs the money back for her teen son’s higher education.
Indeed, those loony lunar ambitions may have to wait!