In a setback to filmmaker Subhash Ghai, the Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed an appeal by his Mukta Arts Ltd challenging a Bombay High Court verdict cancelling the allotment of 20 acres of land in Goregaon for his film academy.
An apex court bench headed by H.L. Dattu, while dismissing the petition, said the application on the allotment of land that was in cold storage under three chief ministers was revived when Vilasrao Deshmukh became chief minister and was allotted with his signatures affixed on it.
The court said the entire transaction lacked transparency.
In February, the Bombay High Court quashed the allotment of the land for Whistling Woods International, a joint venture between Mukta Arts and Maharashtra Film, Stage and Culture Development Corp for a state-of-the-art film institute and research centre.
After the Supreme Courts judgement, Ghai said: “I respect the judiciary of my country. The Supreme Court has dismissed our appeal on the grounds that the Maharashtra government should have followed the proper governance to enter into a joint venture befre running a school in the Film City.”
“I suppose one must be cautious while dealing with the state government rather than being penalised after 10 years when heavy investment and losses are involved.
“We will discuss our future course of action with our team of lawyers and wait for the governmemt’s reaction to the honourable Supreme Court’s judgement,” he added.
Meanwhile, he says Whistling Woods would go on as brightly as before.
“Though we may miss the land, land is never the strength behind education. Rather it’s the other way around. We are opening branches of Whistling Woods in many states. My production house Mukta Arts is also carrying on the movie-production business full-steam ahead,” he said.