Court orders stay on Subhash Ghai’s project in Haryana

Subhsh Ghai
MUMBAI: A court in Haryana has stayed Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai’s Mukta Arts from performing any type of activity on the 20 acres of land it purchased from the Gram Panchayat of Badhsa village in Jhajjar district.

Hearing a plea filed by ex-sarpanches of Badhsa Balbir Singh and Rambir Singh, Additional Civil Judge Rajesh Sharma issued notice to the Haryana government and Mukta Arts chairman Subhash Ghai.

The petitioners have claimed that the land belongs to the village communities and the gram panchayat and government had no right to sell it to private firms. They also claimed that Ghai had benefited because of the "illegal" land deal with the government.

The hearing of the case Thursday was held at Bahadurgarh in Jhajjar district. The court has fixed March 1 for the next hearing.

The Badhsa Gram Panchayat had sent a resolution to the Haryana government Jan 6, 2010, to permit them to sell land to Mukta Arts. On Sep 22, 2010, the government allowed the panchayat to sell 20 acres of land at the rate of Rs. 29,09,000 per acre. The deal was sealed October 11, 2010.

On Feb 9, the Bombay High Court had ordered that 20 acres of land in suburban Goregaon, where Mukta Arts’ film and television institute is located, be returned to the Maharashtra government.