High Court halts the sale of land in Haryana to Subhash Ghai


Subhash Ghai

MUMBAI: Subhash Ghai’s struggle to hold land continues. After the Supreme Court ordered the filmmaker to return that land on which his school ‘Whistling Woods’ stands in Mumbai, Ghai did not lose hope, he said, "Land is never the strength of education; rather education is the strength of any land."

However, delivering another blow, the High Court of Punjab and Haryana has killed his hopes for the 20 acres that he was trying to purchase in Jhajjar district, Haryana.

In January 2010, Badhsa Panchayat sought permission from the State Government to sell 20 acre land to Ghai’s Mukta Arts. The state government on September 10, 2010, accorded its approval. The deal was clinched in October 2010 for a consideration of over Rs 8 crore.

Tuesday, the High Court stayed the execution of the sale following a petition, filed by ex-sarpanches of Badhsa claiming the land belongs to the village and the Gram Panchayat and the government had no right to sell it to private firms. They have also alleged favoritism by the Haryana government and that Ghai has benefitted from the ‘illegal’ deal. 

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh issued notices to Ghai, the state government and Jhajjar DC. The bench has asked them to file their replies by July 31.