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State government cheated me, says Subhash Ghai

Maharashtra,Cinema/Showbiz,Immigration/Law/Rights,Politics, Fri, 06 Apr 2012 IANS

Mumbai, April 6 (IANS) After two court verdicts overturned allotment of 20 acres of land here for his film academy, filmmaker Subhash Ghai says he feels cheated by the Maharashtra government


"We feel cheated by Government of Maharashtra when we are told, after ten years of setting up Whistling Woods at a cost of Rs.75 crore, that our joint venture agreement since year 2000 is not valid," Ghai said Friday in a statement here.


He said the reason given (for the cancellation) was because of a government error that a board resolution was not passed and land was undervalued.


"What is our fault? They gave the agreement to us signed by the then MD, cultural secretary and minister of culture to have a partnership in Whistling Woods Ltd with share equity and we invested Rs.20 crore to begin with," Ghai said.


Proving a major setback to Ghai, the Supreme Court Wednesday dismissed an appeal by Mukta Arts Ltd, owned by Ghai, challenging a Bombay High Court ruling cancelling allotment of 20 acres of prime land in Goregaon east for his film academy, Whistling Woods International.


Observing that the entire transaction 'lacked transparency', the apex court said the application for allotting the land remained in cold storage under three chief ministers and was revived after Vilasrao Deshmukh became chief minister and the land was allotted by him. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday sought Deshmukh's resignation following the Supreme Court's observation.


Last February, the Bombay High Court had quashed allotment of the land for the state-of-the-art world-class film academy, a joint venture between Mukta Arts Ltd and the Maharashtra Films, Stage & Cultural Development Corporation.


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