Donating the land in Pune’s Maval taluka that caused him so much trouble does not mean that Amitabh Bachchan has seen the last of it. He will have to spend a lot of time completing the legal formalities.
On July 19, Bachchan had sent a two-page letter to Pune Divisional Commissioner Nitin Kareer expressing his desire to donate the agricultural land to the original farmers. Kareer told HT he had forwarded the letter to Pune District Collector Prabhakar Deshmukh, who has already started legal proceedings under the provisions of the Maharashtra Land and Revenue Code Act.
But here’s the catch. “I don’t think the land can be surrendered to the original owner under the existing laws. Most probably, it will remain with the state government,” said Deshmukh. He added that the administration has asked for all the required documents, including the Uttar Pradesh High Court verdict regarding Bachchan’s status as a farmer from Barabanki district.
The actor will now be served a notice to submit his intention through an affidavit. “Since Bachchan's land will be with the government, he will have to pay a nominal amount of Re 1. The case would have been different had he donated the land to somebody else,” Deshmukh said.
Sources in the district administration said a public notice would also be published to confirm if anybody claims ownership or any other interests in Survey No 102 of Pale village, the land owned by the actor. Anybody who has any claim, interest or suggestion can file the same with the district administration within 30 days of the notice being published.
Sudhakar Joshi, retired divisional commissioner of Pune and special power of attorney holder of Bachchan’s land, told HT he was no longer in the picture as he was authorised only for the period when the actor was served the first notice. “Amitabh’s decision to relinquish the land is an independent and individual decision. I have nothing to do with it,” he said.