The Patna High Court has issued a notice to filmmaker Prakash Jha's company over its alleged involvement in a land scam in Bihar.
The court issued the notice to the company, Holy Cow Pictures Pvt Ltd, after hearing on Tuesday public interest litigation (PIL) filed by senior Congress leader Premchand Mishra.
Mishra has challenged Chief Minister Nitish Kumar government's decision to allot land and some space in the Patna Industrial Area Development Authority's office to the filmmaker for commercial purposes.
According to Mishra's PIL filed in July, all norms were violated to favour Jha with the government selling land to the director at a throwaway price.
The court has directed Jha's company to explain its position by November 15.
State opposition leader Rabri Devi had earlier demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the allotment.
"There was clear-cut favouritism and irregularities were committed in allotting land to Jha. Only a CBI probe will come out with the facts," she had said when the issue was raised in the state assembly in August.
Samata Party President PK Sinha had alleged that the state government had allotted one acre of land for Rs 1.46 million to the filmmaker for construction of multiplexes at the Pataliputra industrial estate. He said the actual market price of the land was Rs 48 million.
"Chief Minister Nitish Kumar acted arbitrarily to favour Jha," Sinha remarked.
Another plot of 1.64 acres in Muzaffarpur was also given to the filmmaker at a very low price, said Sinha.
Jha plans to set up multiplexes, ultra-modern medical colleges and hospitals in the state. He had announced plans of building a four-lane highway between Vaishali and Muzaffarpur districts in north Bihar.
The director had also expressed his desire to turn the Mata Janki Kunwar hospital in Bettiah into a full-fledged medical college.
Jha, who hails from a village near Bettiah, campaigned for Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal-United (JD-U) during the 2005 assembly polls. The filmmaker was also seen campaigning with Nitish Kumar two days ago for the parliamentary by-election from Nalanda, the home district of the chief minister.
The by-election is scheduled for Nov 6.