Following the Supreme Court’s directive, the state has initiated the process to recover land from film training institute, Whistling Woods International, run by filmmaker Subhash Ghai.
Shyam Tagde, a bureaucrat in charge of Film City in Goregaon, where the institute is located, said he sent a letter to the institute after Wednesday’s verdict. “I wrote a letter to Whistling Woods on Wednesday evening asking it to return the land and spoke to its chief executive officer,” said Tagde. “The institute said it would cooperate.”
The state will initially recover 14.5 acres of the 20 acres. “I have asked the suburban collector to depute officers to demarcate the land,” Tagde said. The remaining 5.5 acres of land, on which the institute is built, can be retained till May 2014, the court has said.
Tagde said the officials need three to four days to demarcate the land to be recovered, for which the measuring of land may start on Saturday. Culture minister Sanjay Deotale, whose department entered into the deal with Ghai during Vilasrao Deshmukh’s tenure, said he had not received a certified judgment copy. “Let us see the judgment first.”
The state has been very cautious in this case and did not appeal against the high court’s February 9 directive. Deshmukh and Ghai had moved the apex court. The lawsuit was filed by Rajendra Sontakke and four others from Latur and Osmanabad accusing Deshmukh of “gross abuse of power” while allotting the land to Ghai.