Bombay HC orders Whisling Woods land to be handed over to Govt

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court, in an order, has asked Whistling Woods head honcho Subhash Ghai to hand over to the government of Maharashtra the 20-acre land on which the film and television institute is situated.

Passing the order a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Girish Godbole said, " In the interest of justice, we direct respondent number 3 and 4 (Ghai and Whistling Woods) to vacate 14.5 acre area immediately which shall be resumed by the state government. The remaining 5.5 acre where the institute is constructed shall be taken over by the government on 31 July 2014 by when all the ongoing courses at the film institute shall be completed."
The Court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Rajendra Sontakke and four other agriculturists from Latur and Osmanabad districts.

The honourable court has also restrained Whistling Woods from granting admissions to students for courses that will go beyond 2014.

Reacting to the order, Ghai said: "We respect the High Court judgement and will appeal to the Supreme Court for our lawful rights. We are at no fault and have done nothing wrong. We had a legal joint venture in 2002 with Film City and us to use the land for building a world class Film and Media Institute which was challenged by a PIL in court after 10 years and we hope we will get full justice from the Supreme Court."

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