The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Jan 27 quashed the allotment of land to eminent Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai for setting up a branch of his acting school Whistling Woods International in Hyderabad.
The court, which was hearing a public interest litigation, set aside an order of the Andhra Pradesh government allotting 20.10 acres of land at Ibrahimbagh village near the historic Golconda Fort.
The government had, through an order on Aug 19 last year, allotted the land to producer and director Subhash Ghai for 66 years on nominal lease of one percent of the land value.
According to the government order, the allotment was made to establish an international school of film, television, animation and multimedia arts, including a studio complex, based on the model of Whistling Woods International, Mumbai.
The allotment was made after Ghai met then Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and presented his plans for setting up a world-class training institute along with a multimedia complex.
Ghai sought government land free of cost on grounds that the institute would help in the creation of a global filmmaking and animation hub in Hyderabad with huge employment potential.
O.M. Debara, a resident of Hyderabad, challenged the order in the high court. He contended that it was in violation of AP (Telangana Area) Alienation of State Lands and Land Revenue Rules, 1975 and the AP (Telangana Area) Grant of lease of land for non-agricultural purposes rules, 1977.
Indo Asian News Service