Whistling Woods: HC asks state to respond to Mukta Art’s review petition by July 28https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/mumbai/whistling-woods-hc-asks-state-to-respond-to-mukta-arts-review-petition-by-july-28/

Whistling Woods: HC asks state to respond to Mukta Art’s review petition by July 28

Deshmukh was present when the agreement was signed and had also made an endorsement in the agreement as a witness.

The state government on Wednesday sought time to file an affidavit in reply to a review petition filed by Mukta Arts Limited against a 2012 Bombay High Court order setting aside a joint venture under which the Whistling Woods International institute was set up in Goregaon. The court asked the government to file its reply by July 28.

In its 2012 order, the court had asked the institute set up by director Subhash Ghai to surrender the 20-acre plot that it stood on to the state government by July 31, 2014. The high court’s order was upheld by the Supreme Court in April 2012.

Ghai’s Mukta Arts Limited, however, recently filed a review petition challenging the order passed by a division bench of the High Court in February 2012. While asking Ghai to return the plot, the court had made a scathing indictment of late Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh for “misusing his position” as the then Chief Minister and granting “undue favours” to Ghai.

The court had held that the May 30, 2004, joint venture agreement signed between Ghai’s Mukta Arts and Maharashtra Film, Stage and Cultural Development Corporation (MFSCDC) for Ghai’s Whistling Woods in Film City, Goregaon, was “illegal, arbitrary and without authority of law”.

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Deshmukh, the then chief minister, was present when the agreement was signed and had also made an endorsement in the agreement as a witness.

On Wednesday, the court allowed Mukta Arts to make amendments to its review petition and adjourned the case. The next hearing in the case will be on July 30.

Mukta Arts, in its review petition, contended that in its 2012 order, the high court had not considered the fact that there were two resolutions of 2000 passed by MFSDC that stated that the project to hand over land for the film school had been approved by the board and what remained to be executed were only consequential modalities.

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