Filmmaker Subhash Ghai,whose film institute Whistling Woods has been asked to surrender the land allotted to it,today said that petitioners who had challenged the allotment before the Bombay High Court misinterpreted the nature of his venture.
Ghai also said that he would be moving the Supreme Court.
The High Court,in response to a PIL by Rajendra Sontakke and others,yesterday ruled that allotment of land to Whistling Woods by the state (when Vilasrao Deshmukh was the Chief Minister) was without “authority of the law”,and amounted to abuse of power.
“I respect the decision of the High Court. I feel they (petitioners) misinterpreted and overlooked the things.
Whenever there is a court case,there are two versions. All I know is that we have not done anything wrong. Our vision is to create a platform in Bombay about cinema,” Ghai said.
“What is our fault? Government also wanted this kind of educational institution,it encouraged it and we executed it. We hope for justice in the Supreme Court.”
The High Court held that the joint venture agreement between Mukta Arts and Maharashtra Film,Stage and Cultural Development Corporation (MFSCDC) was “illegal,arbitrary and without authority of law”.
“Government was encouraging and appreciated me for the cause of providing knowledge. They said you bring money,develop infrastructure,curriculum and manage it. We invested Rs 20 crore. Our investment has reached upto Rs 70 crore now,” Ghai said.
Ghai also said that the land in question “still belongs to the government”.
The institute is built on 5.5 acres of land in suburban Goregaon. It was allotted an additional 14.5 acres later. The High Court yesterday directed the institute to immediately hand over 14.5 acres of open land,and return the remaining 5.5 acres by July 31,2014,after the ongoing courses at the institute end.
But according to Ghai,he had been given only 4.5 acres of land. “They did not allow us to use 16 acres of land. It is still with the government”.
About HC’s remark that Deshmukh abused his powers,Ghai said: “All the Chief Ministers I have met have appreciated this kind of education. Vilasrao Deshmukh shared the vision and he felt that it should happen because he said it is an educational cause,he approves it.”