NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh by saying that one cannot be treated as a blue-eyed boy and that the Chief Minister cannot bend or bypass any rules to allot state’s prime land to a ‘favoured person’.
A Bench comprising Justice H L Dattu and Justice C K Prasad pointed out that the land was allotted to film-maker Subhash Ghai for a paltry sum. These observations were made when the apex court upheld the Bombay High Court order, which had quashed the allotment of 20 acres of land to Ghai’s film institute in the Film-city in 2004 when Vilasrao, now a Union Minister, was the chief minister of the state.
The Bench further said that there is a clear lack of transparency in the allotment of the land as many chief ministers, prior to Vilasrao, had not cleared the land for allotment. Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Ghai, said that more than `50 crore was invested in the institute and that it should not be destroyed. The counsel further stated that Ghai should at least be granted land on lease. At this, the Bench said that it was not convinced and said that Ghai can participate in a fresh bidding process for the land.