Mumbai: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought a direction to the city police commissioner to file a case of cheating and forgery against MP and yesteryear actress Hema Malini and Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse on charges of illegally allotting land for her dance academy at a nominal price.
The PIL, filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, is slated to come up for hearing in due course.
It alleged there have been a series of judgements of the High Court and the Supreme Court stating that public property cannot be allotted by the state without issuing advertisement inviting applications from the needy people.
The petition also alleged that a plot of land was recently allotted to the actress in suburban Andheri for instituting an academy to train students in Indian classical dance of Bharat Natyam in violation of the High Court orders and norms.
The petition said that Hema Malini Dance Academy vide its letter dated 6 July, 2007, had urged the government to allot alternative land against the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) land in Versova.
The Academy had asked the government to allot 2,000 sq metres of the reserved land for the Dance Academy and proposed to develop a garden on the remaining land by its own trust. This was accepted by the government on 30 July, 2010, the PIL said.
The state government subsequently allotted 2,000 sq metres from a total land ad-measuring 29360.50 sq metres reserved for the garden and situated in Ambivili area in suburban Andheri on 23 December, 2015, in an order issued by Deputy Secretary Madhav Kale, it added.
The PIL further alleged that the decision was taken after a meeting chaired by the Principal Secretary (Revenue) on 19 December, 2015, leading to allotment of land for a pittance amount of Rs 70,000 for a plot worth crores of rupees restored for the Hema Malini Dance Academy.
The petitioner also alleged that another PIL filed by him in the the High Court earlier had opposed illegal allotments of houses from the chief minister's discretionary quota.
The High Court had allowed the PIL and also ordered beneficiaries of double or multiple houses to surrender their houses, while asking police to register FIRs against people for the offence of favoured and out-of-turn allotments, it said.
The petition also cited a case law saying that the Bombay High Court had struck down government resolutions conferring powers of the chief minister to use discretion for allotment of public property and has directed the state to issue a fresh housing policy for disbursing public-owned plots of land.
"Despite this, the state went to the extent of gifting the public property to the ruling party MP for the sake of Bharat Natyam promotion when many poor and needy are deprived from houses under CM quota for want of a policy that is yet to be framed," it added.