Mumbai: Claiming himself to be innocent in the Mumbai’s Adarsh Housing society scam, Union Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has once again caught himself on a sticky wicket. The Bombay High court on Thursday said that Deshmukh has misused his post as the chief minister of the state by illegally allotting twenty acres of land to film producer Subhash Ghai  at Film City in Mumbai’s Goregaon.  The Court has ordered Ghai to return the allotted land to the government. However Ghai has vowed to challenge the Court’s order.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Girish Godbole has termed the agreement on the joint venture on 30 May 2004 between Subash Ghai’s Mukta Arts and Maharashtra Film, Stage And Cultural Development Corporation Limited (MFSCDC) as illegal. The High Court’s order came after a petition filed by Rajendra Sontakke and four farmers from Latur -Osmanabad area.

Signing the agreement as a witness to the deal Deshmukh clearly misused the power of his office and extended undue favour to Ghai’s Whistling Woods. The Bench has said, “The Court summons Subhash Ghai and Whistling Woods to return the 14.5 acres of land to the state government and the remaining 5.5 acres where the studio has been built will be seized by the government by July 31, 2014.”

Dismissing the petitioners appeal for a CBI inquiry into the case, the Bench has said, “There is no sufficient material to substantiate that the land was sold at a cheaper price by Deshmukh for establishing his son Riteish Deshmukh’s career in the film industry.”

JPN/Bureau