A division bench of Justice V V S Rao and Justice B N Rao Nalla of the Andhra Pradesh High Court suspended the state government’s order to allot 20 acres of prime land to filmmaker Subhash Ghai for setting up a branch of his Whistling Woods International School of Film,Television, Animation and Media Arts in Hyderabad.
The then government of Y S Rajasekhara Reddy had issued an order on August 19, 2009, leasing out a 20.10-acre site at Ibrahimbagh village near Golconda Fort to Bollywood film maker Subhash Ghai for a nominal amount of Rs 1000 per acre through the AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation.
A social activist O M Debara challenged the government order through a public interest litigation petition in the High Court. The petitioner complained that the government gave a go-bye to existing norms as regards the grant of lease of government land. The government had fixed the rent on a highly artificial rate, as a result of which the government stood to lose an amount of Rs 1,600 crore, the petitioner contended.