Mumbai | The Bombay High Court yesterday deferred till April 21 a PIL seeking direction to police to file a case of cheating and forgery against yesteryear actress and MP Hema Malini and Maharashtra Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse for alleged illegal allotment of land in the city for her dance academy at a nominal price.
A bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka was of the view that instead of seeking criminal action against Malini and the authorities, petitioner Ketan Tirodkar can file a civil plea to challenge the state government’s decision to allot the land for the dance academy.
Tirodkar’s PIL alleged that there have been a series of judgements of high court and 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 running an academy to train students in Indian classical dance of Bharat Natyam, in violation of high court orders and norms.
The petition said that Hema Malini Dance Academy vide its letter dated July 6, 2007, had urged the government to allot alternative land against the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) land in Versova.
The academy had urged the government to allot 2,000 sq m of the reserved land for the dance academy in suburban Andheri and proposed to develop a garden on the remaining land by its own trust. This was accepted by the government on July 30, 2010, the PIL said.