While hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging arbitrary land allocation at a prime location in the city to Union Minister Rajiv Shukla, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Maharashtra government to make submission about the status of the land. The State government will have to produce the material regarding the land before the court on February 24.

An NGO named Save Open Spaces moved the court stating that the government had allotted a 2,821-sq.m. land at Andheri, which was reserved for a primary school, to BAG Films Educational Society. It alleged that the illegal allotment was made by charging merely Rs. 98,375 which was calculated on the basis of the rates prevalent in 1976.

It pleaded that the land allotment be scrapped and an inquiry be ordered in the process followed to allot the land. It also pleaded the court to direct launching criminal proceedings against Mr. Shukla and his wife.

Counsel appearing on behalf of Mr. Shukla informed the court that BAG Films and Educational Society had already surrendered the plot of land in question. He said he had incurred a cost of Rs. 2 crore towards security, providing electricity and towards the evacuation of encroachment on the said government land. The court then asked the State government if it had paid Rs. 2 crore as demanded by Mr. Shukla, in return of the land.