Case against Prakash Jha withdrawn

April 1st, 2009 - 4:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, April 1 (IANS) A public interest litigation (PIL) filed against filmmaker Prakash Jha for plots allotted to him by the Bihar government has been withdrawn.
Prem Chandra Mishra, a Congress leader, Tuesday withdrew the PIL against Jha, who is contesting from the West Champaran constituency as a Lok Janshakti Party nominee in the Lok Sabha elections.

Many here see the move as a ‘helping hand’ for Jha, who is pitted against Sadhu Yadav, a Congress nominee and brother-in-law of Railways Minister Lalu Prasad.

“It was a clear cut move to help Jha get rid of tainted image ahead of Lok Sabha elections,” a Samta Party leader said.

Jha was allotted prime pieces of land in Patna and other places at very cheap rates to set up multiplexes, medical colleges and hospitals. Mishra in his PIL challenged the allotment of land owned by Bihar Industrial Area Land Development Authority.

The petition had alleged that the government allotted land to Jha without tender and at rates one-seventh of those prevailing in the market.

The Patna High Court had scrapped the allotments in December 2006 saying proper procedures were not followed. But later Jha approached the Supreme Court which asked a division bench of the high court to again look into the matter.

“Mishra withdrew the PIL to snatch an issue from Congress nominee Sadhu Yadav during the elections,” a Congress leader said.

Mishra was reportedly eyeing a Congress ticket from West Champaran.

A Rashtriya Janata Dal leader said: “Mishra is more close to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar than the Congress party in the last few months. He is likely to join the ruling Janata Dal-United after the elections to contest the next state assembly polls.”

Jha is considered close to Nitish Kumar and was seen campaigning for the chief minister in Nalanda parliamentary constituency two days ago.

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