High court to hear Rani Mukerji’s petition April 9

April 4th, 2008 - 6:00 pm ICT by admin  

Aurangabad, April 4 (IANS) Bollywood actor Rani Mukerji’s petition challenging the cancellation of her ownership of a piece of land near Shirdi in Maharashtra will come up before the Bombay High Court bench here April 9. Justice Bhushan Gavai Friday posted the petition for next Wednesday after Rani’s father Ram Mukerji told the court that the date suited him. Mukerji had filed an affidavit and the relevant land deal documents before the court registrar Thursday.

The actor has challenged the order of Shrirampur sub divisional officer (SDO) asking her to pay a penalty for buying an agricultural land or surrender the land in Ningaonkovali village, on the border of Nasik and Ahmednagar districts.

According to officials, earlier there was a sugar factory on the land that was subsequently closed. Since the factory had excess land, the government took it over in accordance with the Urban Land Ceiling Act (ULCA) and handed it over to the Maharashtra State Farming Corporation (MSFC).

As the land remained unused for a long time, the MSFC sold it to the original owner, a farmer who worked in a hotel in Shirdi town. From the farmer, Rani bought the plot in December 2005 for Rs.3.3 million.

However, when she applied for registration of the plot in her name, the revenue department refused permission and stressed that as it was agricultural land, only a farmer could buy it.

The deputy collector of Ahmednagar district conducted an inquiry and Rani was asked to pay penalty for buying farmland. Since the actress failed to pay the penalty, the Shrimanpur SDO ordered deletion of her name from the sale deed.

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