Actor Hema Malini received a 2,000-square metre plot of land in Oshiwara, Mumbai, for Rs 70,000, when its actual value was more than Rs 40 crore, a Right to Information query has revealed. Filed by RTI activist Anil Galgani before the Mumbai suburban collector, the petition also disclosed that she was given another plot of land in 1997, which she was unable to develop because of coastal regulations but has yet to return.
Both plots of land were allotted to the Natyavihar Kala Kendra, a trust Malini runs. She is also an MP for the Bharatiya Janata Party, which rules the state.
Galgali was given access to letters between the collector and Malini. They show that Malini was asked to return the plot from 1997 and fulfil a few conditions before she was given the new one, but did not do so. The letters also claim that the trust wanted to set up a dance academy at the cost of Rs 18.5 crore on the Oshiwara plot and was supposed to submit details of at least 25% of those funds to the government. However, Malini only declared Rs 3.5 crore, the Economic Times reported.
According to The Hindu, the RTI activist has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asking why the plot was given to Malini at 1976 rates instead of the current prices. “Maharashtra is not a cash rich state, we have farmers committing suicides and have a debt burden of Rs 3 lakh crore. How is it public interest giving land to her at such rates?”