The Maharashtra Cabinet on Tuesday decided to go ahead with the allotment of 5.5 acres of land to Whistling Woods International, a film and television institute run by film director Subhash Ghai, reported the Hindustan Times. The plot is the same one from which the institute currently functions at Dadasaheb Film City in Mumbai’s Goregaon suburb.

The decision was taken despite objections raised by the state finance department, and will now be placed before the Bombay High Court where the matter is still under consideration. The land will be leased for 30 years and the Maharashtra government will be paid an annual rent of Rs 47.18 crore.

The then Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in 2000 had approved the allotment, which was criticised by the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. The Comptroller and Auditor General of India had blamed Deshmukh and the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party alliance government of alleged corruption in 2003.

The state cultural affairs department on Tuesday moved the proposal in the cabinet. “The Tata Institute of Social Sciences [TISS] has said that Whistling Woods eminently qualifies as an institution of higher education,” it said.

However, the state finance department said it would not be appropriate to allot land or any form of financial support to a profit-making institute. “The move may also cause revenue loss to the state exchequer,” it said.

State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar said the allotment will only be implemented after the Bombay High Court’s approval. “The earlier deal was challenged in the court as the Maharashtra Film, Stage and Cultural Development Corporation signed a joint venture agreement with Whistling Woods without keeping the state revenue department, which is the owner of the land, in the loop,” Mungantiwar told the Hindustan Times.