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Court reserves verdict on Big B’s plea on farmland row


Lucknow : The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Thursday reserved its verdict on Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan's application for stay on an order of the Faizabad commissioner declaring allotment of government agricultural land to him as "fraudulent".

After two hours of arguments by both sides, Justice D.P. Singh decided to reserve the ruling.

Well known Supreme Court lawyer Mukul Rohatgi had flown in from Delhi to argue the case on behalf of the star. His main argument was that the commissioner of Faizabad had issued his order without giving Bachchan's counsel an opportunity to be heard.

Devendra Upadhyay, additional advocate general of Uttar Pradesh, stressed that the allotment of farmland to the star was a case of "blatant forgery and fraud".

On June 1, Faizabad Additional Commissioner Vidya Sagar Prasad had ordered cancellation of the allotment of land in Daulatpur village in Barabanki district, ruling that the entry in the land records declaring the star as the owner had been "tampered and forged".

The land revenue court had also ruled that Bachchan was "not a farmer" – as he had claimed.

The star, a friend of former chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, had received three 'bighas' (about 70,000 sq feet) of land in the village, 35 km from Lucknow, from the government as largesse.