Mumbai, September 28
The Bombay Excessive Court docket on Monday stated there was “one thing fishy” occurring within the Brihanmumbai Municipal Company (BMC) when it got here to the demolition of alleged unlawful constructions. The court docket was listening to a writ petition filed by actor Kangana Ranaut.
A bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla stated in Ranaut’s case, the civic physique didn’t comply with its personal observe of attaching photographs of alleged unlawful constructions with its stop-work notices and ready for some days earlier than finishing up demolitions.
The HC made the remarks whereas listening to the writ petition filed by Ranaut difficult the demolition of part of her bungalow in Pali Hill in suburban Bandra by the BMC on September 9.
The judges had been questioning the BMC’s H Ward officer, Bhagyawant Late, a respondent within the writ petition underneath whose jurisdiction Ranaut’s property falls.
Through the questioning, the bench famous that in instances of comparable illegalities in buildings near Ranaut’s, the BMC had waited for a number of days to hold out the demolition.
Apart from, in most different instances, it had connected photographs of the alleged unlawful constructions with its stop-work notices served to constructing homeowners, and in such instances, it didn’t usually take the police alongside for demolition, it stated.
Nevertheless, when it got here to Ranaut’s case, the BMC didn’t have any photographs with digital date and time stamps of the alleged illegalities and the demolition had been carried out within the presence of an enormous police pressure simply 24 hours after the stop-work discover was served to the actor, the bench famous.
The judges famous that in its reply, the BMC had claimed to have demolished the same case of illegality on September eight. However when the bench requested Late for photographs or data of the demolition, the latter stated no such photographs or paperwork existed.
The ward officer additionally stated the BMC staff had not taken the police alongside for the September eight demolition. This irked the bench.
“Mr Sakare (BMC’s standing counsel right here), there’s something completely fishy! There are not any photographs for the eighth. How come within the system, this demolition isn’t proven on eight (September)? It’s only once we requested for the file it’s ready. Is there any reply?” it stated.
The bench additionally requested why the BMC had taken an enormous police pressure alongside on September 9 to demolish Ranaut’s bungalow. To this Late stated Ranaut’s case was a “vital” one.
“What’s the definition of vital instances? In instances of celebrities, it turns into a vital case?” the bench requested.
Ranaut’s counsel Dr Birendra Saraf raised questions over the BMC’s motion on the actor’s bungalow.
Saraf argued that the way by which the whole BMC staff swooped in on September 7 in issuing the stop-work discover and subsequently rejecting Ranaut’s reply to it and finishing up the demolition, the discrepancy in paperwork, amongst others, confirmed the motion was vitiated by malice.
Saraf identified that the demolition was adopted by a information merchandise (on September 10) in ‘Saamana’, the place Shiv Sena chief Sanjay Raut is government editor, that carried a headline displaying because it had been some rejoicing information.
Saraf urged the court docket to make sure that the harm to Ranaut’s property was assessed by a certified individual after which to resolve on a good compensation quantity for a similar.
In her plea, Ranaut has sought Rs 2 crore as damages from the BMC and its officers.
In the midst of the day-long listening to, Saraf additionally performed a clip of a information interview the place Raut had stated “Ranaut ought to be taught a lesson”.
The Sena MP can be a respondent within the writ petition.
Raut’s counsel Pradeep Thorat, although, argued that in the whole interview, the Sena chief had not referred to Ranaut by title.
“If it’s your stand that, you (within the audio) haven’t known as the petitioner a ‘haramkhor’, we’ll file it. Ought to we file your assertion?” the court docket stated, referring to an alleged remark Raut made within the interview.
“Don’t run across the bushes… Have guts to say (earlier than the court docket) what you could have tweeted or informed a information channel, the court docket stated to each Raut and Ranaut’s counsels,” the Bench stated.
The BMC, in the meantime, denied all allegations of malice made by Ranaut.
Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, who appeared for the BMC, urged the HC to dismiss the plea, or to listen to Ranaut by way of a swimsuit, and never a writ petition, saying that in a swimsuit, Ranaut must stand within the field (witness field) and make clear all information.
Let this be handled in a swimsuit. Let her get right into a field and let her set up these information. Alternatively, it is a petition that deserves to be dismissed.
“It lacks absolute candour. This petition is being portrayed as a person being harassed due to her public utterances in opposition to a authorities and social gathering in energy,” Chinoy stated.
The fact was barely completely different. This can be a case the place the petitioner has unlawfully carried out substantial unlawful alterations, he stated.
Referring to the courts earlier comment on the swiftness proven by the BMC in Ranaut’s case, Chinoy stated, I agree there was a faster response on this case.
“However that’s not a solution (Ranaut’s plea). You can’t perform unlawful building.”
The court docket will hear Raut’s submissions on Tuesday. PTI