News Leak Centre

No Fear No Favour


By Shivangi Chawla

Actor Kangana Ranaut has amended her petition before the Bombay high court and is now seeking Rs 2 crore in damages suffered due to the “illegal demolition” carried out by BMC on September 9 on part of her Pali Hill bungalow number 5, in Bandra, West. BMC has demolished “40 percent’’ of the bungalow “including valuable movable property like chandeliers, sofa, rare art works’’. She challenged the “premeditated and vitiated’’ demolition done by a civic squad, 24-hours after issuing a notice. She questioned the absence of any detection report of September 5 as claimed by the BMC. Last Thursday her advocate Rizwan Siddiquee had informed the HC that he would by Monday amend the 29-page petition filed hastily on Wednesday against the demolition notice. Her petition filed before mid-night is now a bulky 92 pages.
Her petition seeks an order to quash the demolition notice of September 7 and order of September 9 and to “restrain” the BMC from taking any further steps in implementing the demolition order of September 9. The order was pasted on her bungalow door at 10.35 am that day, it said. She has sought interim orders to be permitted to “take such steps as necessary to make the bungalow capable of use.’’
Her lawyer had sent a reply on September 8 to BMC’s demolition notice under section 354A, Her amended petition says that though her reply was rejected at 10.35 am, BMC and police officers were “already present outside the bungalow well before the time of the Impugned Order which can be proved by the Petitioner’s tweet at 10:19am on 9th of September, 2020. The photograph clearly shows that the officials ..alongwith police officers and with all the equipment as they were already ready to demolish the said Bungalow which shows that BMC always had mala fide intentions and ulterior motives to demolish the Bungalow and were ready even before the Impugned Order to demolish was passed.’’
It said when Siddiquee went to the Bungalow on September 9 to serve the H/W ward officer with a copy of her petition and said that the matter was scheduled to be heard at 12.30 pm that day the BMC official “locked” the bungalow from inside “ignoring the advocate’’ and continued the demolition.
Her petition now also says that though the BMC claimed that a mukadam had “detected” her “unauthorised construction on September 5 at 1 pm’’ , there is “no record of the report’’ placed before the HC. It also said that there is “stark contradiction’’ in the first inspection report which speaks of “unauthorized construction/additionan/alteration/amalgamation work in progress’’ to the “hand written inspection report which “merely records discrepancies in ‘internal renovation, finishing work is found in progress.’’ The actor has not asked for orders of restoration said the BMC advocate Joel Carlos.
Shiv Sena ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had started demolition of alleged unauthorised constructions of actor’s recently renovated bungalow a few hours before her scheduled arrival to the city last Wednesday. She said it was because of she was recently at “loggerheads with the Maharashtra government’’ regarding her views over certain issues.
Within a couple of hours of the demolition having started, the HC in a scathing order directed BMC to immediately stop the demolition on September 9. A bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and Riyaz Chagla said the “manner in which the BMC proceeded with the demolition…smacked of mala fide.’’
The next day, in court, BMC lined with two senior counsels Aspi Chinoy and Anil Sakhare strongly denied any mala fides in its action against the ongoing “unlawful additions and alterations contrary to sanctioned plans’’ by the actor in her bungalow premises. The BMC counsel sad she had not annexed any sanctioned plan to her petition too and that itself shows she was aware that her structure was illegal and the BMC had acted against the illegal portion.
The HC, adjourning the matter had given Siddiquee till September 14 to extensively amend the petition. The final hearing will be on September 22 and the HC continued the stay on demolition till then.

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