Thursday, May 30, 2024

Bombay HC says demolition of Kangana’s office in Bandra was ‘sinister’

In a strong judgment, the Bombay High Court’s order on Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to demolish a part of Kangana Ranaut’s office comes as a win for the actor.

The two-member bench comprising justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla noted that demolitions carried at her Bandra office “is nothing but malice in law”.

Hearing the actor’s petition against the demolition, the Court said the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) has proceeded with the actions on wrongful grounds, against the rights of citizens. The Court said it does not approve of the authorities using “muscle power” against any citizen.

After the untimely demise of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput, Kangana trained her guns towards Bollywood and Shiv Sena which led to the war of words between the two.  The actor also alleges that the civic body’s action of demolition was a result of her comments against the “ruling party” (referring to Shiv Sena)

The Court stated that “whatever be her statements, no action can lie except within four corners of the law. The manner in which action was carried out leaves hardly any doubt that it was against the law and was ‘sinister’ to prevent the petitioner from taking legal recourse for the preventive action. BMC has done it with deliberate disregard to the rights of the citizens.”

The court, however, also noted that the petitioner (Ranaut) should show restraint in airing her opinions on the government.

The civic body maintained that Ranaut had brazenly and unlawfully carried out extensive additions and alterations to the bungalow, in breach of its approved building plan.

On Ranaut seeking compensation of ₹ 2 crore from the municipal agency for what she called an “illegal” demolition, the court said it was appointing a valuer who would hear the petition and the civic body on monetary damages caused to her due to the demolition. “The valuer shall by March 2021 pass appropriate orders on compensation,” the court said.

The high court also allowed Ranaut to take steps to make the bungalow habitable again. But, she will have to approach BMC and seek permission, if any permission is required for reconstruction of the demolished portion.


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