Mumbai

BMC violated all laws, says Kangana’s lawyer

Senior advocate Birendra Saraf, representing Kangana Ranaut, on Friday told a Division Bench of Justices S.J. Kathwalla and R.I. Chagla in the Bombay High Court that the photographs submitted by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) weakens its case against the actor.

Mr. Saraf said, “Demolishing of her bungalow is a case where all laws and provisions have been thrown out.” He said the act of demolishing alleged illegal alterations in the actor’s bungalow at Pali Hill in Bandra was a “malafide action as my client had a difference of opinion and ideology with those in power”. Mr. Saraf said the timing of the action by the corporation “supports my case and clearly shows that there is malice in fact and law on the part of the civic body authorities”.

He added, “Ms. Ranaut is at loggerheads with the Maharashtra government over some issues. She has displeased a party in power with her open views. She had to face death threats and seek special protection from the Centre. [Shiv Sena MP] Sanjay Raut has made derogatory statements against Kangana on TV channels. He said Kangana needs to be taught a lesson. On the same day that Mr. Raut made the remarks, an officer from the BMC visited the property and entered it without prior notice. The timing of the visit assumes relevance.”

On Friday, Bhagyavant Late, the designated officer of H West ward, filed a rejoinder with photos of the office at the actor’s bungalow. Mr. Late said the photographs showed unauthorised construction. The 58-page document said, “The petitioner [Ms. Ranaut] was carrying out extensive work on her premises [with six workmen] and had made substantial alterations and additions contrary to the approved building plan. Action under Section 354 A (power of designated officer to stop erection of building or work commenced or carried on unlawfully) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act was fully justified and allegations of malafides in law are unwarranted and false.”

It added, “The first inspection report recorded the presence of workmen and work going on in the said property and bags filled with construction waste, but contained no details of the ongoing work. Based on the report, an inspection was carried out on September 7 and it was found that unlawful additions and alterations had been carried out contrary to the sanctioned building plans.”

Mr. Saraf argued for two hours and will continue with his arguments on Monday.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2020 11:13:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/bmc-violated-all-laws-says-kanganas-lawyer/article32700025.ece

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