The Bombay High Court on Monday mentioned there was one thing fishy occurring within the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) when it got here to demolition of alleged unlawful constructions, feedback which got here whereas listening to a writ petition filed by actor Kangana Ranaut.
A bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla mentioned in Ms Ranaut’s case, the civic physique didn’t observe its personal follow of attaching images 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 Ms Ranaut difficult the demolition of part of her workplace in Pali Hill in suburban Bandra by the BMC on September 9.
The judges have been questioning the BMCs H Ward officer, Bhagyawant Late, a respondent within the writ petition below whose jurisdiction Ms Ranaut’s property falls.
During the questioning, the bench famous that in circumstances of comparable illegalities in buildings near Ms Ranaut’s, the BMC had waited for a number of days to hold out the demolition.
Besides, in most different circumstances, it had connected images of the alleged unlawful constructions with its stop-work notices served to constructing house owners, and in such circumstances, it didn’t typically take the police alongside for demolition, it mentioned.
However, when it got here to Ms Ranaut’s case, the BMC didn’t have any images 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 an identical case of illegality on September 8.
But when the bench requested Mr Late for images or data of the demolition, the latter mentioned no such images or paperwork existed.
The ward officer additionally mentioned the BMC staff had not taken the police alongside for the September Eight demolition.
This irked the bench.
Mr Sakare, (BMCs standing counsel) right here there’s something completely fishy! There aren’t any images for the eighth.
How come within the system, this demolition shouldn’t be proven on 8 (September)? It is barely once we requested for the file it’s ready. Is there any reply? it mentioned.
The bench additionally requested why the BMC had taken an enormous police pressure alongside on September 9 to demolish Ms Ranaut’s workplace.
To this Mr Late mentioned that Ms Ranaut’s case was a “critical” one.
What is the definition of essential circumstances? In circumstances of celebrities, it turns into a essential case? the bench requested.
Ms Ranaut’s counsel Dr Birendra Saraf raised questions over the BMC’s motion on the actor’s workplace.
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 Ms 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 have been some rejoicing information.
Saraf urged the court docket to make sure that the injury to Ms Ranaut’s property was assessed by a professional individual after which to resolve on a good compensation quantity for a similar.
In her plea, Ms Ranaut hassought Rs 2 crore as damages from the BMC and its officers.
In the course of the day-long listening to, Saraf additionally performed a clip of a information interview the place Mr Raut had mentioned that “Ranaut should be taught a lesson”.
The Sena MP can also be a respondent within the writ petition.
Mr Rauts counsel Pradeep Thorat, although, argued that in the whole interview, the Sena chief had not referred to Ms Ranaut by identify.
If it’s your stand that, you (within the audio) haven’t referred to as the petitioner a ‘haramkhor’, we’ll document it. Should we document your assertion?” the court docket mentioned, 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’ve gotten tweeted or informed a information channel, the court docket mentioned to each Mr Raut and Ms Ranaut’s counsels.
The BMC, in the meantime, denied all allegations of malice made by Ms Ranaut.
Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, who appeared for the BMC, urged the HC to dismiss the plea, or to listen to Ms Ranaut by a go well with, and never a writ petition, saying that in a go well with Ms Ranaut must stand within the field (witness field), and make clear all info.
Let this be handled in a go well with. Let her get right into a field and let her set up these info. Alternatively, this can be 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 mentioned.
The actuality is barely totally different. This is a case the place the petitioner has unlawfully carried out substantial unlawful alterations, he mentioned.
Referring to the courts earlier comment on the swiftness proven by the BMC in Ms Ranaut’s case, Chinoy mentioned, I agree there’s a faster response on this case.
“But that isn’t a solution (Ms Ranaut’s plea). You can not perform unlawful building.
The court docket will hear Mr Raut’s submissions on Tuesday.