‘Smacks of malice’: Bombay High Court sets aside BMC notices to Kangana Ranaut
The Bombay high court on Friday set aside the demolition notice sent to actor Kangana Ranaut by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation dated on September 7 and 9 — in what marked a victory for Ranaut. The high court said the demolition action at her office had malafide intent, passing an order for a valuer to be appointed to ascertain the damage caused in the demolition. However, the court has also asked the actor to exercise restraint.
A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla noted that the action undertaken by the civic body leaves hardly “any manner of doubt” that it was unauthorised. The BMC had alleged Ranaut of unauthorised construction in her office, a portion of which was razed. The high court said it has compared the photographs and found no unauthorised construction. The civic body has proceeded to act wrongfully and illegally against the rights of a citizen, the bench said.
The court also commented on Kangana’s allegations that the action (partial demolition of her office) was a reaction to her opinions expressed on social media. “The notice issued by BMC officer, and pasting of that on her bungalow, the reply to the notice, order of demolition of property, arrangements made to demolition, commencement of demolition, attempt to delay hearing, ensuring 40% demolition, demolition of the bungalow.Raut’s statement that bungalow ukhaad Diya..supports petitioner’s case that the demolition was in reaction to that,” it said.
Ranaut had filed the petition on September 9 when the demolition process was initiated by BMC. The court had in an interim order on September 9 stayed the demolition work
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