Should have shown grace, ignored Kangana’s PoK comment, HC to Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut should have shown grace and restraint when he responded to tweets from actor Kangana Ranaut, the Bombay High Court observed on Tuesday. The actor had compared Mumbai to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and made objectionable comments against the Mumbai Police.
In his affidavit, Raut, admitting that the expletives in the interview to the TV channel were directed at the petitioner (Kangana Ranaut), said that it was not due to any malice towards her but were prompted after she cast aspersions about the state not being safe.
A division bench of justice SJ Kathawalla and justice RI Chagla while hearing the response of Bhagyawant Late, designated officer of the BMC who was impleaded in the case after the petition of the actor was amended, was informed by senior counsel Anil Sakhare that the actor’s allegations of malice against him were baseless.
While responding to the allegations made by the actor against him, Sakhare submitted that Late’s subordinates had visited the Pali Hill bungalow at around 1 pm much before her tweet which was made at around 5 pm.
Hence, the allegation that the detection was prompted due to her tweet was not valid. Sakhare further submitted that as per previous judgments making allegations of malice were easy but proving them was the responsibility of the accuser. However, at no place in the petition or affidavits submitted by the actor had she proved the malice on his part.
In light of the submissions, Sakhare sought dismissal of the petition.
“In the said interview I have only referred to the petitioner as “dishonest” because the petitioner had made a statement saying that Mumbai is like ‘Pak Occupied Kashmir’,” stated Raut in his affidavit.
“I responded because the petitioner had insulted Mumbai and Maharashtra,” said Raut.
After hearing the submissions, the court observed, “You are a leader, a parliamentarian. You should have been cautious while making statements. Even we don’t agree with what the petitioner has said. Is this the way to address?”
When Raut’s advocate submitted that his outburst was due to the provocation by the actor, the court said, “We are all Maharashtrians and we are all proud to be Maharashtrians. We have to show grace. You have to ignore such things. Is this an example you set for others by asking ‘Kanoon kya hai’?”
Thereafter, senior advocate Dr Birendra Saraf, who along with advocate Rizwan Siddiquee for the actor, responded saying that the case was very much in the jurisdiction of the court even though senior advocate Aspi Chinoy for the BMC on Monday had said that the actor had a remedy in a suit for claims and the court should not entertain the petition.
After hearing all submissions, the court directed all parties to submit their written notes within a week and posted the matter for further hearing next week.