Bombay HC asks Kangana Ranaut to submit her tweets, video of Sanjay Raut; BMC refutes her claims about demolition
The Bombay high court (HC), while hearing the petition of actor Kangana Ranaut, asked her to substantiate the claim that she had been abused by Shiv Sena spokesperson Sanjay Raut. Senior counsel Dr Birendra Saraf, appearing for the actor, played a video clip in which Raut is heard saying “Woh haramkhor ladki”. Meanwhile, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) responding to the court’s query during an earlier hearing on whether there was ongoing work at the time of inspection of Ranaut’s bungalow in Pali Hill, said that finishing work was being carried out on the unauthorised alterations and additions made in past.
Regarding Ranaut’s claim that Raut abused her on the social media platform, Dr Saraf said Raut used the abusive word to refer to Ranaut, and that it was the politician’s malice towards the actor which prompted the demolition of her bungalow on September 9. However, when the bench questioned Raut’s lawyer advocate Pradeep Thorat, he clarified that as his client had not mentioned the actor’s name when he spoke, it could not be construed that he had abused her.
Dr Saraf informed the court that the abusive stance of Raut had been prompted by a tweet by Ranaut on September 5.
Senior counsel Aspi Chinoy, who appeared for the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), said, “I believe the tweet which is referred by Dr Saraf was made around 5pm. If Dr Saraf is referring to any other tweet prior to that, it will have some relevance.”
In light of this, Chinoy sought a clarification on the timing of the tweet which allegedly led to the altercation between Ranaut and Raut. After hearing the submissions, the court asked Dr Saraf to submit all of Ranaut’s tweets and the entire video interview of Raut.
Meanwhile, responding to the HC’s query regarding Ranaut’s petition filed through advocate Rizwan Siddiquee on September 9, seeking a stay on the ongoing demolition of her bungalow by BMC.
The civic body submitted that while the petitioner in her response to the stop-work notice issued on September 7 had claimed that there was no work going on, the work was ongoing, and added that the civic authority was justified in considering the finishing work to be in continuation with the previously made alterations and invoking section 354A of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act.
In view of this, BMC submitted that Ranaut’s claims were not maintainable as she had an alternate remedy available by filing a suit for claims and hence sought dismissal of the petition.
While hearing the BMC’s arguments and submissions in support of the demolition, the bench of justice SJ Kathawalla and justice RI Chagla was informed by Chinoy along with advocate Joel Carlos that the actor was trying cover up her illegal actions and get immunity by approaching the court.
“This case actually is on the other side of the coin. It is like claiming immunity by relying on your public utterances and saying that if action is taken against unlawful construction, it is harassment,” Chinoy said. He further submitted that the actor had not shown any exceptional circumstance to move the petition. “It cannot be that a political controversy that has been created by the petitioner in media is an exceptional circumstance,” said Chinoy.
The civic body then countered the actor’s claim that she was not in Mumbai when the notice was served and that she was not allowed time to respond. Chinoy said, “In this day if you can tweet while on your way from Mohali to Mumbai, you can also answer your advocate on the phone.”
While justifying the application of section 354A of the MMC Act, Chinoy submitted that in her response to the stop-work notice, the actor had said that there was no ongoing work even though the inspecting personnel had seen five workmen and a supervisor. “Had she replied that water-proofing work was going on, BMC would have given her seven days’ time, but as she refused [that any work was going on], the officers assumed that it was work in continuum to the unauthorised alterations and additions done in the past, and hence resorted to demolition within 24-hours of serving the notice,” he said.
Chinoy also pointed that in the petition or other documents filed by the actor during the course of the hearing she had not explicitly denied carrying out the unauthorised alterations and additions that were demolished, and hence BMC was justified in carrying out the demolition. He also said that the actor’s claim for ₹2-crore compensation could not be dealt with in the writ petition and hence the petition should be dismissed.
The Shiv Sena on Wednesday criticised Tamil Nadu chief minister MK Stalin for welcoming Rajiv Gandhi's assassination convict AG Perarivalan, saying such acts set a wrong precedent and do not sit well in the political culture of the country. An editorial in Sena mouthpiece, Saamana, said that Rajiv Gandhi's assassination in May 1991 was shocking but a chief minister embracing Perarivalan is even more shocking.
The Mumbai Traffic Police will start penalising two-wheeler riders if the pillion rider is without a helmet from June 9, a senior police officer said on Wednesday. A similar penalty will be imposed for pillion riders without helmets. Raj Tilak Roushan, deputy commissioner of police (Traffic HQ) said they penalise an average of 1,200 two-wheeler riders for helmetless riding every day. Roushan said that the police are also writing to schools and colleges to create awareness on road safety and the helmet rule.
Mumbai In a move to promote safety, pillion riders on two-wheelers will be penalised for not wearing helmets from June 9 onwards. The Mumbai traffic police issued a warning on Wednesday and said that they will start penalising pillion riders after 15 days. Usually, a helmetless rider has to pay a fine of ₹500. Raj Tilak Roushan, deputy commissioner of police (Traffic HQ) said that on an average, they are penalising about 1,200 two-wheelers daily.
The Pune Municipal Corporation which had earlier announced water cut on Thursday (May 26) has now cancelled it as the President of India will be visiting the city for a programme. The city will get a normal water supply, said officials. President Ramnath Kovind is visiting the city for the launch of the 125th-anniversary celebration of the Laxmibai Dagdusheth Halwai Datta temple which is located at Budhwar peth.
Pune The Bund Garden police have booked Marathi actor Surekha Jog and three others including a former education officer on charges of forging signatures and preparing bogus documents in the name of Zilla Parishad education department for obtaining funds from the government department, police said on Wednesday. The incident took place between January 1, 2019 and May 24, 2022. Police inspector Sunil Khedekar is investigating the case.