Kangana Ranaut petition: You are a parliamentarian, show some grace, Bombay high court tells Shiv Sena’s chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut

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Updated on Sep 30, 2020 12:33 AM IST
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ByKAY Dodhiya

The Bombay high court (HC), while saying it did not agree with the tweets by actor Kangana Ranaut pertaining to the state government and the Mumbai Police, on Tuesday said that Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut should have shown some grace and restraint when responding to her, considering he was a parliamentarian.

In his affidavit, Raut, while admitting that the words in the interview to the TV channel were directed at the petitioner, said that it was not due to any malice towards her, but were prompted after she raised aspersions about the state not being safe. The court, hearing Ranaut’s petition against the demolition carried out at her Pali Hill bungalow here by the Brihanmumbai Municipal (BMC) on September 9, has directed all parties to submit their written submissions within a week and posted the matter for hearing next week.

A division bench of justices SJ Kathawalla and 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 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 around 1pm much before her tweet, which was made around 5pm. Hence, the allegation that the detection was prompted due to her tweet was not valid. Sakhare further submitted that as per previous judgements, 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 malice on his part. In light of the submissions, Sakhare sought dismissal of the petition.

The court then perused Raut’s affidavit wherein it was submitted that he was not concerned with the demolition matter and that he had not threatened the actor in a derogatory and abusive manner as alleged. “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 the affidavit.

Raut said, “I responded because the petitioner had insulted Mumbai and Maharashtra.”

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.

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