Kangana Ranaut to be probed over drug-use claim, says Maharashtra home ministerUpdated: Sep 09, 2020, 00:10 IST
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh on Tuesday ordered a probe into the claims made by Adhyayan Suman – the purported former boyfriend of actor Kangana Ranaut – in an interview three years ago that she was on drugs and had forced him to consume the narcotic substances as well.
The actor, expected to arrive in the city today and who is in the eye of a political storm over her remarks on Mumbai and the Centre’s decision to grant her Y+ security, was also issued a notice by the civic body, asking her to take corrective measures regarding “structural violations” in her Pali Hill office. The civic body will undertake action if she fails to reply in 24 hours. The actor, through her lawyer, has requested for seven days to reply and address concerns in the stop-work notice.
Also, breach of privilege motions were moved and accepted against Ranaut and Republic TV’s Arnab Goswami in the legislature for “defamatory” remarks on Mumbai and “derogatory” comments against chief minister Uddhav Thackeray respectively.
In response to the probe announced by Anil Deshmukh, Ranaut tweeted, “I am more than happy to oblige @MumbaiPolice @AnilDeshmukhNCP please do my drug tests, investigate my call records if you find any links to drug peddlers ever. I will accept my mistake and leave Mumbai forever, looking forward to meet you. (sic)”
Replying to the point raised by Shiv Sena legislators Pratap Sarnaik and Sunil Prabhu, Deshmukh said that the Mumbai Police would be asked to probe into the claims made by Suman, the son of actor Shekhar Suman. Deshmukh said that Mumbai Police would look into Suman’s three-year-old statement.
“Sena lawmakers Prabhu and Sarnaik had raised the issue about the revelation against Ranaut that she was on drugs. Suman was in a relationship with her and he had said that she used to force him to do drugs as well. Mumbai Police will look into the allegations,” Deshmukh said.
Deshmukh also made a statement in relation to the tweets by Ranaut, where she likened Mumbai with the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). He said that such a statement was unfortunate and is an insult to Mumbai and Maharashtra and its proud people. “Mumbai and Maharashtra have given Ranaut everything, but in return she has played with the sentiments of the people. At least, 106 people had laid their lives for a unified Maharashtra. Not only the ruling parties, but even the opposition, BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), must also condemn her statement,” he said.
Earlier on Monday, Maharashtra assembly’s deputy speaker Narhari Zirwal directed Deshmukh to make a statement within 24 hours. Deshmukh made the statement in response to a letter written by Sena legislator Sarnaik seeking unanimous resolution must be passed by the assembly against Ranaut for her anti-Maharashtra rants on social media.
Deshmukh also announced that Mumbai Police would conduct a probe into the death by suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik three years ago. Naik, in his suicide note, had named a few persons, including a TV news channel’s editor, who allegedly did not pay his dues worth several crores of rupees, according to the deceased’s kin.
State food and civil supplies minister Chhagan Bhujbal and energy minister Nitin Raut have demanded a bid to expedite the probe in the Naik death case.
They said that the interior designer and his mother had died by suicide three years ago while holding the editor responsible for non-payment of their dues against the construction of the channel’s studio in Mumbai.
“The case has been registered. Mumbai Police will be ordered to conduct a probe into it,” Deshmukh said.
A breach of privilege motion was moved in both houses of the state legislature against Republic TV’s managing director and editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami on Tuesday. A privilege motion was also moved against Ranaut over her remarks comparing Mumbai to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) in the Maharashtra legislative Council. Council chairman Ramraje Naik Nimbalkar accepted both motions against Goswami and Ranaut, while deputy speaker of Assembly Narhari Zirwal said he will decide (whether to accept it or not) after the scrutiny.
Sena legislator Pratap Sarnaik moved the motion in Assembly, while his party colleague in the council Manisha Kayande moved it in the upper house against Goswami for derogatory remarks against Thackeray, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and other politicians. Parliamentary affairs minister Anil Parab said that the news anchor holds debates as if he was the judge and holding a trial. His derogatory remarks against the CM and other leaders were highly objectionable.
Congress’s Ashok Jagtap moved a privilege motion against Ranaut for “defaming Mumbai” in the Upper house. Congress legislator in Council, Bhai Jagtap referred to 2016 interview of actor Adhyayan Suman and said that Suman had told media that the actor had asked him to consume drugs.
Council chairman Nimbalkar said, “I have accepted the breach of privilege of motion. In the absence of a committee for it, I am going to decide on it (on the motion).” Ranaut equated Mumbai to PoK and the Sena took offense and criticised her comment. She also got in to a verbal spat with Sena leader Sanjay Raut. The actor is also been in the news for her controversial comments on the Mumbai Police’s handling of the Sushant Singh Rajput death case.
Later, Sarnaik said outside Vidhan Bhavan that there was no political vendetta in demanding action against Kangana. “Law is same for all citizens. The actors who are given security are idols for society and any allegations against them should be taken seriously. If she is innocent, then action should be taken against the person who has levelled allegations against her. It will come out only after the probe,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday morning, after paying a surprise visit to her office at Pali Hill in Bandra, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) issued a stop-work notice to Ranaut, pointing to 14 types of structural violations, carried out in her office and sought her reply in 24 hours, failing which the illegal portions of her office would be demolished. Replying to the notice, Ranaut, through her lawyer, requested for seven days to reply and address the concerns in the stop-work notice issued by the BMC on Tuesday morning. Her lawyer also demanded that the BMC officials, who visited Ranaut’s office premises on Monday, be prosecuted for trespassing in her property and intimidating her security staff.
Manikarnika Films Private limited, Ranaut’s office, which is a ground-plus-two storey structure, is located at Bungalow number 5 in Chetak Row Houses of Pali Hill. When the structural details were cross-checked by the BMC, they found out that the structure exists in their records since 1970s. They also found out that the office has several structural violations, which includes illegal extension, which has been pointed out in the notice.
Vinayak Vispute, assistant municipal commissioner of H-west ward (Bandra, Khar), said, “The site inspection was conducted according to the approved plans in BMC’s development plan department. We have listed out several violations in the notice and will await her reply on the same. Depending on that, further action will be taken.” The BMC is yet to comment if it has granted her the seven-day time period as asked by her lawyer.
The structural violations in her office include converting toilet into an office cabin, constructing new toilets alongside staircase, unauthorised extension of slab on the first, second floor and merging of the bedroom of adjoining bungalow into this office space, on the second floor by removing partition wall.
A report citing all illegalities of the structure is being prepared by the local ward office, H-West ward (Bandra, Khar)
Meanwhile, BMC has filed a caveat in a court stating it should be heard first, if Ranaut challenges the stop-work notice. A caveat is a request to a court that no order should be passed without hearing the person or party which files it. Replying to this, Kangana tweeted, “Now BMC has filed a caveat against me, really desperate to break my house, I deeply love what I built with so much passion over so many years but know that even if you break it, my spirit will only get stronger. Go on.”
On Monday, Ranaut took to Twitter to share a video clip of the officials visiting her office and accused the BMC of “forcefully taking over” her office and said that the BMC is going to demolish her property on Tuesday. A team of officials from building proposals department inspected her office to check for alterations comparing the approved plans. In her defence, Ranaut had tweeted, “I have all the papers, BMC permissions and nothing has been done illegally in my property. BMC should send a structure plan to show the illegal construction with a notice. Today, they raided my place and without any notice tomorrow they will be demolishing entire structure.”
(Inputs by Swapnil Rawal)