The hearing in Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's demolition of "unauthorized construction" carried out at at actor Kangana Ranaut's residence in Bandra began at around 3:20 pm today. The BMC filed an affidavit in the matter today.
A division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice RI Chagla considered the matter.
Advocate Rizwan Siddique, appearing for the actor, submitted that he needs more time to bring facts on record as his client reached Mumbai yesterday in the afternoon and will accordingly amend the petition. Thereafter, BMC's counsel Senior Advocate Aspi Chinoy submitted that work carried out at the petitioner's residence was in clear violation of the sanctioned plan.
It is like the petitioner is above the law, Chinoy said. He added that he had no objection to the amendment being carried out.
Thereafter, Advocate Siddique argued that electricity and water supply have been cut and the petitioner's staff is still living there. He sought relief in this regard but Senior Advocate Chinoy intervened and said after yesterday's order of the High Court all activities have been stayed. Moreover, it should be first determined whether the petitioner is authorized to carry out any of the work that has been done, Chinoy said.
Chinoy asked the Court to pass an order of status quo to which Justice Kathawalla said "no changes " and adjourned the matter to September 22.
The MCGM's affidavit was filed by Bhagyvant Late, Designated Officer, H Ward, MCGM. The 25-page affidavit states-
"At the outset I say and submit that the writ petition and the reliefs sought for therein constitute an abuse of process, in as much as the record establishes that as part of work which was ongoing in the premises, the petitioner has unlawfully made substantial alterations and additions to the property contrary to the sanctioned building plan.
Both in her Advocate's reply dated September 8, 2020 and even in the present writ petition, the petitioner has not disputed carrying out the said unlawful alterations and additions. In fact having regard for the work carried out and contents of the sanctioned plan, there is no basis for petitioner to dispute the unlawful work carried on. The petitioner has only made false, baseless and unwarranted allegations of 'harassment' and 'mala fides'."
It is also contended in the affidavit that the Building Mukkadam of MCGM while on 'routine inspection' in the area on September 5 noticed construction work taking place at the said property, following which a detailed report was prepared and later a team of officers including Bhagyvant Late visited and inspected the site. The affidavit states-
"At the time of inspection, workmen, material and tools were also found present and work was found to be going on in the property. A detailed inspection found that substantial additions and alterations were carried out in the property contrary to the sanctioned plan."
Yesterday, Court had observed that BMC's action appeared to be mala fide and stayed the demolition work mid-way.
Click Here To Download Order