Relief for Kangana as HC quashes BMC demolition order

Relief for Kangana Ranaut as HC quashes BMC demolition order

The court has said that demolition at her place as action with malafide intent.

Kangana Ranaut. Credit: PTI Photo

In a major setback to the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government, the Bombay High Court on Friday quashed the demolition order against Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow in Bandra area of Mumbai.

The Shiv Sena-controlled BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has demolished part of the bungalow in the Pali Hill area of Bandra on 9 September – that resulted in a major political issue in the state.

The same day, she moved Bombay High Court that had asked the ongoing demolition to be stayed.

In the order on Friday, the division bench comprising Justice S J Kathawalla and Justice R I Chagla said that the notice of demolition needs to be set aside.

“The impugned notice (issued by Ward Officer Bhagyawant Late) dated 7 September alongwith the speaking order of demolition dated 9 September are quashed and set aside,” the bench said granting a major relief to Ranaut.

The bench said that Ranaut can take steps to regularize her property and make it habitable and appointed a valuer to decide on the compensation amount the BMC would pay to her for the action.

“As regards the area which is not demolished by the BMC, if the

BMC proposes to take any action, it may issue a notice giving 7 days time to the petitioner to respond to /comply with the same. In the meantime, the petitioner shall also be at liberty to make an application seeking regularization of the works already carried out but not demolished under section 53 (3) of the MRTP Act, 1966,” the order stated.

“However, to the extent any demolished portion requires a planning permission and such permission is not in place, construction of such portion can only be made either in compliance with the sanctioned plan or after seeking approval of the BMC for the work proposed. In the event any application is made, the BMC shall decide the same within a period of four weeks from the date of receipt of such application /plan,” it said.

Justice Kathawala and Justice Chagla also appointed a survey to assess the extent of damage.

“M/s Shetgiri and Associates are appointed as the surveyors / valuers to value and determine the extent and value of damage and loss caused to the petitioner and submit their report to this court on 9 March, 2021 to enable the court to award compensation to the petitioner. The surveyors / valuers shall hear both parties - the petitioner and the BMV before making their report. The charges of the surveyors / valuers shall initially be borne by the petitioner,” the court stated.

Victory of democracy: Kangana

Reacting to the verdict, actor Kangana Ranaut said that it was a victory for democracy. “When individual stands against the government and wins, it’s not the victory of the individual but it’s the victory of democracy. Thank you everyone who gave me courage and thanks to those who laughed at my broken dreams. It’s only because you play a villain so I can be a hero,” she said. 
 

"When individual stands against the government and wins, it’s not the victory of the individual but it’s the victory of the democracy. Thank you everyone who gave me courage and thanks to those who laughed at my broken dreams. Its only cause you play a villain so I can be a hero," she said.

BMC to study order

Amid the BJP welcoming the Bombay High Court, Mumbai Mayor and Shiv Sena leader Kishori Pednekar said that the legal department would meet to study the order. “What we did was as per law, as per municipal rules…we will go through the order,” she said. Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Kirit Somaiya welcomed the development. “It’s a welcome order,” he said, demanding the resignation of Pednekar and removal of Municipal Commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal.