Soon after the Bombay High Court declared the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)’s action of demolishing a part of Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow as “illegal”, the Bollywood actor called it “a victory of democracy”.
“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,” Kangana tweeted.
The High Court, in its order, said that the BMC order was “actuated by legal malice”. The bench also said Ranaut was allowed to take steps to make the bungalow habitable. However, the extent of the demolished portion requires planning permission, which can be taken from BMC.
“The BMC order actuated by legal malice. There is material in pleadings that smacks of malafide and was done to cause substantial losses. We would be perfectly justified to order compensation against respondents,” a division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla said, referring to photographs of the premise and other material produced before it.
The BMC, on September 7, issued a ‘stop-work’ notice to Ranaut for alleged illegal construction through the renovation and finishing work under the section 354(A) of Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act, to stop the ongoing work inside the premises and produce the permission for the illegal construction.
On September 8, it pasted the notice on Ranaut’s Bandra office. It had given the actor 24 hours to file a reply with documentary evidence. In her response to the notice, Ranaut accused the BMC of trespassing on her property and making false claims.
The notice had stated that during inspection of the bungalow on September 5 by a Mukadam (supervisor) and another inspection by the executive engineer of the BMC on September 7, it was found that there were 14 unauthorised alterations and additions to the bungalow contrary to the sanctioned building plan, and same was carried out without permission of the concerned ward officer of the BMC. On the morning of September 9, after the BMC started demolition work, Ranaut urgently approached the HC through advocate Rizwan Siddiquee against the action by the civic body. Through urgent hearing, which started at 12.30 pm the same day, the High Court stayed the demolition.
Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore as compensation from the BMC and had urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal. The civic body had opposed the plea saying the actor had brazenly and unlawfully carried out extensive alterations and additions to the bungalow in breach of its approved plan.