BMC defends its stand on demolishing parts of actor Kangana’s home

She made false, baseless and unwanted allegations of harassment, says municipal body’s affidavit

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Thursday defended its stand on demolishing parts of actor Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow before the Bombay High Court and said, “she made false, baseless and unwanted allegations of harassment”.

A Division Bench of Justices S. J. Kathawalla and R. I. Chagla was hearing a petition filed by Ms. Ranaut after the Shiv Sena-run BMC demolished parts of her bungalow at Pali Hill in Mumbai. Her plea states, “The action of the BMC is illegal, arbitrary, mala fide and without application of mind, in violation of principles of natural justice, unreasonable and improper.”

After directions from the Bench, the BMC officer, Bhagyavant Late from the H West Ward, filed an affidavit on Thursday. It stated: “The petitioner has unlawfully made substantial alterations and additions to the property, contrary to the sanctioned building plan.”

“She has made false, baseless and unwarranted allegations of harassment and mala fides. She illegally carried out substantial unlawful additions and alterations, contrary to the sanctioned building plan,” it said.

The stop work notice was issued by the BMC under Section 354A of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act (power of Designated Officer to stop erection of building or work commenced or carried on unlawfully) was issued to Ms. Ranaut on September 8. It pertains to details regarding substantial alterations and additions unlawfully carried out, including the construction of new toilets (including in open chowk area and in parking area), conversion of existing toilets into cabins/rooms, construction of pantry, kitchen, cabins, etc.

Senior advocate Aspi Chenoy representing the civic body said Ms. Ranaut in her reply did not dispute the substantial work of alterations and additions carried out in the commercial complex.

Advocate Rizwan Siddiqui appearing for the actor interrupted and said the premises are residential, and sought time to file a rejoinder and to make amendments in the plea. The matter is adjourned till September 22.

Meanwhile, the BMC also issued notice to fashion designer Manish Malhotra for an existing unauthorised construction under Section 351 (proceedings to be taken in respect of buildings or work commenced) of the Act.

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