Actor Kangana Ranaut has sought a compensation of Rs 2 crore from Mumbai’s municipal agency for “illegal” demolition of a part of her office in the financial and entertainment capital of the country, where real estate is among the world’s most expensive.
Ms Kangana Ranaut had approached the Bombay High Court while the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC was tearing down the walls at Manikarnika Films, her movie production house in Bandra, after which the court ordered the BMC to stop demolishing it.
Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice RI Chagla had in the previous hearing allowed petitioner’s counsel Advocate Rizwan Siddique to amend the petition filed by her challenging MCGM’s order of demolition.
The petitioner contended that “the entire action initiated by MCGM officials was a counterblast and a consequence of the displeasure of influential persons who are in power who are displeased and angry by certain causes being taken up by petitioner.”
Refuting the civic body’s allegation that unauthorized construction and alterations have been made at her bungalow of Kangana Ranaut which she bought in 2017, the amended petition states-
“Before undertaking and/or commencing any kind of interior work and structural repairs in the said bungalow, the petitioner had duly made an application vide her letter dated October 3, 2018 to MCGM seeking permission for structural repairs and mentioning therein the following:-
(i) That since the building is 42 year old structure, the Petitioner had carried out structural audit of the said bungalow through a structural consultant;
(ii) That as per the report submitted by the structural consultant, the building falls under C2-B category.
(iii) That since it was not a good condition, the petitioner would like to carry out repairs by structural audit under the supervision and guidance of the structural auditor;
Consequently, MCGM permitted the petitioner to carry out the structural repairs as recommended by their structural consultant to the consultant’s fullest satisfaction and submit the structural stability certificate to MCGM once the work is completed.
It is further argued in the amended plea that even before the order of demolition was pasted on the said bungalow, officials of MCGM were already present at the actor’s bungalow in Bandra’s Pali Hill-
“This conduct of the Respondent No.1 and its officials demonstrates that they always had pre-meditated malafide intentions and ulterior motives to demolish the said bungalow”.
Finally, seeking compensation of Rs.2 crores towards damages caused to her, Kangana Ranaut has alleged –
“The Respondent No. 2 and the officials of the Respondent No. 1 demolished about 40% of the Petitioner’s property including the valuable movable property of the Bungalow, like chandeliers, sofa, rare arts-works before the petitioner’s advocate obtained stay from this Hon’ble Court.”
The petition argued that the whole intention of the respondents and reason for invocation of section 354A under the MMC Act, was to deprive the petitioner a fair opportunity to respond to the Impugned Notice. Thus, the petitioner sought quashing of the demolition order.