The Bombay High Court on Wednesday stayed the demolition process initiated by the BMC for illegal construction at actress Kangana Ranaut's bungalow here and sought to know how the civic body entered the property when the owner was not present. A division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla was hearing a petition filed by Ranaut in the morning, challenging the notice issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for ”illegal construction” at her bungalow.
The petition also sought a stay on the demolition process. The high court sought to know from the BMC how it entered the premises and directed it to file an affidavit in response to the plea. The court posted the matter for hearing on Thursday. The BMC on Wednesday undertook the demolition of the illegal alterations at the bungalow of Ranaut at Pali Hill in suburban Bandra.
Ranaut approached the high court through her advocate Rizwan Siddiqui, challenging the stop-work notice issued on Tuesday and seeking a stay on the demolition process. The plea argued that the petitioner (Ranaut) was not given sufficient time to respond to the notice and the demolition process was initiated in a hurried manner with ulterior motives.
The plea further said the notice issued by the BMC was ”bad in law and arbitrary” and that the actor had taken all necessary approvals from the corporation before construction. The BMC on Tuesday filed a `caveat’ in a local court, saying it should be heard first if Ranaut challenges a stop-work notice issued to her.
Before the demolition work on Wednesday, the BMC posted a second notice outside her bungalow, informing her of the action being taken by the civic body, an official said. Ranaut’s recent remark comparing Mumbai to Pakistan- occupied-Kashmir (PoK) has drawn the ire of the ruling Shiv Sena, which also controls the BMC.
The 33-year-old actress, who is scheduled to reach Mumbai later in the day, has alleged that the Maharashtra government is targeting her because of her fight with the Shiv Sena.