Mumbai: Even as the High Court of Bombay was seized of the matter and hearing a petition for a stay, the rihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), went ahead and used JVC and other heavy machinery to smash and bring down Film actor Kangana Ranaut’s imposing office in Bandra that too barely 24 hours after pasting a notice of illegal construction at the gate and not caring to wait for the owner to return from Manali and respond to the notice.
Kangana landed in Mumbai from Manali amid protests by the Shiv Sena on Wednesday. Her arrival in Mumbai was in headline due to the BMC demolition and also as she had taken ruling Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut head on after his “anti-women” comment directly targeting her after she had given a TV interview exposing the Mumbai film indiustry’ and its drug links.
Experts point out that an act like this by the BMC was not possible without the consent of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. No wonder both the Maharashtra CM and his party are at the receiving end and people have started describing BMC’s demolition act as Thackeray’s doom. They are saying all that Bala Saheb Thackeray had done to build the Shiv Sena has been undone by Uddhav in a single day.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday 9 September 2020, issued a stay on any demolition activity by the BMC on property in Bandra belonging to actress Kangana Ranaut.
The matter was heard today by a Bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla.
The Court has asked the BMC to stop any demolition activity and directed its response on a plea moved by Ranaut over the matter. The case will be taken up for further hearing at 3 pm on Thursday.
Satya Pal Singal, who has dealt with this subject as officer incharge local bodies in the districts and as head of Delhi Division in the Ministry of Urban Development, including in his capacity as Member of the DDA and signatory to the Master Plan of Delhi in the late nineteen eighties) and who is fully conversant with the law on the subject has come forward with authentic analysis on the demolition of the structure belonging to Kangana Ranaut by the BMC on Wednesday.
On the legal aspect, Singal has underscored “under the Constitution of India, Municipal Law is a state subject. Each state has its own Municipal Act. The Act , inter alia, provides for Building Bylaws for the regulation of construction of buildings. The first step is the submission of a building plan to the municipality. The second step is sanction/ rejection by the municipality depending upon whether the plan confirms to the bylaws. The sanction is valid for two years within which construction has to be commenced. The third step is submission of an application for completion / occupation certificate. The fourth step is site inspection by the engineer/ architect of the municipality of the building whether the building has been constructed as per the plan or there are deviations. The deviations are of two types: those compoundable with penalties or those not compoundable. If the construction is according to the plan, sanction / occupation certificate is issued without penalty. If there are compoundable deviations the certificate is issued on payment of penalty . In any other situation , request for the certificate is rejected.
The building cannot be occupied without the certificate of the municipality.
It is hoped that Kangana Ranaut would have been given a completion/ occupation certificate before she occupied and started use of the building.
If she had not been issued completion/ occupation certificate and she had started using the building , the appropriate time for action was when she occupied the building. If the municipality did not act at that time , it should have initiated disciplinary action against its enforcement officials simultaneously with demolition action.
Demolition at this stage smacks of high handedness and vendetta which does not behove an elected body.”