By the time the Bombay high court stayed the demolition effort suddenly undertaken by the BMC at actor Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow in Mumbai, reports say that most of the damage was done.
Hearing a petition filed by Kangana Ranaut, Justice S.J. Kathawalla sought to know from Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation how it entered the premises when the owner was not present. No less than 50 officials, along with demolition equipment, were involved in the operation.
BMC alleged that alterations at the building were illegal. However, the timing of such a demolition drive, which came after a political row between Ranaut and politicians of the ruling party suggests some sort of vendetta for her strong comments.
Corporators belonging to Shiv Sena which has been publicly criticising Ranaut for her comments on Mumbai, dominate the Civic Body.
Mumbai: Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials carry out demolition at Kangana Ranaut's office. pic.twitter.com/aepwSeFePb
— ANI (@ANI) September 9, 2020
The actor, who for the past few days is vocal with views that align themselves to the BJP, has been locked in a war of words with Mumbai’s political leadership. She had recently in the aftermath of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s passing, compared Mumbai to “Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir.”
Her back and forth with Shiv Sena leaders led her to announce that she was unsafe in Mumbai, following which the BJP-led Centre accorded her Y-Plus security cover.
On Wednesday, September 9, the BMC began the demolition as Kangana Ranaut travelled to Mumbai from Manali in Himachal Pradesh. While the BMC said it had inspected the premises two days ago, the actor has alleged that the BMC notice informing her of this was only sent to her on September 8.
Paid sources of Maha government are spreading fake info,BMC never sent any notice to me until yesterday,in fact I got all the documents cleared myself from BMC for renovations. @mybmc at least have the courage to stand by your audacity 🙂 why lie now? pic.twitter.com/CVUQGxkNiS
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) September 9, 2020
The BMC, country’s richest Municipal Corporation is headed by a Shiv Sena Mayor, Kishori Pednekar.
On the same day (Sept 9) in 2016 comedian Kapil Sharma tweeted that he had to pay Rs 5 lakh as bribe to the BMC for alterations to his office in Versova.
I am paying 15 cr income tax from last 5 year n still i have to pay 5 lacs bribe to BMC office for making my office @narendramodi
— Kapil Sharma (@KapilSharmaK9) September 9, 2016
The tweet garnered immediate attention and replies by then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BMC followed up by sending Sharma a letter in which it asked for details on the functionaries who had asked for the bribe.
However, as the days progressed, BMC took the line that construction on Sharma’s office was illegal and that constructions on the DLH Enclave in the northern suburb of Goregaon, where he had a flat, was illegal and the building would have to be razed.
The plot was near the mangroves, a Coastal Regulation Zone II area, and BMC had alleged that forest land had been cut to make way for a second storey in the 4,000 square-foot building.
Shah Rukh Khan
In 2015, the BMC demolished a concrete ramp constructed outside actor Shah Rukh Khan’s house, Mannat. The ramp was reportedly used to park his vanity van, but according to a report by Hindustan Times, it obstructed movement to the popular Mount Mary Basilica.
Khan reportedly received the notice on February 6 and when he did not respond to it, the BMC led the drive on February 15. Khan was also fined nearly Rs 2 lakh for the construction.
In 2017, the BMC demolished a makeshift gym built by actor Arjun Kapoor on the terrace of his Juhu building. A notice in March was followed by the demolition in December.
A Times of India report notes that the complaint to BMC was made not by a resident of the building but an activist who does not live in it.
The structure was reportedly 30 by 16 feet and was made of brick.