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The BMC had urged the Court to pass directions to ensure that Ranaut also does not carry out any alterations to her property until the next hearing.
Its earlier order directing the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM/BMC) to halt demolition work on the property owned by actress Kangana Ranaut will continue until September 22, the Bombay High Court said today.
The order was passed after the BMC, through Senior Advocate Aspi Chinoy, urged the Court to pass directions to ensure that Ranaut also does not carry out any alterations to her property until the next hearing.
"All work on our side has come to halt…But they may be ordered not to alter and do anything in the meanwhile", the BMC argued today.
"These are residential premises....There is no electricity or water... They have damaged everything", rebutted Ranaut's counsel.
Yesterday, the Bench of Justices RI Chagla and SJ Kathawalla had ordered the BMC to explain its conduct and file its reply to Ranaut's writ petition challenging the demolition by 3 pm today, after castigating the unusual swiftness with which the demolition work was carried out that morning.
Accordingly, a short affidavit was filed by the municipal body today. The BMC, through counsel Joel Carlos, today asserted that Ranaut had not obtained due permissions for the allegedly illegal alterations to her property that were sought to be demolished. The work has been done in total violation of applicable rules, he argued.
In its affidavit, the BMC has termed the writ petition as an abuse of process contending further that Ranaut has “unlawfully made substantial alterations and additions to the property contrary to the sanctioned Building Plan.”
Details regarding the same were also given in the notice issued to Ranaut, the BMC says in its affidavit. It is added that Ranaut has not disputed carrying out these unlawful alterations and additions in the writ petition and that there is no basis for the actress to dispute the unlawful work carried out.
Allegations that the municipal authorities had threatened and roughed up the security at Ranaut’s property have also been denied, with the BMC asserting that Ranaut is seeking to cover up her flagrantly illegal acts of unlawfully making substantial additions and alterations contrary to the sanctioned plan without permission.
The alleged unlawful alterations cited by the BMC include work for new toilets, expansion of existing toilets into cabins or rooms, construction of pantry, kitchen, cabins etc.
Further, it is contended that the demolition work was started as Ranaut failed to stop the work even after the BMC specified in its notice that the allegedly illegal construction should be removed within 24 hours.
While denying the allegations, Advocate Rizwan Siddique, appearing for Ranaut, asked the Court today for more time to amend the petition so that additional facts may be incorporated.
The Court proceeded to give Ranaut time till September 14 to amend her petition. The BMC may make its rejoinder to the same by September 17.
The matter was thereafter listed to be taken up on September 22.
Read the order:
Read the BMC's affidavit:
Corrigendum: It was earlier erroneously reported that the Court had ordered both parties to the dispute to maintain status quo. This is not reflected in the order passed today. It was also reported earlier that the BMC has file its rejoinder, if any, by September 18 instead of September 17. The errors have been rectified and are regretted.