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Demolition at Kangana's house illegal

Demolition at Kangana’s house illegal
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Demolition at Kangana’s house illegal

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The Bombay High Court on Friday held that demolition carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) at actor Kangana Ranaut's bungalow here was illegal and smacked of malicious intent

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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday held that demolition carried out by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) at actor Kangana Ranaut's bungalow here was illegal and smacked of malicious intent. The court appointed an assessor to evaluate the damage caused so as to decide Ranaut's claim for compensation.

The high court also came down heavily on Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut over his tirade against Ranaut. The Bollywood actor termed the decision as a "victory of the democracy". But in the ruling, the bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla also advised Ranaut to observe restraint while expressing herself.

The BMC started demolition of alleged unauthorized construction at Ranaut's Palli Hill bungalow on September 9 following a controversy over her tweet comparing Mumbai to Pak-occupied-Kashmir. She moved the HC on the same day, seeking to declare the action illegal. The HC stayed the BMC's action but by then a part of Ranaut's bungalow had already been pulled down.

Following Ranaut's tweet, Sanjay Raut had threatened to teach her a lesson. Soon thereafter the BMC issued a stop- work notice under section 354 A of the Municipal Corporation Act. It rejected Ranaut's reply and next day part of the bungalow was demolished.

The photos from the site, documents on record and the chain of events showed that the BMC's action was "predetermined," "malafide," (with dubious intentions) and in breach of a citizen's rights, the HC said on Friday. "The manner in which the action was carried out leaves no doubt that using section 354 was unauthorized, bad in law and aimed at preventing the petitioner from taking recourse to preventive legal action," the bench said.

"Irresponsible statements made by a citizen in an individual capacity, however distasteful, are best ignored ....Illegal and colourable action/s on part of the state or its agencies vis--vis a citizen, is far too serious and damaging to society to be overlooked," the HC said.

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