The Bombay High Court on Friday criticised the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for using “muscle power” in the demolition of actor Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow. While quashing the demolition order, the high court termed the BMC’s move as an act of malafide that was done to cause substantial loss to Kangana.
The court also directed the authorities to compensate the actor for the damage. The direction came in the petition filed by Kangana Ranaut challenging the demolition carried out by the BMC at her Pali Hill bungalow in Mumbai’s suburban Bandra on September 9.
“We make it clear that we do not approve the loose statements made by Kangana Ranaut. She should have exercised restraint but the subject matter is the demolition not her tweet,” said the Bombay High Court while delivering its verdict in the row between BMC and Kangana Ranaut.
The court also observed, “Irresponsible statements however irresponsible by an individual is best ignored. There cannot be muscle power used by the state in a civil society.”
In their judgment, the division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice Riyaz Chagla said, “The action by BMC was with malice. The manner in which the demolition was carried out meant that it was sinister attempt to silence Kangana.”
The civic body had opposed the plea and said the Bollywood actress had brazenly and unlawfully carried out extensive alterations and additions to the bungalow in breach of its approved plan.
Kangana sought Rs 2 cr compensation
Kangana Ranaut had sought Rs 2 crore in damages from the BMC and urged the court to declare BMC’s action illegal. On the issue of compensation, the bench said it was appointing a valuer who would hear the petition.
“The valuer shall by March 2021 pass appropriate orders on compensation,” the court said.
The actor welcomed the verdict. She tweeted: “When an individual stands against the government and wins, it’s not the victory of the individual but it’s the victory of the democracy. Thank you everyone who gave me courage and thanks to those who laughed at my broken dreams. It is only cause you play a villain so I can be a HERO.”
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