Bombay High Court seeks Sanjay Raut's reply on Kangana Ranaut's plea over office demolition

Published: 25 September, 2020 11:18 IST | PTI | Mumbai

The hearing can not be delayed because the Bungalow should not be left in the present partially demolished state during monsoon as some mishap might happen, the judges said

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut

The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut to file a reply to actor Kangana Ranaut's petition against the demolition of a part of her office in Mumbai, and said it will start final hearing from Friday.

The hearing can not be delayed because the Bungalow should not be left in the present partially demolished state during monsoon as some mishap might happen, the judges said.

A bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla also directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) H-ward officer Bhagyawant Late to file his reply to the plea.

Late had signed the demolition notice served to Ranaut on September 7.

On Tuesday, Ranaut's lawyer senior counsel Birendra Saraf had submitted a DVD of a speech in which Raut allegedly made a comment threatening the actor. Following it, the HC permitted Ranaut to make both Raut and Mr Late parties to the case.

On Thursday, Raut's counsel Pradeep Thorat asked for more time to file reply, saying the Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member was in New Delhi.

BMC's senior counsel Anil Sakhre also sought more time for filing reply on Late's behalf.

Justice Kathawalla said the bench will begin hearing the petitioner (Ranaut) on Friday and Raut could file his reply anytime before his lawyers start their arguments.

The bench, however, directed the BMC to file the reply on Late's behalf by Monday.

"Since 40 per cent of the Petitioner's Bungalow is already demolished on 9th September, 2020 and the Bungalow continues to stand in partially demolished condition, it is likely that some mishap may be caused due to the heavy rainfall in Mumbai. It is therefore necessary to hear the matter at the earliest," the bench said, scheduling the hearing at 3 pm on Friday.

Ranaut, in her plea filed in the HC on September 9, sought that the demolition carried out by the BMC at her Pali Hill bungalow be declared illegal. She rushed to the court after demolition began earlier that day.

The HC then stayed the BMC's action.

She subsequently amended her plea to demand Rs 2 crore as damages from the civic body and its officials.

In her plea, Ranaut alleged that the BMC had demolished the bungalow out of personal vendetta, since she had made some comments critical of the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government.

The BMC in its affidavit denied the allegation.

The civic body said Ranaut had carried out illegal structural changes and repairs at the bungalow, and the officers were merely following the law.

The civic body also urged the high court to dismiss Ranaut's plea and impose a cost on her.

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