The joke's on Kapil Sharma! Comedian pulled up for destroying mangroves

Updated: Dec 13, 2016, 09:42 IST | Sailee Dhayalkar

A Mumbai court has asked police to register FIR against Kapil Sharma for allegedly destroying mangroves to construct his Oshiwara bungalow. Sharma had earlier tweeted to PM about alleged harassment by BMC

Kapil Sharma’s under-construction Andheri office. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
Kapil Sharma’s under-construction Andheri office. Pic/Sneha Kharabe

For once, the joke’s on Kapil Sharma. Three months after he took to Twitter to complain about BMC demanding a bribe for his office construction and unwittingly exposed how he was illegally encroaching upon a mangrove forest, a court has directed the Versova police to register an FIR against the comedian. The encroachment came to light after he posted a tweet on September 9, outraged that BMC officials demanded Rs 5 lakh in exchange for clearing his office renovation project.

King of comedy that he is, even Kapil must admit the irony in the situation. He also tagged PM Narendra Modi in the tweet, with the potshot “Yeh hain aapke achhe din?”

No ‘achhe din’ for Kapil
In the aftermath of the tweet, the BMC revealed how it had sent the TV star several notices about the illegal encroachment on the nearby mangrove forest. A petition was also filed in court on the same matter by activist Santosh Daundkar. The complaint copy stated that Kapil had made several alterations to his office bungalow at 70-71 of SVP Nagar, Oshiwara, Andheri west, and in the process, he had destroyed the mangroves.

The petitioner also referred to the fact that Kapil had tweeted about being asked for a bribe. “However, he did not abide by his statutory duty to have informed the police or the Anti- Corruption Bureau so that the accused public servant could have been trapped red-handed,” the complaint added.

Court’s observations
It was while hearing the same petition yesterday that Metropolitan Magistrate Amitabh A Panchbhai directed the police to begin investigations against Kapil. The judge found that the construction was illegal because it had encroached upon the minimum 50m buffer area around the mangrove forest. “The plan submitted by BMC clearly shows that the alleged construction on the plot at Andheri that is owned by the accused, is within the non-permissible limit of buffer zone/50 m CRZ-II area,” states the court order, which also added that there had been a clear cut violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, which is a cognisable offence under Section 15 of the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

The court also pointed out that it was necessary to send the message that such destruction of mangroves is unacceptable. “Such act of destruction of biological rich patch of mangroves being catastrophic in nature and detrimental to our eco-system cannot be prevented in any other way than by initiating criminal action against the wrongdoers, as earlier attempts made by the complainant to approach various authorities have fallen on deaf ears.”

“A bribe was also demanded allegedly by some public servant to the proposed accused even, as seen from his (Kapil’s) tweet,” Magistrate Panchbhai dictated in court.

Thus, Magistrate Panchbhai ordered: “Matter be sent for investigation to the Versova Police station under Section 156 (3) of the CRPC. The concerned police station is directed to register the FIR immediately first, and then complete the investigation and file final report in this case.”

The tweet that started it all
@KapilSharmaK9 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. Yeh hain aapke achhe din? @narendramodi

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