Legality of BMC's action (Kangana Ranaut's office Demolition)

Legality of BMC’s action (Kangana Ranaut’s office Demolition)

Author – Kushav ( 2nd Year Law student at Chandigarh University)

Kangana Ranaut is an Indian entertainer who has been a part of the Hindi film industry for a while now. From starring in movies to film making, she has proven her ability and manifested charm. In the interim of her career, she has received a number of awards, counting three National Film Awards and four Filmfare Awards. She has won the hearts of the people with her astounding acting skills and her undaunted ways of expressing her point of view on what she feels is equitable.

Around fifty people, including five BMC workers, three senior officials, and quite a lot of police personnel, along with a bulldozer, showed up on Wednesday morning at the office of Manikarnika Films Private Limited, the production house of Kangana Ranaut, at Nargis Dutt Road, Mumbai, in order to demolish her office.

According to the notification by the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, there are about 14 sites in Kangana’s office which are not sanctioned and are constructed illegally, following which their hired hands visited the site on Monday for scrutiny. They drafted a notification that said, “The ongoing renovation and finishing work on the unauthorised portion at the above promised time is beyond the Building Completion Certificate plan as of March 7th, 1979.” The civic body provided Ranaut with 24 hours to generate documentary corroboration of the consent taken from the civic officials for the modification under Section 354 (A) of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act. According to the officials of BMC, the feedback to the notification is not acceptable and they have sent her yet another notification regarding her response which is not adequate and they further on started the demolition.

We also came to know that Kangana in 2018 had encountered a similar BMC notification for illegal construction at her apartment in Khar. Regarding the same, one of the officials from BMC said that “She challenged it in court, which stayed the notice.” We have filed a reply asking for the stay on the demolition order to be vacated. “We are awaiting the court’s further instruction”. By afternoon, the demolition act was put to an end after Kangana’s lawyer, Rizwan Siddiqui, filed a crucial petition in the Bombay High Court in opposition. But before that, BMC had already destroyed a fraction of the illicit construction.

The BMC’s actions transpire at a time when she is locked in an infuriated argument with the governing faction over her tweets on the Mumbai Police and the demise of Sushant Singh Rajput. She had said that Mumbai felt like Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and denounced the Mumbai Police. Indirectly replying to Kangana, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh had stated that “those who think Maharashtra or Mumbai isn’t secure have no right to live in the state” and also praised the efforts of Mumbai’s police in maintaining peace and harmony in the state. Kangana is also threatened by a Shiv Sena member who says she will not be allowed to return to the city.The escalating affair ensued in dispensing the Centre vouchsafe her Y plus security cover, India’s sturdy security cover.

Grasping all the facts and all of what happened with Kangana, this act of BMC’s is not justified. Various sites provided the information that Mumbai, India’s hot spot, pronto has 24,556 active cases of the 1,58,756 recorded so far. On Tuesday itself, 1346 people tested positive in the capital. Also, the government has restricted all demolitions in COVID-19 till September 30th. The court also stated that in any scenario where municipal corporations, even in extraordinary conditions or compelling grounds, are in need of taking any such actions, they first have to get authorised consent from the court. The restriction on demolition, eviction, or holding auction of attached properties was later extended by the High Court till 30 September by an order passed on August 31, 2020. Therefore, the BMC did not get any permission from the court as required by the March 19 order. Hence, contempt charges should be slapped against the BMC.

Personally, based on my thoughts, I think all the actions of BMC are to divert or distract attention from other significant issues, such as the role of Shiva Sena politicians in the drug mafia, and the Maharashtra home minister’s menacing of Kangana and Sanjay Rout’s abuse of her shows a lot about the unethical presentation of the culture of Shiv Sena. Criminally intimidating someone is a punishable offence under Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code. Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace stated under Section 504 of the Indian Penal Code is a punishable offence and that person shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two or with a fine or with both.

It is provided in the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act that if the staff detects any illicit construction that has been completed, then the notice is drafted under Section 351 of the MMC Act, under which a person is provided with seven days to prove his or her construction with legal documents. It was heard that they gave Kangana a limit of 24 hours whereas they gave seven days to neighbouring construction of hers. As per the opinion of various responsible citizens of the state, who shared their opinion on the Shiv Sena, they have never acted for the well-being or welfare of the people, and they are more likely to be bullies and goons. Abusing power is never a right given to anyone in a democratic country.

Therefore, I would like to conclude in favour of Kangana and against BMC and Shiv Sena as they have just, in an urge of revenge, performed the demolition. Therefore, strict actions should be taken by the government in order to prevent further intolerable activities of BMC and Shiv Sena and the people who are involved in threatening and abusing Kangana under the provision given in the Indian Penal Code.

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