The Bombay High Court on Friday said the demolition carried out in Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut’s bungalow by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was malice of law. The court has set aside the BMC’s order of demolition and entitled compensation to the actor for the damage.
A bench comprising Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla passed the judgment after careful deliberation for nearly two months. The court said Ranaut can regularise from BMC, the extent of the portion damaged due to demolition. However, the actor cannot do anything contrary to the sanctioned plan, said the court.
The BMC order actuated by legal malice, said the court adding that there is material in pleading that smacks of malafide. The course of action taken was done to cause substantial losses, which justifies the compensation against respondents, the court said after referring to the pictures of the premise and materials produced before it.
Disapproving the loose statements made by Ranaut,the court said the subject matter is the demolition not her tweets. However irresponsible the statements were, the muscle power cannot be allowed by the state in the civil society, said the court.
After analysing the news channel clips of Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, the court noted that the evidence holds charges that Ranaut was threatened. On Ranaut seeking a compensation of Rs 2 crore from the civic body for the demolition, the court said the valuer by March 2021 shall pass appropriate orders on the same.
Welcoming the verdict, Ranaut tweeted that when individual stands against the government and wins, it is not only the victory of individual but the victory of the democracy as well. She thanked people for imparting courage in her and also thanked those who ridiculed her broken dreams. It is because you play a villain, so that I can be a hero, she wrote.
On September 9, BMC demolished an alleged unauthorised part of Ranaut’s office in a bungalow at Mumbai. Ranaut arrived the same day, and approached the high court through her lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee. Following which, she was granted a stay order on the demolition drive. A demand of Rs 2 crore compensation from BMC was made by the actor for what she termed as the illegal demolition of her bungalow.