The Bombay High Court condemned Shiv sena MP Sanjay Raut over his remarks against Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut and asked, "If this was the way a parliamentarian should react". Ranaut had filed a petition in the Bombay HC against the demolition carried out at her bungalow by Shiv Sena-controlled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on September 9.
Early this month, Queen actor had said that she did not feel safe in Mumbai after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. Ranaut also spoke of drug use in the film industry. She then compared Maharashtra with PoK.
After her comments, Raut had allegedly used an objectionable word in an interview while referring to the actor, and further said "What is law? Ukhad denge (we will demolish it)". Subsequently, BMC officials turned up with a bulldozer to tear down parts of Pali Hill bungalow in Mumbai--Kangana Ranaut's production house on September 9.
The BMC's move was criticised across social media platforms. Kangana secured a stay on the demolition and filed a Rs 2 crore compensation claim in an amended petition to the same case. In the amended petition, she said the demolition was done post her comments against the Maharashtra government.
Yesterday, the Bombay HC told Raut, "Even we don't agree with a word of what the petitioner (Ranaut) has said. But is this the way to address?". The high court added, "We are also Maharashtrians. We are all proud Maharashtrians. But we don't go and break someone's house".
"Is this the way to react? Don't you have any grace?" asked a division bench of Justices S J Kathawalla and R I Chagla to Raut. "You are a parliamentarian. You have no respect for the law? You ask what is law?" the bench said.
Raut's lawyer conceded that the MP should have been more responsible. "He should not have said that. But there was no threatening message. He only said that the petitioner is very dishonest...That was a remark made after the petitioner said that Maharashtra is not safe".
The BMC's 'H' ward officer Bhagyawant Late, also made a respondent to the case, stated that Ranaut's allegations of malice against him and the BMC were an attempt to divert the attention from the illegal construction at her Pali Hill bungalow.
But the court asked what the BMC was doing when the alleged illegal construction going on. "Why did you wait to take any action until September 5 or September 7? You had turned a blind eye to it," the bench said.
Ranaut's counsel Dr Birendra Saraf reiterated that the actor had not constructed anything illegally, and even if there were some irregularities, those could have been regularised by the civic body.
Saraf had alleged earlier that the BMC carried out the demolition out of malice and vendetta after Ranaut made some comments against the Mumbai police that irked the Shiv Sena-led government in Maharashtra.
The court adjourned the hearing to October 5.