The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has spent ₹82 lakh on fighting the case related to the demolition of actor Kangana Ranaut’s office before the Bombay High Court, particularly on hiring a lawyer for the case, according to the reply received for a Right to Information (RTI) application.
Sharad Yadav, an activist who sought the information, said he had also filed another RTI application seeking details about the number of complaints of illegal structures the BMC has received so far. However, he said the BMC had replied that they did not have enough manpower to provide the information.
Municipal Commissioner I S Chahal refused to comment on the matter, according to Hindustan Times.
The BMC had carried out the demolition of Ranaut’s office in Mumbai in September citing “illegal structural violations”. This was carried out a day after the BMC issued a notice to Ranaut, who had been out of town when the demolition took place.
Ranaut moved the Bombay High Court seeking the demolition be declared illegal.
The court proceedings went on till the first week of October. It later concluded the hearing and reserved its order in the matter.
The BMC has also faced criticism for not taking similar, swift action in dealing with other illegal structures.
Bhartiya Janata Party corporator Abhijit Samant said there are thousands of other illegal alterations in the city for which BMC never spends this amount of money. “We all know that the demolition of the actor’s bungalow was politically motivated.”
The demolition was carried out amid a war of words between Ranaut and the Maharashtra government headed by Uddhav Thackeray’s Shiv Sena. The battle was triggered when Ranaut referred to Mumbai as “Pakistan Occupied Kashmir”.
Taking to Twitter, Ranaut on Wednesday took a dig at the BMC over the money spent for this case. “Muncipal Corporation so far spent 82 lakhs on lawyer for illegally demolition of my house, papa’s Pappu spending public money to tease a girl, this is where Maharashtra stands today, very unfortunate,” she remarked.
Muncipal Corporation so far spent 82 lakhs on lawyer for illegally demolition of my house, papa’s Pappu spending public money to tease a girl, this is where Maharashtra stands today, very unfortunate. https://t.co/v6gQFJqdvL
— Kangana Ranaut (@KanganaTeam) October 28, 2020