"Either stop making an issue of it or have the guts to say (before the court) what you have said or tweeted," remarked the Bombay High Court on Monday, asking both Kangana Ranaut and Sanjay Raut not to beat around the bush. The HC has asked the actress to place on record Raut's entire interview, in which he allegedly called her 'haramkhor' and also her own tweets.The BMC meanwhile, justified its 'swift' action against Kangana's bungalow saying it 'cannot tolerate' any illegal construction. It also clarified that had Kangana approached the civic body saying she had stopped the 'illegal' work, it would haven't demolished the structure.
A bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Riyaz Chagla however, were unimpressed with the civic officials, who could not properly answer a series of questions it had raised, pertaining to the alleged procedural lapses.
Appearing for Kangana, senior counsel Birendra Saraf played the video clip of Raut's interview to a news channel, wherein he had abused the actress.
After the video was played, the counsel for Raut told the bench that his client had nowhere (in the video clip) named or referred to Kangana.
"So if that is your claim, better make a statement on an affidavit that you haven't abused her," Justice Kathawalla said, to which, the counsel replied he would need to take instructions from his client.
Intervening in the discussions, senior counsel Aspi Chinoy apprised the bench of Kangana's tweets to which Raut had replied. Accordingly, the judges asked the actress to submit her tweets. But her counsel would not give a clear answer.
Irked by this, Justice Kathawalla said, "Stop beating around the bush! Either you both (Kangana and Raut) stop making an issue of it or just have the guts to say (before us) whatever you have tweeted or told a news channel."
"If you want to make an issue of this, then stop giving excuses that tweets aren't available (Kangana's contention) or that I didn't name her (Raut's claim)," Justice Kathawalla added.
Meanwhile, Kangana's counsel argued that the BMC had powers to regularise even illegal structures but such powers weren't invoked in her case, he said, while referring to numerous cases, wherein illegal structures were regularised by the civic body.
The BMC counsel Chinoy started his submissions after the judges resumed hearing, post-recess.
At the outset, Chinoy argued that Kangana couldn't be let go just because she was a celebrity. "This is a case of substantiated alterations. We cannot give the common man the impression that a celebrity or high-profile person can be let go, despite their having made rampant alterations," Chinoy told the judges.
"She hasn't made a strong exceptional case wherein rampant illegalities could be allowed. She herself created illegalities, then created political controversy and but cannot claim to have been harassed," Chinoy told the judges.
In his detailed submissions, Chinoy said that the actress had the option of approaching the BMC, saying that she had stopped the illegal work, but she did not do so.
"We are being questioned for our demolition action within 24 hours. We wouldn't have demolished her structure had she approached us in time. She could have just told us that she had stopped her illegal work or had the relevant permissions, we could have then given her some time to explain her stand," Chinoy said.
On being asked, Chinoy told the judges that Kangana did not say she had stopped the illegal work but instead, kept insisting she had committed no illegality."In fact, we have no record of her applications seeking permissions for any kind of alterations," Chinoy informed.
Further justifying its "swiftness" the BMC, through Chinoy, said, "We accept and agree that we have acted quickly in this case. But that cannot be the answer. The answer would be that we cannot tolerate any sort of illegal construction."
"She cannot create a hullabaloo now claiming to be harassed and dis-housed when she has carried out large-scale illegalities," Chinoy added.
Meanwhile, the judges grilled civic officials on the numerous procedural lapses. However, the designated officer, who allowed the demolition, couldn't give proper answers.
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"Are only celebrity cases critical for you?" Justice Kathawalla remarked.
The bench will continue the hearing on Tuesday.
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