It seems that trouble mounts for the Shiv Sena spokesman, Sajnay Raut after he was caught on camera using an expletive in his tirade against the Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut and it was played out by the actress’s lawyer to prove abuse when the Bombay High Court was hearing a petition on the demolition of the actor’s Pali Hill office on Monday.
In the audio, the Rajya Sabha member had been making remarks on the actress over her comments comparing Mumbai to Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. He had even said she should stay out of Mumbai. “The fact is that one of my tweets received a very strong response from Sanjay Raut, where he said that I had to be taught a lesson,” the lawyer quoted Ranaut as saying in the court. As the court told them to play the recording of the Sena leader to prove the claim, Sanjay Raut’s lawyer raised an objection: “The audio does not have the name of the petitioner.”
The issue is now a hot topic among the political circle. While the Sena leader Raut did not apologise for flinging an abusive term at Kangana amid outrage, however, the Rajya Sabha member had conceded in an interview that his choice of words could have been better.
The Bollywood actress’s Pali Hill office was demolished earlier this month by the Sena-controlled BMC that claimed that it involved in illegal constructions. Later, the High Court had stopped the construction on September 9 in a big win for the actress.
During the hearing, the court observed, the demolition was happening “when the actress was out of state, directing her to respond within 24 hours, and not granting her any further time, despite written request.
Making a point that the entire action was an act of revenge, Kangana’s lawyer told the court that there was no construction going on. The notice was not issued on the basis of any finding that any work was in progress. The authorities have to first issue notice giving an opportunity to the person to produce the permit. Straightaway demolition not contemplated, he pointed out. Moreover, parties also have the option to go for regularization. These opportunities were denied to Kangana as the BMC authorities did not act according to the provisions, her lawyer further said. Surprisingly, the demolition was carried out even as Kangana’s lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee moved a petition for stay order before Bombay High Court.
Earlier, the High Court described BMC’s demolition work as “highly deplorable.” The high court said, “It is clear that the unauthorised works have not come up overnight. However, all of a sudden, the corporation appears to have woken up from its slumber, issued notice to the petitioner, when she is out of the state, directing her to respond within 24 hours, and not granting her any further time despite written request, and proceeding to demolish on completion of 24 hours.”
Taking a strong exception, the court even added, “If the BMC would act with similar swiftness on the numerous unauthorised constructions in this city, it (Mumbai) would be a completely different place to live in.” Raut not only provoked the actress by making several statements during the period, but also wrote “Ukhad Diya” in Samaana, the mouthpiece of Sena when the JCBs wrecked Kangana’s office.
However, Kangana, on her part, should also have exercised restraint. Making remarks comparing the demolition with that of Babur, comparing Mumbai with POK, chanting Jai Shri Ram, and then addressing the state chief minister as “tu” (you), were too extreme. She could have responded with dignity and grace!
– M Charulata