With an FIR registered against Kapil Sharma for alleged unauthorised construction at his flat in suburban Goregaon, the forest department has swung into action to check for violations by house owners and developers in vicinity of the comedian’s office in Mumbai’s suburban area of Versova.
Forest officials visited Sharma’s office on Monday and surveyed its premises and surrounding areas.
“Following instructions from our chief conservator of the forest, our team visited the spot from where we received complaints. We found that there have been violations not only by Sharma, but 50-60 other flat owners also,” Assistant Forest Conservator Makarand Ghodke said.
“All these occupants have harmed the mangroves in their constructions and have made alterations. We have taken the GPS reading and will come out with final report in a day or two which will be submitted to the collector to take a final call,” Ghodke said.
The Oshiwara Police had on Monday registered an FIR against Sharma for alleged unauthorised construction at his flat in suburban Goregaon.
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation sub-engineer Abhay Jagtap had lodged a complaint at Oshiwara police station in this regard.
In the complaint, Jagtap had alleged that Sharma, who owns a flat in DLH Enclave on New Link Road in Goregaon, had violated norms and carried out illegal construction in the flat, a senior police official said.
Based on the complaint, Sharma was booked under section 53(7) of Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act 1966, the police official said.
The artist had kicked up a controversy last week by alleging that he had been asked to pay a bribe of Rs five lakh by an official of BMC which, in turn, claimed that the actor had flouted norms in his Versova office building and his apartment in suburban Goregaon.
The Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had also filed a complaint against Sharma for keeping mum on his allegation that civic officials had demanded money from him, and violation of building norms by him.
MNS general secretary Shalini Thackeray said they are going to follow up the issue for proper action. She also said it was unfortunate that celebrities get special treatment.
Social activist Anil Galgali also said that instead of setting up an example, Sharma preferred to use his “celebrity status” rather than replying to the civic notices.
“The fact is that Sharma had already been served notices for his premises. He should have replied to the notices served to him, but he preferred to reach out directly to PM by using his celebrity status,” he added.
The Shiv Sena had earlier dared Kapil to name the bribe seeker.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Ram Kadam had lodged a complaint with the cyber cell of Mumbai Police and demanded to forward it to the Anti-Corruption Bureau to probe Sharma’s allegations.
However, Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam on Monday came out in support of Sharma and said the artist was being “victimised” to divert attention from the issue of graft. He also urged Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao to intervene in the matter.
On last Friday, Kapil had tweeted his anguish and said, “I am paying Rs 15 cr income tax from last 5 year and still I have to pay Rs 5 lakhs bribe to BMC office for making my office @narendramodi (sic).”
“Yeh hain aapke achhe din? @narendramodi (are these your good days),” he had sought to know in another tweet, referring to Modi’s 2014 poll slogan of “good days are ahead”.
Sharma has 63 lakh followers on his Twitter handle and since he tagged the Prime Minister, the tweet generated sharp reactions from all major political parties, with an eye on the forthcoming civic elections.
It also sparked an instant response from Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who requested Sharma to provide authorities with necessary information to punish the culprit.
Later, in an apparent attempt to cap the controversy from escalating, Sharma said he did not seek to blame any political party.