In a reprieve to stand-up comedian Kapil Sharma, the Bombay high court on Monday granted interim stay on a notice issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in April this year directing razing of an illegal structure allegedly constructed by him at his flat in an 18-storey building in Goregaon.
Sharma had approached the HC challenging the April 28 notice issued by the civic body under section 351 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, claiming that it was "bad in law", "perverse" and issued with "malafide intentions".
The corporation in its notice claimed that certain constructions in the 18-storey residential building 'DLH Enclave' in Goregaon, in which the actor has a flat, were illegal and hence will have to be razed down.
Sharma's advocate Pradeep Thorat informed a division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai that earlier the builder, Dev Land Housing Ltd, had also approached the high court against the notice and that the petition has been posted for hearing on November 23.
"Let this petition (Sharma's) also be tagged along with that petition for hearing on November 23. Till then the notice is stayed," Justice More directed.
The actor had kicked up a controversy last month by alleging that he had been asked to pay a bribe of Rs 5 lakh by an official of BMC which, in turn, claimed that the actor had flouted norms not only in his Versova office building but also at his apartment in suburban Goregaon.
Sharma, in his petition, claimed that the building had been granted all requisite permissions by the civic body.
"In March and April 2010, the civic body issued commencement certificate to the developer granting permission to construct the 18 floors. On November 6, 2013, the corporation issued Full Occupation Certificate to the building," Sharma said in his petition.
However, on November 14, 2014, BMC's assistant engineer from Building and Factory department issued notice to Sharma claiming that he had made some illegal constructions in his flat in the building, and sought his reply.
Sharma, in his reply to the BMC, said no unauthorised construction was carried out at his flat in the building.
The civic body on December 1, 2014, however, refused to accept the actor's clarification.
Sharma then filed an application in Dindoshi sessions court against the notice. On December 28, 2014, the sessions court granted interim relief and directed the civic body not to initiate any action pending hearing of the application.
"Despite the sessions court order, the corporation issued another notice on April 28 this year directing razing of the building," Sharma said in his petition.
Apart from Sharma, the BMC had issued notices to several other flat owners, including actor Irrfan Khan, for allegedly carrying out illegal construction in their flats.
Sharma, in his petition, sought the notice to be set aside and direction to be issued to the corporation not to act upon the notice pending hearing of this petition.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing in due course of time before a division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Anuja Prabhudessai.
The comedian had recently kicked up a row through his bribe tweet, following which the Oshiwara police had registered an FIR against the actor under section 53(7) of Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act, for alleged unauthorised construction at his flat in suburban Goregaon, based on a complaint by a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official.
Later, another FIR was registered by Versova police in Mumbai against him for alleged violation of Environment Act.
Sharma had also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a twitter post on September 9.
"I am paying Rs 15 cr income tax from last 5 year n still i have to pay Rs 5 lakhs bribe to BMC office for making my office @narendramodi (sic)," Kapil had said in his post.
"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".
The comedian, who hosts 'The Kapil Sharma Show' on TV, has nearly 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.