Mumbai, January 21: The Bombay High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea filed by actor Sonu Sood, challenging a city civil court order that had dismissed his petition against a notice issued to him by the BMC for allegedly carrying out structural changes to a residential building he owns in Juhu without permission.
A single-judge bench of Justice Prithviraj K Chavan also refused the actor’s plea seeking to restrain BMC from taking any action based on its notice and seeking further stay on the operation of the city civil court order. “The ball is now in the office of BMC, you (Sood) may approach them (civic body),” the HC said, The Indian Express reported.
As Sood’s lawyer sought 10 weeks to comply with BMC’s notice, the judge said: “You (Sonu Sood) are too late… You had ample opportunity and law helps those who are diligent and not those who sleep over their rights.” On October 27, last year, BMC had issued a notice under Section 53 (1) of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act to Sood and his wife Sonali, giving them a month to restore the property as per its original plan or get approval for the changes made.
The actor had approached the city civil court seeking a stay on the BMC notice. He had moved HC when the civil court ruled against him on December 19, 2020.
Sood and his wife, in their petition filed through advocate D P Singh, have claimed that they did not carry out any “illegal or unauthorised” construction in the six-storey Shakti Sagar building in Mumbai’s Juhu.
Challenging the civil court’s order, advocate Amogh Singh, appearing for Sood, contended that the court “ought to have considered that the notice was issued by the complainant (BMC) who is hell bent on causing harm to the property of the appellants if at all its illegal demands are not satisfied”.
He added that the BMC notice was in contravention of provisions of the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act. Sood contended that the notice was issued with “malafide intent” and was “nothing but blackmailing tactics issued at the behest of the complainant (BMC)”. However, describing the actor and his wife as “habitual offenders”, the BMC — in an affidavit filed through advocate Joel Carlos — had told HC that the couple wants to “enjoy the commercial proceeds of their unauthorised work” and therefore, has started reconstructing the demolished part of the building to run it like a hotel.
Senior counsel Anil Sakhare, appearing for the BMC, had argued that Sood had constructed hotel rooms under the pretext of “beautification”. He had said Sood cannot be permitted to continue with the commercial activity of running a residential hotel.