The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Plot missive to star

Mumbai, Oct. 5: Bombay High Court has directed actor Shahrukh Khan to file a reply in connection with the construction of a building behind his bungalow in Bandra.

Two public interest litigations objecting to the construction of the multi-storeyed building behind the heritage property, Mannat, have been filed in the court.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice S.J. Vajifdar today clubbed the two PILs and issued directives to the parties concerned to reply before the next hearing on December 7.

The bench also asked the Maharashtra government, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and two construction firms to file replies.

Last month, a Bandra resident had urged the court to stop the construction behind Mannat on the ground that no construction could be allowed near a heritage property.

The plot behind Mannat was reserved for setting up an art gallery. Shahrukh bought it after the government dereserved it in 2003.

The second petition was filed by an NGO, Bhrashtachar Nirmulan Sangathana, which alleged violation of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act and the Development Control regulations against three properties, including that of the Bollywood superstar.

The petition claimed that as a result of the construction behind Mannat, a 30-foot road that leads to Bandra’s Mount Mary Church has been encroached upon. “The BMC had allowed this road to be included in Khan’s plot in direct violation of the Development Control norms. We have challenged this.”

“Second, if a development plan is modified by way of dereservation, the government has to make public the modifications in a gazette to make the general public aware of the changes. But no gazette was published about the dereservation of Khan’s plot,” the petition said. It also mentioned similar violations by Sonam Builders on SV Road at Malad and Goodwill builders at Kandivli.

Shahrukh’s counsel said the petitions were filed to seek publicity as their client was a well-known filmstar.

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