The Mumbai police lodged a fresh FIR against comedian Kapil Sharma on the charges of illegal construction on a mangroves buffer zone. This order was given on December 9 order by the Railway Mobile Court’s metropolitan magistrate Amitabh A. Panchbhai after a fresh plea was filed by activist S. Daundkar through his lawyers Abha Singh and Aditya Pratap. The FIR was lodged on Wednesday at the Versova police station under the Environment Protection Act of 1986, Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act of 1966 and the Indian Penal Code.
In his plea, Daundkar said Sharma owned a bungalow in SVP Nagar, Oshiwara (Andheri West, Mumbai) where construction of an illegal extra floor was undertaken. Sharma later tweeted that a bribe of Rs 5,00,000 was being demanded from him. “However, Sharma did not abide by his statutory duty under the law to inform the Anti-Corruption Bureau so that the accused public servant could be trapped red-handed,” said lawyer Abha Singh.
On July 16, Kapil Sharma was served a stop-work notice from the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation for carrying on illegal works, making unauthorised horizontal extension to the existing ground-plus one floor in his bungalow. Daundkar said the bungalow is right next to mangroves and falls within the 50-metre mangroves buffer zone which is a no-development zone under the coastal regulation zone. So no construction of any kind can be taken up there. He said the comedian had violated the CRZ norms on three counts – construction without approval from Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority, illegal conversion of a residential premise into a commercial office and illegal construction within the 50-metre mangroves buffer zone.
Lawyer Singh said these were cognisable offences under the Environment Protection Act, punishable with imprisonment of up to five years. Magistrate Panchbhai directed the police officials to immediately take cognisance and register an FIR, investigate the matter thoroughly and file a final report in the matter.
The Kapil Sharma Show host stirred a political storm on September 9 after he tweeted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about alleged corruption in the BMC. “I am paying Rs 15 crore income tax for the last five years. Still, I have to pay Rs 5 lakh bribe to BMC office (every year) for making my office. Is this your ‘Achhe Din’?” Kapil asked in a tweet to Modi. Later, the Mumbai police lodged two FIRs against the comedian for various charges pertaining to his Versova bungalow and Goregaon flat.