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New FIR against comedian Kapil for illegal construction

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Mumbai, 15 Dec 2016 : Adding to the woes of well-known comedian Kapil Sharma, the Mumbai police on Wednesday lodged a fresh FIR against him on the charge of illegal construction activities in a mangroves buffer zone, an activist said.

The December 9 order of Railway Mobile Court’s Metropolitan Magistrate Amitabh A. Panchbhai for the FIR came on a plea filed by activist S. Daundkar through lawyers Abha Singh and Aditya Pratap.

The FIR was lodged on Wednesday at the Versova police station under the Environment Protect Act, 1986, Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966, and the Indian Penal Code, Daundkar said.

In his plea, Daundkar said Sharma owned a bungalow in SVP Nagar, Oshiwara, Andheri West, where construction of an illegal extra floor was undertaken. Sharma later tweeted that a bribe of Rs 500,000 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, falls within the 50-metre mangroves buffer zone which is a no-development zone under the coastal regulation zone and 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; effected illegal change of use by converting a residential premises into a commercial office; and illegal construction within the 50-metre mangroves buffer zone.

Lawyer Singh said these were congnisable offences under the Environment Protection Act, punishable with imprisonment of up to five years.

Magistrate Panchbhai directed the police officials to immediately take congnisance and register an FIR — done later on Wednesday at Versova police station, investigate the matter thoroughly and file a final report in the matter.

Kapil Sharma 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.

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