Sonu Sood a “habitual offender” of illegal construction, Mumbai HC told

The BMC had alleged that Mr. Sood carried out structural changes in the six-storey residential building Shakti Sagar and was converting it into a commercial hotel.

Bollywood actor Sonu Sood is a “habitual offender” who keeps carrying out unauthorised construction work in a residential building in suburban Juhu despite demolition action initiated on two occasions in the past, the Mumbai civic body stated in its affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.

The affidavit was filed in response to the petition filed by Mr. Sood last week challenging a notice issued against him by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in October last year and an order passed by a civil court in December 2020 dismissing his suit against the notice.

In its notice, the BMC had alleged that Mr. Sood carried out structural changes in the six-storey residential building Shakti Sagar and was converting it into a commercial hotel.

“The appellant is a habitual offender and wants to enjoy the commercial proceeds of the unauthorised work and therefore once again started reconstructing the demolished portion in order to make it operational as a hotel albeit illegally and without permission from the License department,” the civic body said in the affidavit.

As per the affidavit, Mr. Sood was trying to protect an “ex-facie illegal commercial hotel which has been constructed and modified by the appellant (Sood) contrary to the sanctioned building plan”.

“The appellant has not been given permission for change of user of the said property from residential to commercial and there is no license to run the commercial hotel,” the affidavit said.

It added that Mr. Sood had sought umbrage under unwarranted and baseless allegations of harassment and malafides.

“The appellant, who has totally modified an entire building unauthorisedly into a hotel, is running the same without a license,” the municipal corporation said.

The BMC said initial action was initiated against the illegal construction in September 2018 but Mr. Sood continued the construction work.

On November 12, 2018, demolition of the unauthorised work was carried out.

“Such is the audacity of the appellant that he once again started alterations and reconstructed the demolished portion. Therefore, the BMC once again took action of demolition on February 14, 2020,” the affidavit said.

It said Mr. Sood had no documents to even indicate that he or his wife Sonali Sood are the owners of the said building.

The petition will be heard on Wednesday by Justice Prithviraj Chavan.

The High Court on Monday extended till Wednesday the civil court’s order restraining the BMC from taking a coercive action against the alleged illegal construction.

Mr. Sood in his plea had claimed that he had not carried out any illegal or unauthorised construction in the six-storey Shakti Sagar building.

“The petitioner (Sood) has not made any changes in the building that warrants permission from the BMC. Only those changes that are allowed under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning (MRTP) Act have been done,” Mr. Sood’s advocate Amogh Singh had argued.

The petition had requested the court to quash and set aside the notice issued by the BMC in October, 2020, and also sought an interim relief to not take any coercive action against the actor.

Mr. Sood, who is known for his roles in films like Dabangg, Jodha Akbar and Simmba, came into spotlight in 2020 for his philanthropy work in helping migrants reach their homes during the COVID-19 lockdown.

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