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Friday, February 26, 2021

Kangana Ranaut demolition case: Bombay HC rejects plea challenging fees paid to lawyer by BMC

A division bench of Justice SS Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale was hearing plea filed by one Sharad Datta Yadav, who had filed an RTI application concerning the fees paid by civic body to the senior counsel and got a response that nearly Rs 82.5 lakh were paid to the lawyer.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: February 8, 2021 10:51:54 pm
Kangana Ranaut, BMCThe bench said that it was not sitting in advisory jurisdiction but the petitioner could always approach the BMC raising grievances and seeking a cap on the payment made to its counsels.

The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected a plea challenging fees paid to senior advocate Aspi Chinoy for representing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Kangana Ranaut’s petition against demolition work carried out at her Bandra office on September 9.

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice Manish Pitale was hearing a plea filed by one Sharad Datta Yadav, who through an RTI application had learnt that nearly Rs 82.5 lakh was paid to the lawyer by the civic body.

The petitioner, through advocate Partho Sarkar, referred to a past judgment and said matters pertaining to demolition of unauthorised structures were declared as “petty matters” and engaging the senior advocate was unnecessary.

The BMC’s counsels – senior advocate Anil Sakhare and advocate Joel Carlos – opposed the plea, arguing that the same was not maintainable and the civic body had the right to choose its lawyer.

“It is just like any private client. Government entity can appoint senior counsel. It is BMC’s decision as to which matter is important or petty. What fee should be charged by senior advocates and advocates on record, cannot be decided by the court… There are Supreme Court pronouncements taking view, like any other litigants, state and corporation can induct senior advocates,” Justice Shinde said, rejecting Yadav’s petition.

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