The Bombay High Court today directed Shiv Sena chief spokesperson Sanjay Raut to file his reply to actor Kangana Ranaut's petition against the demolition of a part of her office in Mumbai by the BMC.
A bench of Justices SJ Kathawalla and RI Chagla also directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) H-ward officer Bhagyawant Late to file his reply to the plea.
Bhagyawant Late had signed the demolition notice served to Ms Ranaut on September 7.
On Tuesday, Ms Ranaut's lawyer senior counsel Birendra Saraf submitted in the court a DVD containing a speech in which Raut allegedly made a comment threatening the actor.
Following this, the high court bench had permitted Ms Ranaut to make both Sanjay Raut and Bhagyawant Late parties to the case.
On Thursday, the bench said it will begin final hearing in the case on Friday.
Sanjay Raut's counsel Pradeep Thorat asked for more time to file the reply, saying the Shiv Sena Rajya Sabha member is currently in New Delhi.
BMC's senior counsel Anil Sakhre also sought more time for Late to file his reply.
Justice Kathawalla said the bench will begin hearing the petitioner (Kangana Ranaut) on Friday and Sanjay Raut could file his reply anytime before his turn to put forth his arguments in the court.
The bench, however, directed the BMC to file the reply on Bhagyawant Late's behalf by Monday, saying it could not delay the hearing.
"We cannot leave the demolished house the way it is. The building is demolished partly, and in the heavy monsoon, we cannot leave it in this state. We will start hearing the petitioner tomorrow," the bench said.
Kangana Ranaut, in her plea filed in the high court on September 9, sought that the demolition carried out by the BMC at her Pali Hill bungalow (office) be declared illegal.
She subsequently amended her plea to demand Rs two crore as damages from the civic body and its officials.
In her plea, she alleged that the BMC had demolished the bungalow (office) out of personal vendetta, since she had made some comments adverse to the Shiv Sena-led Maharashtra government.
The BMC in its affidavit filed in the high court denied the allegation.
In the affidavit filed through advocate Joel Carlos, the BMC said Kangana Ranaut had carried out illegal structural changes and repairs at the bungalow, and the civic officers were merely following the law in demolishing unauthorised portions of the structure.
The civic body had urged the high court to dismiss Ranaut's plea and to impose a cost on her.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)