Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed a BJP corporator to pay Rs 24 lakh compensation in connection with an attack on a civic squad for removing illegal hoardings put up by him and his associates last year. A bench of Justices A S Oka and M S Sanklecha directed Murji Patel, the corporator from K (East) ward in suburban Andheri, to deposit the amount with the court within two months.
The bench also asked the civic body, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), to use this money for the injured staff and public purpose. Earlier last year, the HC had issued a show cause notice to Patel for contempt over the January 2018 incident in which he and seven members from the BJP assaulted and abused a civic squad for removing illegal hoardings.
The said hoardings were put up on a municipal ground and a footpath by Jivanjyoti Pratishthan, an organisation run by Patel and his wife.
At the time of the incident, the BMC was conducting a drive against all illegal hoardings and banners, in compliance with a previous order of the high court. In the order issued on January 31, 2017, the HC had directed all corporations in Maharashtra to remove illegal hoardings.
A separate case was filed by the BMC against Patel and others for assault, which is being heard in a lower court.
On Wednesday, Patel, through his lawyer P Dhakephalkar, submitted an affidavit tendering his “unconditional apology” and offering to pay the amount within two months, following which the HC kept the contempt petition against him pending. The HC deferred the hearing on the contempt notices issued to the remaining BJP members till disposal of the related case against them in the lower court.