Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has paid a fine of Rs 4.35 lakh to the Mumbai civic body for performing 'vastu puja' at his new five-storey bungalow without having the occupancy certificate.
"Sachin paid the amount after BMC issued a notice seeking recovery of Rs 4.35 lakh penalty as illegal occupancy charge," a Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation official said on Thursday. (See Pics: Sachin's emotional move to his new home)
There was a controversy after reports emerged that Tendulkar had moved into his new bungalow last month without obtaining the OC for the house on Perry Cross Road in west Bandra.
"We have issued the OC to Sachin after receiving necessary documents and the fine amount," he said.
After the BMC notice to Tendulkar, Mayor Shraddha Jadhav of Shiv Sena had said that there cannot be any exceptions to the rule. However, textiles minister Mohammed Arif Naseem Khan, who is the guardian minister for Mumbai suburbs, had spoken to Municipal Commissioner Subodh Kumar, requesting him to waive the penalty.
"Sachin is an icon who has brought international laurels to the country. Kumar told me that he would examine the issue and act accordingly," Khan had said.
The villa has been reconstructed on a plot that housed a dilapidated bungalow, which Sachin had bought for Rs 39 crore in 2007.
"Normally, one moves into a house after getting the OC. Here, he has submitted documents for the OC, but shifted into the new house without getting the certificate, which according to corporation officials attracts penalty. He should be exempted from penalty as a special case," Khan said.
Displaying his trademark humility, the cricket legend, however, chose to pay the fine to obtain occupancy certificate.
The BMC has charged Tendulkar Rs. 50 per sqm for the bungalow spread over 836 sqm. They also took into account that the cricketer has lived there for less than a week.
"Everyone has a dream of owning a house. I, too, had this dream. I am happy that I was able to fulfil it. The flat where I earlier used to live, I had received under the sports quota. I have now vacated that place, so that some other sportsman can live there," the maestro had said on the day he moved into the Bandra bungalow.
The villa has been secured with high-walled fencing to avoid curious onlookers and is equipped with CCTV cameras and sensors.