On Wednesday, the Bombay HC refused to drop the defamation proceedings against actor Kangana Ranaut, initiated by a complaint lodged by songwriter Javed Akhtar.
The court withheld orders on Kangana Ranaut’s plea on September 1.
Akhtar had accused Ranaut for damaging his “reputation” by dragging his name on the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in an interview on July 19, 2020, with Anchor Arnab Goswami of Republic TV.
In her plea actor, Kangana Ranaut had sought to overturn the Magistrate’s order which instructed a police inquiry about Akhtar’s complaint and all the subsequent orders under section 482 CrPC. It includes the order which issues process against her under section 204 and the summons issued to appear before the court.
Ranaut‘s advocate – Rizwan Siddiquee argued that the Metropolitan Magistrate had ordered an enquiry under section 202 (1) of the CrPC against her without giving proper reasons and also did not examine the witnesses given by Akhtar on oath.
“The police have conducted an impartial investigation. I have a case for threat and criminal intimidation,” Siddiquee said on behalf of Ranaut.
Stating that the Magistrate had used his discretion to direct the investigation after examining Akhtar’s complaint, Advocate Jay Bharadwaj opposed the relief sought by Ranaut, The court was not supposed to examine other witnesses prior to the trial, he argued.
He also pointed out that Ranaut had failed to appear before the police to present her view, so now she could not blame the police for bias. The plea was filed for the sole purpose of delaying the trial, added Baradwaj.
The Magistrate, On July 27 had exempted Ranaut for not appearing before the court in the defamation case as a ‘last chance. Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan ordered Ranaut’s lawyer to confirm her presence on the next hearing, otherwise, Akhtar could apply for a warrant. The case before the Magistrate is likely to be heard on September 14.
Akhtar lodged a complaint against Kangana for offences under Sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the IPC in the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court, Andheri, in November 2020.
In his complaint, Akhtar said that he was a self-made man, who arrived in Mumbai on October 4, 1964, when he was just 19 years old, with only Rs 27, two clothes and a few books.
The Metropolitan Magistrate in Andheri recorded Akhtar’s statement in February and ordered a police investigation under section 202 of the CrPC. Following the police report, the court issued the process and summoned actor Kangana Ranaut under section 204 of the CrPC, which marks the start of the trial against her.
Kangana’s plea before a tribunal that challenged the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court order dated February 1 was rejected on April 2021.