Updated: August 10, 2021 10:44:23 am
Lyricist Javed Akhtar has urged the Bombay High Court to dismiss a plea filed by actor Kangana Ranaut challenging the criminal defamation proceedings initiated against her by a metropolitan magistrate’s court on a complaint filed by him.
Akhtar filed the affidavit before a single-judge bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere in reply to the plea by Ranaut seeking to quash and set aside Akhtar’s complaint.
In his complaint filed last year, Akhtar has alleged that Ranaut made defamatory statements on national and international television “in what appears to be a clear campaign to malign and tarnish (Akhtar) in the eyes of the general public”.
After the magistrate court in Andheri began proceedings against Ranaut in February and issued a bailable warrant in March, the actor appeared before the magistrate and applied for bail, which was granted by the court.
Ranaut’s plea in HC, filed last month, challenged the entire proceeding initiated by the magistrate court, including all orders and summons issued to date. It said the magistrate court, instead of simply directing the Juhu police under section 202 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) to conduct an inquiry, was duty-bound to examine complainant Akhtar and the witnesses as per the CrPC.
The affidavit filed by Akhtar, through advocate Jay Bharadwaj, on July 24 stated, “The contentions (by Ranaut) are completely baseless and unfounded in as much as the magistrate followed the due process of law before proceeding to initiate the summoning order against applicant Ranaut. It was only after considering the footage of the interview, dated July 19, 2020, and statement of witnesses that the magistrate proceeded to issue proceedings against the applicant. Contents of the plea are completely devoid of merits and on the wrong premise of law.”
The affidavit also stated that the plea by Ranaut was filed with the sole intent to delay the proceedings. “For the last five dates of hearing before the magistrate, Ranaut has not been appearing on one pretext or the other and, therefore, the plea (before the HC) be dismissed with exemplary costs,” the lyricist said in his plea. The HC will hear Ranaut’s plea next on August 18.
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