A MAGISTRATE’S court on Tuesday directed actor Kangana Ranaut to remain present before it without fail in the hearing on the defamation complaint filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar. The Andheri metropolitan magistrate’s court also rejected an application filed on behalf of Akhtar by his lawyers seeking to issue a non-bailable warrant against Ranaut for not appearing before the court, while granting her exemption for one day.
“The exemption application filed by the advocate for accused (Ranaut) is granted for today as the last chance and the advocate for accused is directed to keep the accused present on next date without fail and the application filed by the advocate for the complainant (Akhtar) is rejected,” the court said.
It said that Akhtar’s lawyer may apply for a warrant against Ranaut if she fails to appear before the court for the next hearing. Earlier in the hearing, Ranaut’s lawyer had told the court that she could not appear before it as she was not in the city.
Akhtar’s lawyer had opposed the plea stating that she had not appeared before the court for any hearing apart from while seeking bail and that the next proceedings required her presence.
Another plea by Ranaut seeking permanent exemption from appearance is currently pending. The plea states that as she travels for work regularly, it would be difficult for her to appear for all hearings of the case.
Akhtar had filed a complaint against Ranaut in February stating that she had made defamatory statements on national and international television “in what appears to be a clear campaign to malign and tarnish” his reputation.
Akhtar had referred to an interview given by Ranaut in July last year after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The court had then issued a process against her stating that there were sufficient grounds made against her.
The next hearing is scheduled for September 1.