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Javed Akhtar Defamation Case: Mumbai Court Seeks Magistrate's Response In Kangana Ranaut's 'Lost Faith In The Court' Transfer Plea

Sharmeen Hakim
1 Oct 2021 9:37 AM GMT
Javed Akhtar Defamation Case: Mumbai Court Seeks Magistrates Response In Kangana Ranauts Lost Faith In The Court Transfer Plea
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The Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court has sought the Andheri Magistrate's response on actor Kangana Ranaut's plea to transfer the defamation case filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar against her, as she had lost faith in the court. The in-charge CMM ST Dande at Mumbai said she would first want Magistrate RR Khan's response on the actor's allegations of "bias" against him. The judge also...

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The Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court has sought the Andheri Magistrate's response on actor Kangana Ranaut's plea to transfer the defamation case filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar against her, as she had lost faith in the court.

The in-charge CMM ST Dande at Mumbai said she would first want Magistrate RR Khan's response on the actor's allegations of "bias" against him. The judge also took Akhar's reply to the transfer plea on the record, where he accuses Kangana of merely attempting to delay the proceedings.

Kangana's application for transfer will now be heard on October 18.

During the previous hearing before the Andheri Magistrate, Ranaut finally appeared before the court but the matter could not proceed as she sought transfer of the case.

Ranaut's counsel, Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee submitted that she had lost faith in the court as the Magistrate had said he would issue a warrant against her for non-appearance on several occasions.

Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan then adjourned the defamation case saying it would not be right to proceed in such circumstance.

Akhtar's Reply to Kangana's Transfer Plea

Akhtar, in the reply filed through Advocate Jay Bharadwaj sought dismissal of Kangan's plea on the ground that the Magistrate had the right to compel her presence after issuing summons. Moreover, her presence was required to proceed with the matter.

"That the present transfer petition is devoid of all merits and is liable to be dismissed at the very threshold and the same is only filed to delay the proceedings before the 10th MM, Andheri Court, Mumbai. In fact, the falsehood in the present application can be easily gauged from the fact that Applicant chose to file the same upon willful and deliberate absence on September 14, 2021 before the Court of the 10th M.M., Andheri."

Background

Akhtar's has accused Ranaut of damaging his "immaculate reputation" by dragging his name in actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death in her interview with Republic TV Anchor Arnab Goswami, on July 19, 2020.

He filed a complaint against Ranaut for offences punishable under Sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code in the MM Court, at Andheri, in November 2020.

Following a police investigation in Akhtar's complaint, on February 1, the Metropolitan Magistrate issued process against Ranaut under Section 204 of CrPC and directed her to appear on March 1 to record her plea.

On July 27, the MM exempted Ranaut from appearance in the case as a 'last chance'. The court directed her lawyer to ensure she is present on the next date, failing which Akhtar could apply for the issuance of a warrant against her.

On September 9 the Bombay High Court dismissed Ranaut's plea to quash the proceedings before the Andheri court observing that a mere procedural irregularity while taking cognisance of the complaint cannot be a ground to grant her relief.

The HC observed that the Metropolitan Magistrate had "applied his mind" and "considered all aspects" before issuing process and summoning Ranaut to court for the alleged offence of defamation.

Case Title: Kangana Ranaut v. The State of Maharashtra


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