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'Sole Intent to Delay Proceedings' :Javed Akhtar Opposes Kangana's Appeal in Defamation Case, Seeks Dismissal With Exemplary Costs

Sharmeen Hakim
9 Aug 2021 3:47 PM GMT
Sole Intent to Delay Proceedings :Javed Akhtar Opposes Kanganas Appeal in Defamation Case, Seeks Dismissal With Exemplary Costs
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Akhtar has accused Ranaut of damaging his reputation via an interview with Republic TV soon after actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

Veteran Lyricist Javed Akhtar has sought dismissal of actress Kangana Ranaut's appeal in the Bombay High Court with exemplary costs in the defamation case against her. He accused her of filing the plea 'with the sole intent to delay the proceedings without any basis'. Akhtar has accused Ranaut of damaging his "immaculate reputation by falsely attributing statements to him,"...

Veteran Lyricist Javed Akhtar has sought dismissal of actress  Kangana Ranaut's appeal in the Bombay High Court with exemplary costs in the defamation case against her. He accused her of filing the plea 'with the sole intent to delay the proceedings without any basis'.

Akhtar has accused Ranaut of damaging his "immaculate reputation by falsely attributing statements to him," in her interview with Republic TV Anchor Arnab Goswami, on July 19, 2020, soon after actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death.

On Monday, Justice Revati Mohite Dere took Akhtar's reply to Ranaut's plea on record and adjourned the matter for arguments on August 18, 2021.

Kangana seeks to quash the entire defamation proceedings before the Magistrate Court in Andheri as being unsustainable in law.

The Magistrate wrongly issued process under section 204 of the CrPC and summoned Kangana in the criminal complaint based on witness statements collected through a police inquiry instead of examining the witnesses himself, the plea claims.

Calling her plea "baseless" and "unfounded" Akhtar claims that a bare reading of Section 200 CrPC clearly provides that only his examination on oath is important, with an option to examine the witnesses present, if any. He also says that it is not a legal requirement for the Magistrate to record the statements of the witnesses cited by the accused.

"It is also a matter of fact that for last 5 dates, the Applicant (Kangana) has not been appearing before the Ld Magistrate on one pretext or the other…That a mere perusal of the record will amply prove that the Ld Magistrate has followed the due process of law and there is no infirmity whatsoever in the orders/process," the reply filed through Advocate Jai Bharadwaj states.

The Case So Far

Akhtar filed a complaint for offences punishable under Sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code in the Metropolitan Magistrate Court, in Andheri, in November 2020.

In his complaint, Akhtar said he is a self-made man, who reached Mumbai on October 4, 1964, with Rs 27, two pairs of clothes and a few books. He was 19 then.

A Metropolitan Magistrate in Andheri recorded Akhtar's statement and ordered a police inquiry under section 202 of the CrPC and subsequently summoned Kangana with the observations that a prima facie case was made against her.

Before the sessions court, Kangana had challenged the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate Court's order dated February 1. However, her petition was dismissed in April, 2021.

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

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