Even though Actor Kangana Ranaut finally appeared before a trial court in the defamation case filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar, the matter could not proceed as the 'Thalaivi' actor has 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. Moreover, she has filed a counter-complaint against Akhtar and the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate would hear both pleas on October 1, he said.
Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan was hearing Akhtar's complaint in which he 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.
"Why is she required in a bailable and compoundable and non-cognizable offense? But this court has said on multiple occasions that a warrant will be issued against her, so she is not comfortable with this court... Kangana has lost faith in this court," Siddiquee said before she appeared.
Akhtar's counsel advocate Jay Bharadwaj submitted that Ranaut came up with bizarre reasons during every hearing.
The case was then adjourned to November 15.
The court had granted Rananut a final exemption on September 14 after her lawyer said she was unwell and displaying Covid symptoms. The court had said it would issue an arrest warrant if she failed to appear on the next date to honor the summons issued in February 2021.
In a plea u/s 200 of the CrPC before the CMM, Ranaut has accused Javed Akhtar of extortion and criminal intimidation. She has claimed that Javed Akhtar called her and her sister Rangoli Chandel to his house during her feud with Hrithik Roshan with "malafide intention and ulterior motive."
She said Akhtar then "criminally intimidated" her while asking her to apologize to Hrithik in a bid to lower her public image and give a favorable verdict in support of Hrithik.
She has sought a process to be issued against Akhtar under sections 383, 384, 387, 503, 506, and 509 of the IPC. Following a police investigation in Akhtar's complaint, on February 1, the Metropolitan Magistrate issued a 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 cognizance 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 offense of defamation.
Case Title: Kangana Ranaut v. The State of Maharashtra