The Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, refused to stay a single-judge order restraining actor-producer Kamaal R Khan from publishing, circulating or repeating defamatory tweets and from making false and misleading allegations against producer Vashu Bhagnani, his family members, and his business, Bar and Bench reported.
Bhagnani had filed a defamation suit against Khan, seeking a compensation of Rs 1 crore, after coming across a series of tweets by the latter. Bhagnani claimed the tweets were a “well-orchestrated smear campaign” against him. Khan’s tweets intended to defame him and tarnish his reputation without any cause whatsoever, his suit further said.
Following the submission by Bhagnani, in April, a single-judge bench had restrained Khan from “publishing, circulating or repeating the allegations and tweets and videos” till the disposal of the suit.
This judgement was challenged before the Bombay High Court. Khan’s advocate argued that as a film critic, his client had merely commented on the films produced by Bhagnani’s production company and had never intended to defame anybody. He also added that Khan was in the habit of reviewing films and the remarks made in the tweets were on the film.
Opposing the appeal for the stay, Bhagnani’s lawyer said the single judge correctly granted the injunction because the comments were not those of a film critic, but slanderous personal comments. He further submitted that Khan had earlier moved the Supreme Court in July challenging the same single-judge order, and later withdrawn it as well.
Khan had once again filed a plea for a stay at the High Court in September.
After hearing the arguments, the High Court bench consisting of Justices SJ Kathawalla and Milind Jadhav refused to intervene in the order and instead directed the single judge to hear the case within 12 weeks.
Khan has been facing several defamation lawsuits from those in the film industry.
Some of the recent lawsuits filed against Khan include:
Actor Salman Khan filed an application in a Mumbai court in June seeking contempt action against Khan for his “continuous defamatory remarks” on social media despite his undertaking not to do so before the Bombay City Civil High Court.
Seeking Rs 1.10 crore in damages, actor Richa Chadha filed a defamation case against Khan and actor Payal Ghosh before the Bombay High Court in October 2020 for maligning her in their statements on Ghosh’s allegation of sexual misconduct against director Anurag Kashyap.