The Mumbai Police on Monday registered an FIR against Javed Akhtar, the veteran lyricist and poet, based on a complaint about his comment comparing the right-wing organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to the Taliban, Money Control reported.
The FIR was registered under Section 500 (punishment for defamation) of the Indian Penal Code at Mulund police station based on a complaint filed by Mumbai-based lawyer Santosh Dubey.
The lawyer said he had earlier sent a legal notice to Akhtar asking him to apologise over his remark, but he failed to do so.
Seeking an apology from the veteran screenwriter, Dubey has accused Akhtar of defaming the RSS and making “false and defamatory” remarks against the organisation while giving an interview to a news channel. The complainant claims the lyricist committed offences of defamation under Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC.
Akhtar has been facing multiple complaints and lawsuits over the same comments referred to in Dubey’s complaint, including a civil defamation suit filed by an RSS member before Thane’s Chief Judicial Magistrate in Maharashtra seeking compensation of Re 1 and a permanent injunction against Akhtar making any such statements against the RSS.
On September 3, in an interview with NDTV, Akhtar had said that he could see an “uncanny resemblance” between the Taliban and people in India who want to become like them. He said these people often impose restrictions on women and are keen to turn the country into a Hindu rashtra.
“The Taliban is barbaric, and their actions are reprehensible, but those supporting the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal are all the same,” he had said.
Akhtar was both praised on social media and received major backlash for his comments. Both the BJP and the Shiv Sena condemned his statements. Following this, Akhtar wrote an opinion piece in Shiv Sena’s publication Saamana, stating that “Hindus are the most tolerant majority” and “India can never be like Afghanistan.”
The lyricist is also facing a criminal defamation case filed by an advocate and member of the RSS at Kurla magistrate court for his statements in the interview. Another Mumbai-based lawyer and RSS member sent the lyricist a legal notice seeking damages of Rs 100 crore for making “false and defamatory” remarks against RSS in the same interview.