The Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court at Mumbai has said that it will issue an arrest warrant against Kangana Ranaut, the Hindi actor, if she fails to appear before the court on the next date of hearing in the defamation case filed against her by the veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar, Live Law reported.

Yet again, Ranaut did not appear in court for the hearing on Tuesday, citing medical reasons.

While the actor’s lawyer said she was unwell and showing covid symptoms as she has been travelling for her film’s promotion, Akhtar’s counsel argued that it was “orchestrated tactics” to delay the proceedings in the case. The matter will be next heard on September 20.

In November 2020, Akhtar had filed a complaint against Ranaut alleging that she had made defamatory remarks about him during an interview with Republic TV after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput by suicide on July 14.

In the interview aired on July 19, 2020, Ranaut said that some of the senior members of the Hindi film industry, including Akhtar, were part of a “gang” that was against “outsiders” in the industry.

Ranaut was issued a bailable warrant on March 1 after she failed to appear before the court in connection with the case, without any “justified reason” despite being summoned. Following this, the actor was granted bail in the case upon furnishing a surety of Rs 15,000 and a cash surety of Rs 20,000 after she moved to the court for the cancellation of the bailable warrant issued.

On July 27 again, the actor was given a last chance to appear before the court, which said that a bailable warrant will be issued against her if she fails to appear for the next hearing. While her lawyer, seeking an exemption from personal appearance, had at the time submitted that she could not appear in person as she was out of the country, Akhtar’s lawyer had opposed the application and asked for the issuance of a bailable warrant as the actor has not appeared before the court in relation with the case at all so far.

On July 22, Ranaut had moved the Bombay High Court seeking to quash the defamation case and challenged the entire proceedings initiated by the court based on Akhtar’s complaint, including all the orders and summons issued till date. Her plea was recently dismissed by the High Court on September 9.