Hindi News

Javed Akhtar Says Kangana Ranaut Filed Plea to Delay Criminal Defamation Case

Javed Akhtar, the veteran lyricist, told the Bombay High Court on Monday that actor Kangana Ranaut’s plea seeking to quash his criminal defamation case against her was merely filed to delay the proceedings in the case, Bar and Bench reported.


Akhtar submitted an affidavit stating this in response to Ranaut’s plea challenging the defamation case filed against her at the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Andheri, Mumbai.

Akhtar had filed a complaint against Ranaut on November 3, 2020, under Sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code 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. In the interview aired on July 19, 2020, Ranaut had 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.

Based on Akhtar’s complaint, in December 2020, the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate directed the police to conduct an inquiry and submit a report on the same.

Seeking to quash the case, Ranaut had submitted in her plea in July that the Magistrate, instead of using his own powers to conduct an inquiry, had “blatantly used the police machinery to collect the signed witness statement, as and by way of inquiry conducted by a police officer, which is completely unheard of.”

The actor had pointed out that in this way, the witness’ statement could easily get influenced by the police and stated that this amounted to illegally collecting signed statements from witnesses and was therefore inadmissible as substantive evidence.

Opposing the actor’s claim, Akhtar submitted that the orders issued by the Magistrate, including the issuance of the warrant, did not require the court’s interference and that the examination of the complainant on oath or the witness was called for only if there were any present.

The veteran lyricist also submitted that the orders were issued by the Magistrate only after consideration of the evidence placed before him, recording Akhtar’s detailed verified statement on oath and the witness statement before the Juhu police.