Ranaut challenged the entire proceedings initiated by the Metropolitan Magistrate at Andheri based on Akhtar’s complaint, including all the orders and summons issued till date.
In her petition, Ranaut submitted 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 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.
While moving for an urgent stay on the Magistrate court proceedings, Ranaut’s petition also sought a declaration that the signed witness statement collected by the Juhu police is not in accordance with the law.
The matter has been scheduled for hearing on July 26.
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 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.
On March 25, the Metropolitan Magistrate at Andheri granted bail to Ranaut in the case.
Recently, on July 2, Akhtar had filed an intervention application in Ranaut’s passport renewal petition before the Bombay High Court, accusing the actor of not disclosing the pending criminal defamation case in order to obtain a favourable order in the passport renewal case.
In June, Ranaut had moved the Bombay High Court seeking directions for the renewal of her passport after the Passport Authority of India allegedly raised objections due to the FIRs registered against her by the Bandra police for hateful tweets and sedition. During the hearing of this case, the actor had assured the court that no criminal case was pending against her.