A sessions court in Mumbai, on Sunday, has rejected actor Kangana Ranaut‘s transfer plea that alleged bias of the Magistrate in the ongoing defamation case filed against her by Hindi film lyricist Javed Akhtar.
The latest plea marks the seventh unsuccessful attempt by the actor to transfer it to a different judge in the case.
The defamation case dates back to November 2020, when Akhtar had filed a complaint against Ranaut, claiming 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 that aired on July 19, 2020, Ranaut mentioned that some of the senior members of the Hindi film industry, including Akhtar, were part of a “gang” that was against “outsiders.”
Earlier in January, Ranaut had moved the Mumbai Sessions Court challenging the Magistrate Court’s dismissal of her plea that seeked transfer of her extortion case against Akhtar.
In December 2021, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrates Court had dismissed the actor’s plea of this complaint, on grounds of alleged bias of the Andheri Magistrate hearing the defamation case. Ranaut had also sought to transfer, saying that she did not wish to proceed with her extortion complaint, before the same judge.
The extortion case came up during a hearing in September 2021, in the ongoing defamation case when Ranaut had finally appeared in person before the court for the case, after receiving several warnings of arrest from the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court for failing to make an appearance.
Following the hearing, Ranaut filed a counter complaint, where she had claimed that during the controversy with actor Hrithik Roshan in 2016, Akhtar had invited her and her sister Rangoli Chandel to his house, forcing her to give a written apology to Roshan. She also mentioned that Akhtar had allegedly threatened her with dire consequences, if she refused to do so.
Earlier this month, on March 8, when the Sessions Court rejected the actor’s transfer plea for the sixth time, the court also turned down another plea filed by her to transfer her cross-complaint against Akhtar outside of Andheri, Mumbai.
During Sunday’s hearing in the defamation case, the court reportedly said, “Moreover, mere allegation that there is apprehension that justice will not be done in the given case, alone does not suffice. In absence of any material demonstrating the apprehension that justice will not be done, without any bias, such application for transfer cannot be entertained. Therefore while assurances of fair trial needs to be respected, plea of transfer of case should not be entertained on mere apprehension.”