The court had earlier refused a similar application by Ranaut to transfer the defamation case Akhtar filed against her in 2020. An appeal against the order was filed in the sessions court yesterday.
Ranaut alleged that during her public spat with actor Hrithik Roshan in 2016, the veteran lyricist and screenwriter invited her and her sister Rangoli Chandel to his house with malafide intentions and forced her to give a written apology to Roshan. She also claimed that Akhtar threatened her with dire consequences if she refused.
She sought transfer of the complaint as she had already alleged bias against the Andheri Magistrate hearing the defamation case. She did not wish to proceed with her extortion complaint before the same judge, she said.
Akhtar’s lawyer argued that the plea was not maintainable since the Magistrate had not even heard the complaint. “Moreover, the extortion complaint is a counter blast to the defamation case filed by Akhtar earlier and therefore should be heard by the same Magistrate currently hearing the defamation case,” the report read.
The defamation case can be traced time back to November 2020 when 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.
Last week, Akhtar also moved a Mumbai court and sought a non-bailable warrant against Ranaut for not appearing before the court in the ongoing case. He submitted a few of the actor’s Instagram posts, and stated that she had attended other events during the time she did not appear in court citing ill health. Alleging Ranaut’s deliberate attempts at delaying court proceedings, he also listed the number of exemptions sought by Ranaut in the case for various reasons since March.