In the complaint filed by veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar, he mentioned that Bollywood Actress Kangana Ranaut has made defamatory statements against him on national and international television. The five-time National Award winner and a Padma Bhusan awardee, Javed Akhtar said in his complaint that it is a “clear campaign to tarnish and malign” his image in the eyes of people.
However, Kangana Ranaut has submitted a plea in the Andheri Magistrate Court seeking to revoke the criminal defamation proceedings registered against her.
On Thursday (9th September 2021), the Bombay High Court dismissed Kangana Ranaut’s plea. Lawyer Rizwan Siddiquee for Kangana Ranaut and Jay Bhardwaj for Javed Akhtar was heard by Justice Revati Mohite Dere. However, the council was dismissed on Thursday and was asked to be available later. Further, the case will be heard on 14th September 2021.
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Proceedings in the Case (Till Now)
Kangana’s lawyer Siddiquee cited 26 judgments from Supreme Court and High Court in order to argue that the Andheri Court did not follow the necessary process. He claimed that the inquiry by the police was ‘One-sided‘. Siddiquee argued that there was non-application of mind while summoning Kangana Ranaut as her witnesses were ‘Never Examined‘. Nevertheless, Javed Akhtar’s lawyer Jay Bhardwaj had said that Kangana was called by the police to give her statement. But, she did not respond due to ‘the reasons best known to her’.
Bhardwaj also mentioned that the Magistrate’s order for a police inquiry could not be quashed as it followed a due procedure in December 2020. He added that the Magistrate ‘thoroughly applied his mind‘ and counted on the television interview and complaints verification statements as well.
According to the law under Section 202 of Criminal Procedure Court, the Magistrate can either inquire about the matter himself or order a police investigation. In this matter, the Magistrate chose the latter.
Siddiquee had also submitted a written report to the High Court. He wrote that the Magistrate was ‘duty-bound to protect the rights of the proposed accused( Kangana Ranaut).
Further, he added that he is supposed to use his trained judicial mind to assess whether a case of defamation(as alleged) is made out or not.
However, in this case, the challenge by Kangana Ranaut to High Court stated that she is ‘left remediless‘ and is thus constrained to approach HC for relief. The plea said ‘Since her fundamental rights have been gravely jeopardized as a result of non-application of judicial mind by the Magistrate‘.
Kangana’s lawyer said that he is planing a challenge further.