City Civil & Sessions Court, Dindoshi has been approached by Kangana Ranaut
to challenge the process issued by a Metropolitan Magistrate Court against her in the criminal defamation case filed by Javed Akhtar as opposed to the remarks she made on him in an interview with Arnab Goswami.
Kangana has filed a revision application in the said court which states that the procedure under Sec 200 of CrPC was not followed. The section in question states even witnesses are to be examined on oath before the process is issued under Sec 204 of the CrPC.
In the last hearing, Metropolitan Magistrate, AA Khan went on to issue a bailable warrant against Ranaut. This decision was taken when her response to a LiveLaw tweet was highlighted, in which she claimed to be well aware of the summons issued by the court and chose not to be present for the same or file an exemption application.
Akhtar resorted to Sec 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code pertaining to defamation to file his complaint after claiming that he was aggrieved by her statements made in an interview on July 19, 2020 to the Republic TV Anchor, Arnab Goswami. The said statements allegedly damage his "immaculate reputation by falsely attributing statements to him.” In his complaint Akhtar chose to document his journey of being a self-made man an earning this reputation that he has today. He addressed coming to Mumbai at the age of 19 with Rs 27 in his pocket, some books and two pairs of clothes on October 4, 1964. His plea stated, "The complainant is one of the most senior artists in the film industry with his successful career spanning over more than 55 years, which in itself is a rare achievement. Apart from this, he was also nominated as a member of Rajya Sabha during the period March 2010 to March 2016.”
Akhtar went on to say that in the alleged interview Ranaut can be seen making statements on the circumstances pertaining to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death without any direct knowledge to supplement her claims. He claims that in the same 57 minutes long interview, the defamatory statements against him were made.
Akhtar’s statement was recorded by the court in December last year, soon after his complaint was filed. The Juhu Police was then directed by the court to conduct an inquiry under Sec 202 of the CrPC. Upon receiving report of initial inquiry, the court realised the existence of a prima facie case and hence the process was issued against Ranaut. The court summoned her on March 1, 2021. Rizwan Siddiquee, counsel for Kangana filed the revision petition which is due to be heard on March 15, 2021. He was quoted saying, “Yes it's true that we have challenged the process issued by the Learned Magistrate Andheri Court. The said Complaint is now pending revision before the Sessions Court that mandatory compliance of Section 200 was not followed in the matter and the four witnesses named by Mr. Javed Akhtar in his complaint have not been examination on oath.”