Despite the fact that Kangana Ranaut finally appeared before a trial court in the defamation case filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar, the case could not proceed because the 'Thalaivi' actor requested that the case be transferred.
Ranaut's counsel, Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, stated that she had lost faith in the court after the magistrate stated on several occasions that he would issue a warrant for her non-appearance.
Furthermore, she has filed a counter-complaint against Akhtar, and he stated that the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate will hear both pleas on October 1, 2021.
On July 19, 2020, Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan was hearing Akhtar's complaint in which he accused Ranaut of damaging his "immaculate reputation" by dragging his name into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in her interview with Republic TV Anchor Arnab Goswami.
"Why is she needed for a bailable, compoundable, and non-cognizable offence? However, because this court has stated on multiple occasions that a warrant will be issued against her, she is uneasy with it... Kangana has given up on this court," Siddiquee said.
Ranaut's counsel, Advocate Jay Bharadwaj, claimed that during every hearing, Akhtar would come up with bizarre reasons.
The trial was then postponed until November 15, 2021.
On September 14, 201, the court granted Rananut a final exemption after her lawyer stated that she was ill and exhibiting Covid symptoms. The court had stated that if she did not appear on the next date to honour the summons issued in February 2021, an arrest warrant would be issued.
Kangana's Reply Complaint
Ranaut accused Javed Akhtar of extortion and criminal intimidation in a complaint filed with the CMM under section 190 of the Cr PC. She claims that during her feud with Hrithik Roshan, Javed Akhtar summoned her and her sister Rangoli Chandel to his house with "malafide intention and ulterior motive."
She claimed Akhtar then "criminally intimidated" her into apologizing to Hrithik in order to damage her public image and secure a favourable verdict in favour of Hrithik.
She has requested that Akhtar be charged under sections 383, 384, 387, 503, 506, and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Following a police investigation into Akhtar's complaint, the Metropolitan Magistrate issued a process against Ranaut under Section 204 of the Cr PC on February 1, 2021 and ordered her to appear in court on March 1, 2021, to record her plea.
As a 'last chance,' the MM excused Ranaut from appearing in the case on July 27, 2021. The court ordered her lawyer to make sure she is present on the next date, failing which Akhtar could apply for a warrant to be issued against her.
On September 9,2021, the Bombay High Court dismissed Ranaut's petition to quash the proceedings in the Andheri court, stating that a mere procedural irregularity in taking cognizance of the complaint cannot be used to grant her relief.
The HC noted that the Metropolitan Magistrate "applied his mind" and "considered all aspects" before issuing process and summoning Ranaut to court for the alleged defamation offence.
In November 2020, Akhtar filed a complaint against Ranaut in the MM Court in Andheri for offences punishable under Sections 499 and 500 (defamation) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Akhtar describes himself as a self-made man who arrived in Mumbai on October 4, 1964, with Rs. 27, two pairs of clothes, and a few books. He was 19 years old at the time. He accused Ranaut of defaming him during her Republic TV interview.
Akhtar claims that Ranaut is seen giving her opinion on the circumstances surrounding Rajput's death without any direct personal knowledge during the 57-minute session.
"...unnecessarily dragging the complainant's name into an unrelated, sensitive matter is tantamount to extending veiled threats to the complainant, who is an extremely respectable member of the film fraternity," the plea stated.
Case title: kangana Ranault v. The State of Maharashtra