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Law

Bombay HC Dismisses Kangana Ranaut's Plea for Quashing of Javed Akhtar Defamation Case

Defamation proceedings were initiated by the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate's court against Akhtar's criminal complaint against the actor.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday dismissed the plea filed by actor Kangana Ranaut seeking quashing of the criminal defamation proceedings initiated against her by a court here based on lyricist Javed Akhtar’s complaint.

High court judge, Justice Revati Mohite Dere, who had on September 1 reserved her order on the plea, said the applicant’s (Ranaut’s) petition “stands dismissed”.

Ranaut, through her counsel Rizwan Siddiquee, had challenged the defamation proceedings that were initiated by the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate’s court earlier this year, saying that the court had failed to apply its mind to the case.

Akhtar’s counsel Jay Bharadwaj, however, told the high court that the magistrate had directed for the police inquiry after going through the lyricist’s complaint and excerpts of Ranaut’s interview, in which she had made the alleged defamatory comments.

Akhtar had filed the criminal complaint against Ranaut in November last year before the Andheri metropolitan magistrate for allegedly making defamatory and baseless comments against him in a television interview given to journalist Arnab Goswami.

PTI had earlier reported Akhtar as having lodged a complaint noting that Ranaut’s comments against the lyricist while referring to a “coterie” existing in Bollywood following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June 2020, had damaged his reputation.

She had also claimed that Akhtar had threatened her to not speak about her alleged relationship with actor Hrithik Roshan, Akhtar’s complaint said. He added in his complaint that these statements made by Kangana had garnered views in lakhs and thus tarnished Akhtar’s reputation.

In December 2020, the court directed the Juhu police to conduct an inquiry into Akhtar’s complaint against Ranaut and then initiated criminal proceedings against her, and issued summons to her in February this year.