Kangana Ranaut moves Bombay HC to quash all proceedings in Javed Akhtar defamation case

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Kangana Ranaut has filed a plea in the Bombay High Court seeking “quashing of the entire proceedings initiated by 10th Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court at Andheri” against her. This is against the same complaint initiated under sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code by lyricist Javed Akhtar.

Kangana says that the case is initiated by the Magistrate “without any application of judicial mind, as he has failed to examine witnesses named in the complaint on oath, as per Section 200, read with Section 202(2) of CrPC; and has instead sought to rely on the same witness-statements which were collected by the police under signatures which is in violation of the provisions of Section 162 of CrPc.”

Earlier, Javed Akhtar had moved the Bombay High Court against Kangana Ranaut’s statement to obtain her passport. The Bollywood lyricist said that she has falsely claimed there are no criminal cases against her. In March, Kangana Ranaut was slapped with a bailable warrant after she didn’t appear before the court despite being summoned.

Kangana’s lawyer, Rizwan Siddiquee, had pointed out this issue before the magistrate court and had later filed a plea in the Dindoshi Sessions court. In April this year, the sessions court, however, dismissed Kangana’s plea. It is because of this that Kangana has now approached the High Court.

Kangana Ranaut explained in detail that the witnesses could easily get influenced by the police and, for this reason, recording of evidence of material witnesses under oath in court was crucial for establishing whether any direct or actual case is made by the complainant, Javed Akhtar. Kangana submitted that such a practice, if allowed, would set a wrong precedent for other magistrates, as it also affects the rights and liberties of the accused in many cases.

Advocate Jay Bharadwaj will appear for Javed Akhtar. The matter is likely to be listed for hearing before the Bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice NJ Jamadar next week.

Javed Akhtar had filed a complaint against Kangana Ranaut after he heard an interview of hers on a news channel in which she allegedly defamed him. Akhtar was deposed in court and the Magistrate had issued notice to Ranaut in February 2021. However, Ranaut did not appear in court and a bailable warrant was issued in March. Ranaut then appeared before the Magistrate to get the warrant cancelled.

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