Kangana Ranaut’s sole intent is to delay court proceedings, Javed Akhtar tells Bombay HC

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Celebrated lyricist Javed Akhtar has filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court saying that the petition filed by actor Kangana Ranaut is with the sole intention of delaying the defamation proceedings before the Magistrate Court Andheri filed against her. The affidavit states that the contentions of Kangana are completely baseless and unfounded.

The affidavit states, “Present Petition is filed with the sole intent to delay the proceedings without there being any basis whatsoever. It is also a matter of fact that for last 5 dates, the Applicant (Ranaut) has not been appearing before the Ld. 10th MM (magistrate court) on one pretext or the other.”

Kangana Ranaut has filed a plea before Justice Revati Mohite-Dere to quash criminal defamation proceedings initiated by Javed Akhtar against her in Andheri Magistrate court. Ranaut had sought quashing of the entire proceedings initiated by the Magistrate arising from Akhtar’s complaint which would include all the orders, summons, issued till date on the ground that the same is a direct consequence of cognizance taken by the Magistrate.

The petition stated that the Magistrate was duty bound to examine the complainant and the witnesses named in the complaint on oath as per Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure instead of simply directing the Juhu police, Mumbai to conduct an inquiry on the Magistrate’s behalf.

Opposing this plea, Javed Akhtar has submitted that neither orders of the Magistrate including the issuance of process and warrant required the High Court’s interference. Akhtar’s affidavit submitted through advocate Jay Bharadwaj states that Section 200 CrPC called for examination of the complainant on oath and of the witness only if there were any present.

Javed Akhtar submitted that the Magistrate had passed the issuance order after considering the evidence placed before him. The detailed verification statement of Javed Akhtar was recorded on oath by the magistrate and the statement of the witness was recorded before the Juhu police.

Javed Akhtar had filed a criminal complaint against Kangana Ranaut after she spoke about Akhtar during a television interview which he thought was defamatory. The Magistrate had issued notice to Ranaut in February 2021 asking her to appear before the court.

However, she did not appear and challenged the order of issuing process by Magistrate court before the Dindoshi Session Court. The Sessions Court had dismissed her plea in April. She had earlier approached the division bench of high court where Javed Akhtar’s lawyers pointed to the fact that the division bench cannot hear it.

It was after this that Kangana Ranaut has approached the single bench of Justice Mohite-Dere. Bharadwaj submitted his affidavit on Monday to the court which will now be hearing the plea on August 18.

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