Kangana’s plea for stay on defamation complaint proceedings a delaying tactic: Javed Akhtar tells HC


PTI, Jan 9, 2024, 6:50 PM IST

Kangana Ranaut (L) and Javed Akhtar (Image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Mumbai: Actor Kangana Ranaut’s petition for a stay on proceedings of a defamation complaint filed against her was only a delaying tactic, lyricist and complainant Javed Akhtar submitted to the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.

Akhtar urged the high court to dismiss the petition filed by the Queen actor.

Earlier this month, Ranaut approached the high court for a stay on Akhtar’s criminal defamation complaint filed against her in 2020. She urged the HC to hear the case along with a cross-complaint filed by her against Akhtar.

The defamation case against Ranaut is in the magistrate’s court in Andheri. A sessions court had stayed Kangana’s complaint against Akhtar.

In her petition before the HC, Ranaut stated that both cases should be tried together as they had genesis in a meeting (between Ranaut and Akhtar) in 2016.

Akhtar submitted an affidavit through his advocate Jay Bharadwaj stating Ranaut has not challenged any order passed by the magistrate’s court, and without any basis, has sought a stay on the proceedings of the defamation complaint.

This was nothing but an attempt to delay the proceedings, Akhtar stated.

“Ranaut is not challenging any judicial order passed by the lower court but has based the entire writ petition on assumptions and presumptions coupled with an unwarranted optimism of the proceedings pending in courts below”, the affidavit said.

On Tuesday, when Ranaut’s plea came up for hearing before a division bench headed by Justice Revati Mohite Dere, the HC said the assignment to hearing such petitions is with a single bench, and not with a division bench.

It directed the high court registry to verify the same and place the petition before the appropriate bench for a hearing.

Akhtar had claimed that Ranaut defamed and damaged his “immaculate reputation” by dragging his name into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death in her interview with a news channel in July 2020.

In 2021, Ranaut hit back by filing a counter-complaint against Akhtar before a magistrate’s court, alleging criminal intimidation and insult to modesty.

She had claimed that during her meeting with Akhtar at his residence in 2016, he criminally intimidated her, demanding that she apologise to a co-star.

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