The Bombay High Court has dismissed actor Kangana Ranaut’s plea to quash the criminal defamation proceedings initiated against her by a court in Mumbai based on a complaint filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar. The court order reserved by Justice Revati Mohite Dere dated September 1, said the applicant’s (Kangana Ranaut’s) petition “stands dismissed”.
Akhtar had filed the criminal complaint against Kangana 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 on July 19, 2020. Akhtar has accused Ranaut of damaging his “immaculate reputation” by dragging his name in actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death during the interview.
Ranaut, through her counsel Rizwan Siddiquee, had challenged the defamation proceedings that were initiated by the court earlier this year, saying that the court had failed to apply its mind to the case.
“The police didn’t conduct an impartial inquiry. I have a case for criminal intimidation and threat”, Siddiquee argued on behalf of Ranaut, as quoted by Live Law
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 Kangana Ranaut’s interview, in which she had made the alleged defamatory comments. He further claimed that Ranaut failed to appear before the police to present her version, so now she could not accuse the police of a biased inquiry.
In December 2020, the court directed the Juhu police to conduct an inquiry into Javed Akhtar’s complaint against Kangana Ranaut and then initiated criminal proceedings against her, and issued summons to her in February this year.