A Mumbai Court on Tuesday exempted actor Kangana Ranaut from appearance for the day in a criminal defamation complaint filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar. The Court, however, warned the actor’s counsel that it will serve an arrest warrant if she remains absent during the next hearing. Ranaut has not attended a single hearing of the case till date, while Akhtar has reportedly been present for all of them.
As the matter came up for hearing, Kangana Ranaut’s lawyer sought that she be exempted from appearance for the day as she was not keeping well. The lawyer submitted a medical certificate before the court and said the actor has been traveling for the promotion of her film and has “developed COVID-19 symptoms”. However, Javed Akhtar’s lawyer said this is an orchestrated tactic to delay the case proceedings.
The lyricist’s lawyer further said Ms Ranaut has refused to appear before the court for one reason or the other since summons were issued to her in February this year. After hearing the submissions, metropolitan magistrate RR Khan allowed Ms Ranaut to be exempted from appearance for the day. He then posted the matter for hearing on September 20.
The magistrate said if the actor fails to appear on the next hearing, a warrant will be issued against her. Last Thursday, the Bombay High Court dismissed a plea filed by Ms Ranaut seeking the quashing of proceedings initiated against her by the local court on the criminal defamation complaint filed by Mr Akhtar.
Justice Revati Mohite-Dere had said in the order that there was no procedural illegality or irregularity in the Andheri metropolitan magistrate’s order initiating the proceedings.
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.