The additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate court at Esplanade in Mumbai has called for remarks from Andheri Magistrate in the plea filed by Kangana Ranaut seeking transfer of the defamation complaint registered by lyricist Javed Akhtar.
During the hearing, advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, appearing for Kangana, told the court that he was ready to argue his case. However, Magistrate ST Dante, who was hearing the case on Friday (October 1), said that the say of the 10th Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) at Andheri court had been called for and the hearing will happen only after that.
Advocate Jay Bharadwaj, appearing for Javed Akhtar, then asked the court if he would be permitted to file his formal reply. He was allowed to do so. So, he handed over a copy to Siddiquee. The case has been posted for further hearing on October 18, 2021.
JAVED AKHTAR’S REPLY
Javed has alleged that Kangana’s plea seeking transfer of the complaints “is devoid of all merits and is liable to be dismissed at the very threshold and the same is only filed to delay the proceedings before the 10th MM, Andheri Court, Mumbai. In fact, the falsehood in the present application can be easily gauged from the fact that Applicant (Kangana) chose to file the same upon willful and deliberate absence on September 14, 2021, before the Court of the 10th MM, Andheri. The grounds mentioned in the present application were raised for the first time after more than 7 months of summoning of the Applicant with the sole intent to delay the matter.”
Javed Akhtar’s lawyer has been raising the issue of Kangana not appearing in court in spite of the court issuing summons.
It was on November 3, 2020 that Javed Akhtar filed a criminal defamation complaint against Kangana Ranaut. He had alleged that Kangana defamed him in a televised interview. However, Kangana, who appeared at Andheri magistrate court during the last hearing in September, told the court that she had no faith in Magistrate RR Khan as he had been unnecessarily summoning her while she was being represented by her lawyer.
A few years ago, Javed Akhtar had called Kangana and her sister to his home over tea and during that meeting he had asked her to let go of the issue that she had been publicly raising against actor Hrithik Roshan. This, Kangana states, was a threat given by Javed Akhtar to extort an apology.
KANGANA RANAUT FILED A COMPLAINT AGAINST JAVED AKHTAR
In September, after the proceedings began in Javed Akhtar’s case, Kangana too filed a complaint against Javed Akhtar for extortion and criminal intimidation. This complaint, filed before the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate court, would invariably have been heard by the same 10th court of Magistrate RR Khan. But Kangana sought her complaint and that Javed Akhtar’s complaint should be transferred to another court.
Kangana Ranaut stated that the offence initiated against her was “bailable, non-cognizable and compoundable”.
Despite being aware of the same, Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan on “every given opportunity” sought to “misuse his powers and cause injury” to Kangana Ranaut even before commencement of trial.
“That the Magistrate is intentionally causing prejudice to the rights and liberties of the Applicant (Kangana) with a biased mind”, the plea states.
According to Kangana’s plea, the following acts depict the bias which the Magistrate has shown against her:
– Absolute disobedience and disregard to guidelines issued by the Supreme Court and Bombay High Court by “forcing Kangana to remain present on each date” by ignoring the aspect that Kangana has been represented by her advocate on each date.
– Magistrate has intentionally caused injury to the mind and reputation of Kangana by callously announcing in open court on two occasions before media personnel that “an arrest warrant will be issued if Kangana does not remain present on the next hearing date.