The Bombay High Court Monday disposed of actor Kangana Ranaut’s plea seeking renewal of her passport, after the Passport Authority’s counsel gave an assurance that it would decide on her application expeditiously.
The Passport Authority’s counsel asked Ranaut to give a statement that no criminal case was pending against her in any court, which she did. While Ranuat is named in two FIRs, no court proceedings are on in either case, her lawyer said.
A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice Revati Mohite-Dere was hearing Ranaut’s interim applications filed through advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, pleading that she needed to go abroad for the shooting of Dhaakad, but the renewal of her passport, which is due to expire in September, was being delayed over the police complaints against her.
In October 2020, the Bandra police had registered an FIR against Ranaut and her sister Rangoli Chandel under IPC sections 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, etc), 295A (deliberate acts hurting religious sentiments) and 124-A (sedition) following a series of controversial statements made by the duo on social media.
In March this year, the Khar police booked Kangana, Rangoli, their brother Akshat Ranaut and a person named Kamal Kumar Jain for allegedly announcing a film on Kashmir’s ruler Didda without the knowledge of complainant Ashish Kaul, author of Didda: The Warrior Queen of Kashmir. Kaul claims to have exclusive copyright on the story of Didda.
On Monday, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, on instructions from the Passport Authority, submitted that the renewal application filed by Ranaut mentioned incorrect details, stating that criminal cases were pending against her when only FIRs have been registered.
Singh added that if Ranaut’s counsel is ready to make a statement that no criminal case is pending against her and makes corrections in the pending application before the Authority, it is ready to consider the same expeditiously.
Thereafter, advocate Siddiquee for Ranaut submitted that no criminal cases were pending against her in any court arising out of the two FIRs. The court accepted the statement, disposed of the interim applications, and posted further hearing on Ranaut’s challenge to both the FIRs for July 9.