Bailable warrant issued against Kangana Ranaut in defamation case filed by Javed Akhtar

A magistrate court in Mumbai, which was hearing arguments in the defamation case, issued the warrant after Ranaut failed to appear before it on Monday

Press Trust of India March 01, 2021 18:00:28 IST
Bailable warrant issued against Kangana Ranaut in defamation case filed by Javed Akhtar

File photo of actor Kangana Ranaut.

Mumbai: A Mumbai court on Monday issued a bailable warrant against actor Kangana Ranaut after she failed to appear before it in connection with a defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar.

The Andheri metropolitan magistrate's court issued a summons to Ranaut on 1 February, directing her to appear before it on 1 March. However, Ranaut failed to appear on Monday following which Magistrate RR Khan issued a bailable warrant against her and posted the matter for further hearing on 26 March.

A lawyer in the case had earlier informed 22 March as the next date of hearing. Ranaut's advocate Rizwan Siddiquee argued in the court
that the summons and process were issued against Ranaut without following the procedure laid down in law and hence, were "bad in law".

Siddiquee said a petition would be filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the process issued by the magistrate.

Akhtar's advocate Vrinda Grover, however, argued that even if the process is being challenged, Ranaut has to appear before the court as directed, in the absence of any stay on the summons by a higher court.

"It is the accused's right to appeal against the order, or even challenge the proceedings, that no one can deny and no one can stop, not even this court. However, she (Ranaut) has failed to comply with the order of this court and there is also no stay obtained from a higher court," the
lawyer argued.

Grover then filed an application seeking a non-bailable warrant to be issued against the actor. This was opposed by Siddiquee.

Magistrate Khan observed that Ranaut was at the liberty to approach a higher court to challenge the process issued against her, but that would not absolve her from appearing before this court.

The court issued a bailable warrant against Ranaut and posted the matter for hearing on 26 March.

Last month, the Mumbai police submitted a report to the court, saying an offence of defamation was made out against the actor.

Akhtar filed the complaint against Ranaut in November last year for allegedly making baseless and false statements against him which, according to him, damaged his reputation.

In his complaint, the lyricist claimed Ranaut had made defamatory comments against him in an interview by dragging his name while referring to a "coterie" existing in Bollywood, following the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.

Akhtar in his plea claimed the baseless comments made by Ranaut had caused damage to his reputation.

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