YouTuber opposes Akshay Kumar's Rs. 500 crore defamation case
After being sued with a Rs. 500 crore defamation case by actor Akshay Kumar for making false claims in his videos, YouTuber Rashid Siddiquee has refused to pay the amount, claiming there was nothing defamatory in his content. He has also urged Akshay to withdraw the notice, failing which he would seek legal action against the star. Here are more details on this.
The YouTuber, who made videos related to late actor's Sushant Singh Rajput's death case, has refused to pay any amount in the defamation case and threatened Akshay with legal action. Siddiquee's advocate, JP Jayswal, claimed the allegations were "false, vexatious, and oppressive, and raised with an intent to harass him," saying that many reporters and news channels have also reported the same about Akshay.
Siddiquee's lawyer further said that while many YouTube channels and reporters have reported the same content, his client was being falsely targeted. He claimed that the YouTuber's videos could not be viewed as defamatory and they were to be treated as viewpoints with objectivity.
Jayswal said, "The news reported by Siddiquee was already in the public domain and he has placed reliance on other news channels as sources." He also called the Rs. 500 crore amount "absurd and unwarranted," saying that claims have been made to "pressurize Siddiquee." "He (Akshay) has selectively chosen Siddiquee to saddle the blame of defamation," the advocate added.
"Akshay Kumar faced severe backlash after interviewing an influential politician, whereby thousands of people have made personal remarks against him on various YouTube videos and websites. Surprisingly, Kumar has not taken any action on the same, however, he has selectively chosen Siddiquee," said Jayswal. He apparently made a reference to Akshay's 2019 interview with Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid the crucial general elections.
On November 17, Akshay issued a defamation notice against Siddiquee. Siddiquee claimed in his videos that Akshay helped Rhea Chakraborty, the prime accused in Sushant's death case, in escaping to Canada. He also said Akshay was jealous with the success the late actor had gained from the movie MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. Siddiquee was earlier arrested by Mumbai Police, and later granted bail.
Siddiquee, 25, who runs a YouTube channel called "FF News," made videos on Sushant's death case, earning a huge amount of money out of it. His monthly income reportedly rose from Rs. 296 in May to Rs. 6,50,898 in September, along with a drastic increase in his channel's number of subscribers. Cops said many YouTubers used Sushant's death as an opportunity to earn money.
"The actor's death was used as an opportunity to earn money. Once media started reporting different theories, YouTubers too grabbed the opportunity and started posting fake content. They maligned Mumbai Police's image and earned money during the lockdown," a senior police officer said.