Bailable warrant against Kangana Ranaut in Javed Akhtar's defamation case
A court in Mumbai today issued a bailable warrant against film actor Kangana Ranaut after she failed to appear before it in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar, reports say. Akhtar had filed the defamation case against the 33-year-old in November last year. Here are more details on this.
The Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate's court had summoned Ranaut a month ago directing her to appear before it on March 1. She was summoned after a report submitted by the Juhu Police said that the alleged offenses against her required further investigation. However, Ranaut failed to appear on Monday following which the court issued a bailable warrant against her.
During today's hearing, advocate Vrinda Grover, representing Akhtar in the court, cited a tweet by Ranaut related to the court summons to argue that she was aware of the case and yet failed to appear or file an exemption application, Live Law reports. In that tweet, Ranaut had written in Hindi, "A pack of jackals and a lioness ... this will be fun (sic)."
On the other hand, advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, appearing for Ranaut, contended that the procedure to examine the witnesses stipulated under Section 200 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was not followed in the case. Therefore, issuing summons was "bad in law," he argued, adding that the actor will be challenging the order in the High Court.
In response to Siddiquee's argument, Grover said, "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 failed to comply with the order of this court and I do not see any stay obtained from a Higher Court," she reportedly told the court.
Akhtar's counsel had sought issuance of non-bailable warrant against Ranaut. Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan issued a bailable warrant against her and posted the matter for further hearing on March 22. "You are at liberty to challenge the order [issue of process and summons] but that cannot absolve you from appearance here," Khan told Ranaut's lawyer Siddiquee.
In his complaint, Akhtar had alleged that Ranaut's comments about him in connection with actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death caused "irreparable damage" to his reputation. She had allegedly said in a TV interview that the lyricist was part of a "Bollywood suicide gang" who could "get away with anything." He had sought action against her under Sections 499 and 500 of the IPC.