A magistrate court in Andheri has warned that it will issue an arrest warrant against actor Kangana Ranaut if she does not appear before it next Monday. Kangana is facing defamation proceedings initiated against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar.
On Tuesday, when both sides were supposed to appear before the court, only Javed Akhtar appeared. He was accompanied by wife Shabana Azmi. Kangana’s advocate, Rizwan Siddiqui, sought a week’s exemption for his client, citing her ill health. He told the court she was experiencing Covid symptoms as she had been travelling for the past 15 days for the promotion of her movie and had met many people, which could be a probable reason for the infection. He filed a medical certificate and said it was a genuine reason. “The proceedings can continue and should not suffer,” he added.
Akhtar’s lawyer Jay Bharadwaj, however, opposed the relief and filed an application to issue a non-bailable warrant against Kangana. He told the court that she had not appeared for even a single day and that her plea for exemption was nothing but a ploy to delay the matter. He argued that the court had already granted her a last chance earlier because she was shooting in Budapest and pointed out that the summons was issued eight months ago. Akhtar, on the other hand, has been diligently attending court, he said.
Regarding the medical certificate produced, Kangana’s advocate said it was issued by a witness whom Akhtar had cited in his complaint and hence should be treated as credible. Akhtar’s advocate refuted this argument and said that he was a doctor and had issued it in that capacity, it did not matter if he were a witness in the case. Further, he pointed out that the certificate had advised admission for two days, while Kangana was seeking a week’s time. He also sought to know whether she had been checked physically or virtually, since the certificate did not bear her signature.
Magistrate RR Khan, while granting time till Monday for Kangana to appear before him, told her advocate that the court would issue an arrest warrant if she did not appear before it next Monday.
The proceedings emerged from a defamation complaint against her by the lyricist for appearing in a TV interview last year and making comments against him. He said he suffered a lot of harassment on social media due to the same and people made phone calls asking him about it, causing him unnecessary distress.
In 2016, Kangana had gone to meet Akhtar with her sister. Around that time, Kangana Ranaut and Hrithik Roshan were making headlines for their alleged relationship and had hundreds of emails between them. Akhtar had earlier told the court that he tried to settle the issue between the two actors. He had said earlier in his statement before the magistrate court, “I tried to advise and pacify her to settle issues with Hrithik. However, she did not listen to me and told me that she would take the issue as per her choice and she would show him. As she was not in a mood to listen to me, I changed the topic and shared pleasantries with her, offered her tea or coffee and saw her off to the lift.”
However, after the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, Akhtar said in his statement that Kangana Ranaut went on to level allegations against him, saying he had formed a ‘suicide gang’ and was pushing ‘outsiders’ like her to commit suicide. He said that it was after this that he approached the court and filed a case of defamation against her.