Actor Kangana Ranaut has moved the Bombay Supreme Court, opposing criminal defamation proceedings launched by the Magistrate Court over a complaint filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar. Ranaut has requested annulment and annulment of the entire proceedings initiated by the Magistrate on the basis of Akhtar’s complaint.
In his complaint filed last year, Akhtar had alleged that Ranaut had made defamatory statements on national and international television, “in what appears to be a clear campaign to defame and tarnish the complainant’s reputation in the eyes of the general public”.
After the Magistrate Court, Andheri, issued a trial against her in February this year and issued a court order against her in March this year, Ranaut appeared before the magistrate and asked for bail, which was granted.
The Dindoshi Sessions court in April this year rejected an appeal Ranaut had filed against the Magistrate’s injunction.
Ranaut’s plea in HC challenged the entire proceedings initiated by the magistrate, including all injunctions and subpoenas issued to date, saying that the magistrate, rather than simply ordering the Juhu police to investigate was first obliged to examine Akhtar and the said witnesses and summoned under oath, in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure
The magistrate used “large scale” police machines to collect “illegally” signed witness statements through a police investigation, which is completely “unheard of,” the plea said.
“The magistrate did not realize that he was under an obligation to protect the rights and interests of the proposed accused while hearing a complaint at the stage of the investigation and also at the time of taking cognizance of the complaint,” the petition said.
Such practice, if allowed, will set a false precedent for other magistrates and also affect the rights and freedoms of the accused in cases, Ranaut’s plea filed through attorney Rizwan Siddiquee said.
The plea of the HC to declare illegal the signed witness statement collected by the police on the instructions of the Magistrate.
The HC is likely to hear the plea on July 26.