Court accepts Javed Akhtar’s early hearing plea in case against Kangana


India: A magistrate court in Mumbai has allowed the application filed by Bollywood lyricist Javed Akhtar, in which he sought an early hearing of his case against actor Kangana Ranaut. The court will now be hearing Akhtar’s complaint on March 23.

The magistrate court, which had last heard his case on November 23, 2022, was to hear it again on April 19, 2023. Pointing to the nearly five-month adjournment given in the case, Akhtar’s lawyer, Jay Bharadwaj, had said, “The complainant is a senior citizen; it would be in the interest of justice that the date of the matter may kindly be preponed.”

Advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, appearing for Ranaut, pointed out that there are two cases that have been clubbed together. Along with Akhtar’s complaint against Ranaut, the actor’s own complaint against the veteran lyricist is also to be heard.

Siddiquee said that Ranaut’s application under Section 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code was still to be decided. This section allows any material witness to be summoned. This application was opposed by Akhtar on the ground that this is the stage for his witnesses to be brought.

On the other hand, Siddiquee said that in Ranaut’s case, her sister, Rangoli Chandel, would depose in the case, and so the date of April 19 would work perfectly for her. Siddiquee said that Chandel is also Ranaut’s manager and has already scheduled her work in such a way that she can come and depose in court accordingly on April 19.

Ranaut had prayed in her reply to Akhtar’s application that the veteran lyricist’s application be rejected.

However, the Andheri magistrate court has allowed Akhtar’s application, though the details of the order have not been made available right now.

Akhtar had filed a complaint against Ranaut, stating that in 2020, she had defamed him on a television channel. Ranaut, on the other hand, had said that Akhtar had no business intervening between her and actor Hrithik Roshan. She said that Akhtar had called a meeting in March 2016 where he had tried to intimidate her. She has also filed a complaint against Akhtar over the same meeting in 2016 and alleged that Akhtar was extorting an apology from her.

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