A Mumbai Court on Tuesday gave a stern warning to Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut that if she fails to appear before it on the next date of hearing on September 20 in in a defamation case filed against her by noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, the Court will be forced to issue an arrest warrant against her.
The court of Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate today granted exemption from appearance to the actor, after her Counsel Rizwan Siddiquee said that she has constantly been travelling and asked to undergo a Covid-19 test as she has developed some symptoms.
Meanwhile, Javed Akhtar reached the court to record his statement a while back. He entered the court premises through the back gate to avoid the media.
Last week, Kangana’s request to cancel the defamation case was rejected by the Bombay High Court. The actor had challenged the defamation proceedings that were initiated by the Magistrate’s court earlier this year, saying that the court had failed to apply its mind to the case.
Javed Akhtar’s counsel Jay Bharadwaj, however, had told the High Court that the Magistrate had directed for the police inquiry after going through the lyricist’s complaint and excerpts of Ranaut’s interview, in which she had made the alleged defamatory comments. Akhtar had filed the criminal complaint against Ranaut in November last year before the Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate for allegedly making defamatory and baseless comments against him in a television interview given to a senior journalist.
In December 2020, the court directed the Juhu police to conduct an inquiry into Akhtar’s complaint against Ranaut and then initiated criminal proceedings against her and issued summons to her in February this year.