Friday 2 February 2024

Bombay High Court Denies Kangana Ranaut's

Bombay High Court Denies Kangana Ranaut's Plea, Javed Akhtar Defamation Trial to Continue

The Bombay High Court has dismissed actress Kangana Ranaut's plea seeking a stay on the criminal defamation case filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar in 2020. Ranaut had also requested the court to club the case with a counter-complaint she subsequently filed against him.

Justice Prakash Naik passed the order, stating that the proceedings could not be stayed or combined as Ranaut had never contended that the cases were interconnected. Additionally, Akhtar's complaint was filed first.

"At this stage, the relief sought in the petition cannot be granted," Justice Naik said. "Earlier, it was never contended by the petitioner (Kangana) that both cases are cross cases."

While Akhtar's defamation case against Ranaut is ongoing before the Magistrate in Andheri, Ranaut's complaint against Akhtar was stayed by the Sessions Court.

In her writ petition, Ranaut argued that both cases originated from a 2016 meeting and should be tried together to avoid prejudice against her. She sought an urgent stay on Akhtar's defamation proceedings for simultaneous hearing.

Akhtar's lawyer, Advocate Jay Bharadwaj, argued that the petition lacked merit and did not challenge any judicial order. He highlighted that Akhtar's complaint predated Ranaut's, making his client's case take precedence according to Supreme Court guidelines. Furthermore, he stated that Ranaut's petition relied on assumptions and probabilities of a favorable outcome in pending litigation, which was insufficient for invoking writ jurisdiction and seeking a stay.

Background

In 2020, Akhtar filed a complaint alleging Ranaut defamed him by linking his name to actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death in an interview. She is currently facing trial under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code.

In retaliation, Ranaut filed a counter-complaint against Akhtar in 2021, accusing him of criminal intimidation and insult to modesty based on a 2016 incident. The Sessions Court stayed proceedings on this complaint until the disposal of Akhtar's revision petition.

This latest decision by the Bombay High Court paves the way for the continuation of Akhtar's defamation case against Ranaut, while her counter-complaint remains stalled for the time being.

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