Bollywood actress Richa Chadha in September said she had initiated "appropriate" legal action after her name was dragged in a "defamatory" manner by actress Payal Ghosh, who accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of sexual harassment.
According to reports, Chadha has also added news channel ABN Telugu (which aired Ghosh’s interview) and actor Kamaal R Khan (who shared it on Twitter) as parties to the defamation suit seeking Rs.1.1 crore in damages for maligning her reputation.
The matter was heard before Justice Anil Menon of the Bombay High Court via video conference.
Chadha was represented by Advocate Dr. Virendra Tulzpurkar, along with Advocates Saveena Bedi Sachar and Sumitra Radhika, who submitted that Ghosh had been served a notice. However, no one appeared on behalf of the 'Patel Ki Punjabi Shaadi' actress.
The matter has been adjourned for October 7.
Last month, Ghosh took to Twitter, claiming that the "Gangs of Wasseypur" director was sexually inappropriate towards her, an allegation Kashyap called "baseless".
In a video released to ABN Telugu, Ghosh claimed that the incident happened in 2014-2015.
Ghosh also claimed that Kashyap boasted about his connection with megastar Amitabh Bachchan and claimed that there were other female artistes who he got intimate with, including Chadha.
Chadha took to Twitter to share her lawyer Saveena Bedi Sachar's statement.
"Our Client has initiated appropriate legal action and shall further pursue her legal rights and remedies in law as may be advised in her best interest." The statement further read that the "Fukrey" star condemns her name being "unnecessarily and falsely dragged in a defamatory manner" into controversies and allegations raised by "third parties." "Though our client believes that genuinely wronged women should get justice at all costs, there are legislations that are intended to ensure that women have an equal standing in their workplace and to ensure that they have a cordial workplace in which their dignity and self-respect is protected.
"No woman can be allowed to misuse their liberties to harass other women with unsubstantiated or non-existent, false and baseless allegations." When a Twitter user criticized the actor for speaking against casting couch in the past and now siding with Kashyap, Chadha called her out for being agenda driven.
"Attempt to rape is a serious allegation. She should have gone to the cops. You think feminism is women dragging your name in an obscene, unnecessary way in their personal battles? So I can make cheap allegations about you on TV? Your agenda has blinded you towards truth. Shame," the actor wrote in reply.
Later in a tweet, Chadha said while the soft copy of the legal notice was sent to Ghosh, the latter refused to receive the delivery of the hard copy at her residence.
"Update: soft copy of the legal notice has been sent to Ms. Ghosh. My person along with a person from my lawyer’s office, went to hand deliver the hard copy of the notice to her residence, which she/representative refused to take delivery of. We've got the refusal on video," she wrote.
Kashyap, too, shared a statement from his lawyer, Priyanka Khimani, that said the 48-year-old director has been "fully advised of his rights and remedies in law and intends to pursue them to the fullest extent." Dismissing the allegations on Sunday, Kashyap called Ghosh's claim an attempt to "silence" him for his outspoken views.
The director found support in his industry friends, including Hansal Mehta, Taapse Pannu, Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub as well as former wives, film editor Aarti Bajaj and actor Kalki Koechlin who credited him for creating safe work space for women.
With PTI inputs