Javed Akhtar
Javed Akhtar

Lyricist Javed Akhtar, on Thursday, appeared before an Andheri magistrate court in connection with the criminal defamation complaint he filed recently against actor Kangana Ranaut.

His advocate Niranjan Mundargi said that Akhtar’s statement was recorded on oath by the court. Akhtar began by telling the court about his credentials of 60-year-long career in the film industry and the awards, including the National and Filmfare awards, that he had received for his work.

He spoke about Ranaut’s comments in an interview to Republic TV on July 20, wherein she had called him part of a particular “gang” in the context of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case. Akhtar further told the court about the social media trolling he faced as a result of her allegations.

In his complaint filed before the court in early November, Akhtar had said that in the course of the 57-minute interview, Kangana had given her opinion on circumstances around the death of Sushant Singh Rajput without appearing to have any direct personal knowledge of it. She referred to a film director during the interview, it added, and then proceeded to name himself entirely without context.

Akhtar said further, in his complaint, that his name has been needlessly dragged into an unconnected sensitive matter and such an action is tantamount to extending veiled threats to him. The incident described by Kangana in the interview never took place, he said, and added that she has chosen to defame him with ulterior motives to amplify her public presence at the cost of his reputation.

The complainant had gone on to state that he, as a senior member of the film fraternity, had merely counselled her to settle what was a private dispute between her and another actor so that they could both proceed to concentrate on their respective careers.

Kangana had benefited from the interview, the complaint had stated, which is evident from the YouTube video of it having over 60 lakh views and it being covered by various publications, print and online.

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Free Press Journal