The Bombay High Court bench of Justice Revati Mohite-Dere on Wednesday reserved its order on a petition filed by actor Kangana Ranaut, challenging the criminal defamation proceedings issued against her by a magistrate court in Andheri after a suit was filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar. The bench, however, refused to stay the proceedings going on in the magistrate court but adjourned the matter till September 14.
The bench heard the submissions put forth by Ranaut through her counsel Rizwan Siddiqui and Akhtar through his advocate Jay Bharadwaj.
Notably, Akhtar has sued Ranaut for allegedly calling him a “member of the suicide gang” and dragging his name in the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. He had filed a defamation suit against her before the Andheri magistrate, who after scutinising the material on record issued criminal proceedings against her.
Accordingly, Ranaut has challenged the proceedings, claiming that the law wasn’t followed in the matter.
Siddiqui said, “The magistrate erred in considering the statements of witnesses recorded by the police. Instead, the Magistrate should have had recorded the statements and not the police.”
“Neither the Magistrate nor the police recorded the statements of my witnesses. So, I can say it is a one-sided enquiry,” he added. The submissions were, however, vehemently opposed by Akhtar through advocate Bharadwaj. He said, "It is incorrect to say that the police didn't record statements of all the witnesses. The Juhu Police had in fact summoned all the persons concerned in the case."
"Even she (Kangana) was summoned but to the reasons best known to her she didn't appear before the police," Bharadwaj said.
The bench, having heard the submissions, reserved it's orders in the matter.