Mumbai: No illegality in order, says court while junking Kangana’s plea in Javed Akhtar defamation case

A Dindoshi sessions court while dismissing actor Kangana Ranaut’s plea challenging the legality of proceedings against her in a magistrate court which arose out of lyricist Javed Akhtar’s criminal defamation complaint, has said that there is no illegality in the order.

Additional Sessions Judge SU Baghele said in his detailed order that no error could be pointed out on the correctness or illegality of the magistrate court’s order. The court said further that it could not be shown that there was any irregularity in the proceeding before the lower court.

Kangana’s advocate had argued that a particular witness was not examined and had submitted that the examination of witnesses is essential. Further, it was argued that no opportunity was granted for conducting cross-examination of the witnesses. Hence, that there was no compliance of procedure to be adopted before the court could take cognizance of the alleged offence. Akhtar’s advocate, on the other hand, had argued that Akhtar, who was the complainant, had been examined by the court and hence there was required compliance.

Judge Baghele in his order that examination of witnesses is not mandatory unless they are present and that thus, there was no error committed by the magistrate in the proceeding. The court also said that there was no question of grant of any opportunity of cross-examination to the accused, before the issuance of process and stated that the submissions made in that regard need to be brushed aside at the threshold.

The lyricist had filed the complaint against Kangana in November last year and alleged that her interview to Republic TV in the context of the death of actor Sushant Singh Rapjut wherein she had called him part of a certain ‘gang’ in Bollywood, had resulted in tarnishing his reputation. The magistrate had summoned Kangana after taking cognizance of the complaint and then issued a bailable warrant against her for not appearing before it.

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