The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed actor Kangana Ranaut’s plea seeking a stay on the proceedings of a defamation complaint filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar.
A single bench of Justice P D Naik said the trial in the complaint filed by Javed Akhtar had already commenced, and hence, the relief sought by Kangana Ranaut could not be granted at this stage.
Last month, the actor filed a petition in the high court seeking a stay on Akhtar’s criminal defamation complaint filed in 2020 and prayed for the case to be heard along with the cross-complaint she subsequently filed against him.
“The trial in the complaint by Akhtar has already commenced. The applicant (Ranaut) has preferred this application at a belated stage. Akhtar’s complaint is first in point of time and process (notice) has been issued. Considering the factual matrix, no relief can be granted,” the court said.
While the defamation case Akhtar filed against Ranaut is ongoing before the magistrate in Andheri, the sessions court has stayed the latter’s complaint against the lyricist.
Ranaut, in her petition, stated that both cases had their genesis in a meeting (between Ranaut and Akhtar) in 2016, and hence, they should be tried together.
The lyricist opposed the petition and, in an affidavit through his advocate Jay Bharadwaj, said that Ranaut has not challenged any order passed by the magistrate’s court and has, without any basis, sought a stay on the proceedings.
Akhtar had alleged that it was an attempt to delay the proceedings on his defamation complaint.
In his complaint, the lyricist had claimed that Ranaut defamed and damaged his “immaculate reputation” by dragging his name into actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death in her interview with a news channel in July 2020.
In 2021, Ranaut hit back by filing a counter-complaint against Akhtar before a magistrate’s court, alleging criminal intimidation and insult to modesty.
The actor had alleged that during her meeting with the lyricist at his residence in 2016, he had criminally intimidated her demanding that she apologise to a co-star.
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