A Mumbai court on Tuesday allowed actor Kangana Ranaut'splea seeking exemption from personal appearance for the day in a criminaldefamation complaint filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar, and said it will issue awarrant against her if she fails to appear on the next date of hearing onSeptember 20.
As the matter came up for hearing, Ranaut's lawyer sought that she be exemptedfrom appearance for the day as she was not keeping well. The lawyer submitted amedical certificate before the court and said the actor has been traveling forthe promotion of her film and has "developed COVID-19 symptoms".
However, Akhtar's lawyer said this is an orchestrated tactic to delay the caseproceedings. The lyricist's lawyer further said Ranaut has refused to appearbefore the court for one reason or the other since summons were issued to herin February this year.
After hearing the submissions, metropolitan magistrate R R Khan allowed Ranautto be exempted from appearance for the day. He then posted the matter forhearing on September 20.
The magistrate said if the actor fails to appear on the next hearing, a warrantwill be issued against her. Last Thursday, the Bombay High Court dismissed aplea filed by Ranaut seeking the quashing of proceedings initiated against herby the local court on the criminal defamation complaint filed by Akhtar.
Justice Revati Mohite-Dere had said in the order that there was no proceduralillegality or irregularity in the Andheri metropolitan magistrate's orderinitiating the proceedings. Akhtar (76) filed a complaint in the magistrate'scourt in November last year, claiming that Ranaut had made defamatorystatements against him in a television interview, which allegedly damaged hisreputation.
In his complaint, Akhtar claimed that Ranaut dragged his name during aninterview while referring to a 'coterie' existing in Bollywood, following thealleged suicide committed by actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.