Bombay HC dismisses Kangana’s plea for quashing defamation case by Akhtar
The Bombay high court on Thursday dismissed a petition filed by actor Kangana Ranaut challenging the process issued by a metropolitan magistrate court in Andheri based on a criminal defamation case complaint filed by lyricist Javed Akhtar against her.
The single-judge bench of justice Revati Mohite Dere who heard Ranaut’s petition had been informed by advocate Rizwan Siddiquee that the magistrate had not followed due procedure on receipt of the complaint and had assigned the investigation into the complaint to the Juhu police, which he should have done himself.
Siddiquee had also submitted that the magistrate had not applied his judicial mind while issuing the process or issuing a bailable warrant after Ranaut failed to appear in court.
He had argued that the complainant had not placed any evidence before the magistrate and the same was brought on record by a third party. Siddiquee had stated that as the procedure laid down under Section 202 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was not followed, the entire proceedings, orders and summons issued by the magistrate should be quashed.
In light of Section 202 of the CrPC, advocate Jay Bharadwaj for Akhtar had submitted that the magistrate had three options--to either conduct the investigation himself; or direct an investigation to be made by a police officer; or direct a third party to conduct investigation. The magistrate had chosen one of the legally available options and hence the petition was liable to be dismissed.
Bharadwaj had also stated that apart from considering the allegations and taking the statement of the complainant the magistrate had also summoned the accused but she had not appeared. He added that the magistrate also went through the report of the police and the footage in which Ranaut had made the defamatory comments against Akhtar.
After hearing the submissions the bench had reserved its order on September 1.