Kangana Ranaut moves SC, seeks transfer of cases from Mumbai to Shimla
Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut has told the Supreme Court that she does not wish to go to Mumbai as her life and property are under threat from the Maharashtra government. With her tweets and interviews inviting two police complaints and criminal proceedings against her and her sister Rangoli Chandel, the actress has moved a transfer petition in the top court to shift the criminal cases and trials to a Shimla court.
The transfer petition by Ranaut and Chandel was filed in the top court on February 24 and is yet to be listed. The two have been named in separate FIRs for promoting enmity and insulting religious beliefs, registered last year at Amboli and Bandra police stations. A case against the duo is also pending on the same charges before the 66th Metropolitan Magistrate court at Andheri. In addition, Ranaut has sought the transfer of a defamation trial pending against her in an Andheri court filed by poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar.
Ranaut currently enjoys Y-plus category security of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) granted by the Ministry of Home Affairs. “It becomes quite evident that the petitioners face serious threat to life and property and if the trial of the cases are not transferred out of Mumbai, the petitioners’ life will be at risk,” stated the petition filed by the actress through Supreme Court lawyer Neeraj Shekhar.
The actress pointed out instances from which she apprehends danger to her life, including the demolition of her Pali Hill bungalow by the Shiv Sena-led Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in September 2020. She further quoted an insulting statement issued against her by senior Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut to highlight the vitiated atmosphere for trial in the state.
“These acts of the Maharashtra government clearly show that the Maharashtra government has malafide intentions against the petitioners herein and that if the petitioners visit Maharashtra to attend the said trials, there will be a constant threat to them from the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra government,” the petition stated.
The sisters have invoked the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under Section 406 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) to transfer the two FIRs and trials in two criminal cases from Maharashtra to Himachal Pradesh.
The two FIRs were filed by Ali Kashif Khan Deshmukh and Munawar Ali. The first complainant had also approached the Andheri court accusing the petitioners of spreading hate, promoting enmity, and insulting religion or religious beliefs with their tweets. In one tweet, Ranaut had criticised the attack on a medical team led by doctors in Moradabad’s Nawabganj who had gone on Covid-19 duty. The second criminal case was lodged by Munawar Ali over her subsequent tweet where she criticised the Maharashtra government over handling of the Covid-19 situation.
“The petitioners herein have a stellar reputation and huge fan following amongst the Indian public and are public spirited citizens,” the petition stated invoking the top court’s jurisdiction to get the matters transferred to a court in Shimla. Ranaut hails from Himachal Pradesh.