A sessions court in Mumbai asked Bollywood actress Kangana Ranaut to file reply to veteran poet-lyricist Javed Akhtar's application challenging the summons issued to him by a magistrate's court in a case filed by her. Additional sessions judge (Dindoshi court) A Z Khan, presiding over the case related to alleged criminal intimidation, issued a notice to the actress seeking her reply and adjourned the matter to August 24.
Javed Akhtar moved a revision petition before the sessions court, saying the summons to him was issued by the metropolitan magistrate's court in suburban Andheri in a “hasty and inappropriate manner”, which has resulted in “grave miscarriage of justice”.
The plea, filed through advocate Jay Bharadwaj, stated that prima facie, there is nothing on judicial record to show there was sufficient material available with the magistrate for passing the impugned order. “The magistrate simply proceeded on the bald and unsubstantiated averments made in the complaint without ascertaining the overall factual matrix and the judicial record,” the plea said.
It further stated that the magistrate failed to appreciate that serious prejudice shall be caused to the rights of the petitioner if he is made to face the trial in a time-barred matter that too where the ingredients of all the sections alleged in the complaint are not applicable.
In 2020, the 76-year-old lyricist had filed a complaint, claiming Ranaut had made defamatory statements against him in a television interview, which allegedly damaged his reputation. He alleged the 'Queen' actress had dragged his name during the interview while referring to a 'coterie' existing in Bollywood, following the alleged suicide by filmstar Sushant Singh Rajput in June 2020.
The 36-year-old actor later filed a counter-complaint in the same court against Javed Akhtar for alleged “extortion and criminal intimidation”. Kangana Ranaut, in her complaint, claimed that following her public dispute with a co-star, the lyricist had called her and her sister Rangoli Chandel to his house with “malafide intentions and ulterior motives and then criminally intimidated and threatened” her. Metropolitan magistrate (Andheri court) R M Shaikh on July 24 issued summons to Akhtar, asking him to appear before the court on August 5. The magistrate dropped the extortion charges against the veteran Bollywood personality, but said there was sufficient ground to proceed against him for criminal intimidation.