A sessions court in Mumbai rejected veteran lyricist-poet Javed Akhtar's plea challenging summons issued against him by a magistrate in connection with a criminal case filed by a lawyer over his alleged objectionable remarks against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The lawyer, Santosh Dubey, had in October 2021 filed a complaint against Akhtar before the metropolitan magistrate court in suburban Mulund under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 499 (defamation) and 500 (punishment for defamation).
After hearing both sides' arguments, the magistrate issued summons to the veteran lyricist in December last year. The 78-year-old Bollywood personality, through his lawyer, filed a petition before the sessions court against the summons. “The session court has rejected the revision application filed by renowned writer Javed Akhtar against the Mulund court's order,” Dubey said. Akhtar has to appear before the Mulund court on March 31, he added.
The complainant, who claims to be an RSS supporter, had alleged Akhtar, with a view to gain political score, unnecessarily dragged the name of the RSS and defamed the organisation in a "calculated and well planned move" while making the remarks during a television interview.
The statements made by the accused during the interview were aimed at defaming the Nagpur-headquartered Hindutva organisation as well as to discourage and misguide people who have joined the RSS or would like to join the outfit, the complaint had alleged. For the unversed, Akhtar had made controversial remarks in the backdrop of the Taliban seizing power in Afghanistan in August 2021.
Meanwhile, Javed Akhtar recently created a buzz with his statement against Pakistan. Akhtar was heard saying that the perpetrators and conspirators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks were still "roaming freely" in Pakistan. A video of the poet-lyricist went viral on social media where he is purportedly heard speaking about "bitterness" in the hearts of Indians over the 26/11 attacks. Calling himself as someone who has made remarks that were "slightly controversial and sensitive in nature" in India, Akhtar said he was not scared to speak his mind while in Pakistan.
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(With PTI inputs)