Mumbai: Veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar submitted in a court here on Friday that actor Kangana Ranaut’s petition seeking transfer of the criminal defamation case filed by him against her was “devoid of any merits” and aimed at delaying the proceedings.
Ranaut had last month filed the petition before the chief metropolitan magistrate seeking transfer of hearing into the complaint to another court, saying she had “lost faith” in the magistrate’s court as it indirectly “threatened” her of issuing a warrant if she failed to appear before it in a bailable offence.
In his written reply, filed through lawyer Jay Bharadwaj, Akhtar said “The present transfer petition is devoid of all merits and is liable to be dismissed at the very threshold.”
The same is only filed to delay the proceedings before the Andheri metropolitan magistrate’s court (which is currently presiding over the case), he said.
“The grounds mentioned in the present application were raised for the first time after more than seven months of summoning of the applicant (Ranaut) with the sole intent to delay the matter,” it said.
Multiple petitions filed by the actor against the magistrate court’s proceeding have been rejected by both – the sessions court and the Bombay High Court.
She had also filed a transfer petition before the Supreme Court. However, the petition had some defects and was declared “infructuous” for not following the required procedures, Akhtar said.
This clearly goes on to show that the present petition is an orchestrated tactic to delay the proceedings pending, it added.
The matter has been posted for hearing October 18.
Akhtar (76) had filed the complaint in the court in November last year, claiming that Ranaut had made defamatory statements against him in a television interview, which allegedly damaged his reputation.
In his complaint, Akhtar claimed that Ranaut dragged his name during an interview while referring to a ‘coterie’ existing in Bollywood, following the alleged suicide committed by actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June last year.
Ranaut has also moved a counter complaint in the court against Akhtar for alleged “extortion and criminal intimidation” before the metropolitan magistrate court.
The actor in her complaint against Akhtar said following her public dispute with her 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.
As per the complaint, Akhtar had forced Ranaut to tender a written apology to her co-star.