A sessions court in Mumbai on March 9 rejected Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut's application seeking transfer of the defamation case filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar from the magistrate's court in suburban Andheri.
The court also refused to transfer her counter-complaint against Mr. Akhtar, filed before the Andheri court, elsewhere. The detailed Order passed by second additional principal and sessions judge (Dindoshi) S. S. Oza was not available immediately.
Ms. Ranaut had claimed in her application that the 10th Metropolitan Magistrate's Court (Andheri) showed “bias and prejudice towards her” by not granting her permanent exemption from appearance and threatened to issue an arrest warrant against her for a “bailable and non-cognisable offence." In October 2021, the chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) had rejected a similar plea, following which she moved the sessions court.
Mr. Akhtar (76) filed the complaint before the Andheri magistrate in November 2020, alleging that Ms. Ranaut made defamatory statements against him in a television interview which damaged his reputation. Ms. Ranaut dragged his name for no reason while talking about the existence of a "coterie" in Bollywood against the backdrop of the alleged suicide of actor Sushant Singh Rajput in June 2020, Mr. Akhtar said in the criminal defamation complaint.
Ms. Ranaut, on her part, filed a counter-complaint in the Andheri court against Mr. Akhtar, alleging "extortion and criminal intimidation." Following her public spat with a co-star, Mr. Akhtar called her and her sister Rangoli Chandel to his house and "criminally intimidated and threatened" her, Ms. Ranaut alleged. Mr. Akhtar has denied the accusation.