A court in Maharashtra’s Thane city on Monday issued a show cause notice to writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar in connection with a defamation suit filed against him by a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activist for comparing the organisation to the Taliban, PTI reported.
The court of the additional chief judicial magistrate has directed Akhtar to appear before it on November 12, according to ANI.
The lyricist has made the remark while speaking to a news channel on September 3 about the increasing hate crimes against Muslims in India.
RSS activist Vivek Champanerkar, who filed the suit against Akhtar in Thane, alleged that the lyricist meant to vilify Hindu organisations by drawing parallels between them and the “barbaric Taliban”, PTI reported.
He added that Akhtar’s accusations against RSS were “unfounded, false and baseless”, according to the news agency.
“The plaintiff states he has been hurt by defendant’s defamatory statement to tarnish the image of plaintiff’s organisation and hence he is in loss of rupee one for which the defendant is liable to compensate him,” the RSS activist’s lawyer submitted on his behalf.
Over the past week, an RSS worker and lawyer also filed a criminal defamation complaint against Akhtar, while another RSS member and advocate sent a legal notice seeking damages of Rs 100 crore in connection with the same remarks.
The criminal defamation complaint was filed by Dhrutman Joshi, who accused Akhtar of trying to vilify Hindus with his remarks.
Joshi alleged that Akhtar’s remarks were “well planned, thought and calculated” and meant to “defame the RSS” and misguide its supporters. The RSS is the ideological parent of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
A magistrate court in Kurla in Mumbai will hear Joshi’s complaint on October 30.
The legal notice was sent by Santosh Dubey, who sought Rs 100 crore for damages to the RSS’ reputation.
Akhtar’s comments had drawn wide criticism. BJP MLA Ram Kadam had said on September 5 that the party would not allow the screening of films involving the lyricist until he apologised. Maharashtra’s ruling party Shiv Sena had also said that Akhtar’s comments were “disrespectful to the Hindu culture”.