A Mumbai court on Thursday rejected actor Kangana Ranaut’s application seeking the transfer of a defamation case filed against her by lyricist Javed Akhtar to another judge, Bar and Bench reported.
The case is related to comments that Ranaut made about Akhtar during a television interview in July last year in relation to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. Ranaut had reportedly said that Akhtar was part of a “suicide gang” and that “he can get away with pretty much anything in Mumbai”.
Akhtar filed the defamation case against Ranaut in November. Andheri Metropolitan Magistrate RR Khan has been hearing the matter.
However, last month, Ranaut had approached the chief metropolitan magistrate at the Esplanade Court in Mumbai, saying that she had lost faith in Khan. The actor accused the Andheri metropolitan magistrate of being biased and sought transfer of the case to another court in Mumbai.
The actor had argued that judge Khan was biased and “sought to misuse his powers and cause injury” to her case even before the commencement of the trial, according to Bar and Bench.
Her lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui had argued it was not necessary for Ranaut to appear before the court in person for this case. He contended that the judge was “unreasonable” to seek her presence for hearing in the case.
On September 14, judge Khan had said that he would issue a warrant against Ranaut if she did not appear in person for the next hearing.
Ranaut appeared for the next hearing on September 20, but filed the transfer petition and a counter complaint against Akhtar, accusing him of extortion and criminal intimidation. This was the first time Ranaut had appeared for a hearing in the case since she had been summoned by the court in February.
Meanwhile, Akhtar’s counsel had told the court that Ranaut’s transfer petition was only aimed at delaying proceedings in the case.